About The Academies Staff

The Academies’ Staff

Rachel Grima, Client Services Manager

Rachel oversees the many details of our ongoing classes, tracking student enrollment, assisting students and faculty with everything they need for our programs to run flawlessly – including answering questions regarding upcoming/current classes, and other administrative activities. She also assists with marketing materials and social media. Meeting the needs of our students is her number one priority! Rachel can be contacted at Rachel@theacademies.com or 559.547.8200.

Rebecca Potts, Academic Services Coordinator

Rebecca is our Academic Services Coordinator. She keeps track of our current students, answers questions about our active cohorts, and works with alumni to maintain their credentials. She assists with website maintenance and other administrative activities. Rebecca excels at coming up with new ways to streamline our systems. Rebecca can be contacted at Rebecca@theacademies.com or 559.547.8202.

Nicoletta SimmonsNicoletta Simmons, Webmaster

Nicoletta Simmons is the Webmaster for The Academies and has been with the Academies since 2013.  As Webmaster, she updates the website, assists with e-commerce management, and helps the team with network innovation. Nicoletta can be contacted at nicoletta@theacademies.com.

The Academies’ Faculty 

Ellen Bartkowiak, CCMC University/MBA InstructorDec Headshot

Ellen Bartkowiak is a 20-year career management expert and understands the inner workings of a career management center and its primary audience: the student.  She is a sought-after speaker, coach and consultant and is President of EllenCoaching, a career management firm which assists MBA students and alumni to manage their career.  She is an Instructor for The Academies’ Certified Career Management Coach MBA/University track and uses her experience as a former Director of Career Management Centers to assist Career Coaches with their demands: employer relations, event planning, and most importantly, one-on-one coaching.  Ellen holds a Master’s Degree in Career Counseling and certifications as an Executive and Leadership Development Coach, Career Management Coach, Twitter Job Search Coach, and is a 360Reach Personal Branding Strategist. Ellen has worked at nine different career centers throughout her lifetime and has assisted traditional undergrads, international students, the working professional student, veterans, the executive MBA and alumni. Learn more about Ellen at www.ellencoaching.com.

James Beeman, PCC, Brain-Based Coach Instructor

Several years ago James was so stressed out from his job that he had a headache every single day from clenching his jaw and grinding his teeth. In fact, the stress of his job kept him up at all hours of the night and began to negatively impact his personal relationships like his new marriage. He was tired, he was miserable, and he began to think that he was hopeless.

James got his personal wakeup call when he ended up in the ER thinking he was having a stroke or a heart attack, because he was taking every conflict at work to heart and because he thought that every problem at work was all his fault.

That’s what it took for him to change – to strike out in a new direction – a new career where he can help people who are miserable at work, find new life and joy. By the way, James wasn’t crazy, when he quit his job, they hired three people to replace him.

In his quest to help hundreds of clients, James earned a Master of Arts in Management & Leadership with a 4.0 and multiple professional coaching and career certifications including the Certified Career Management Coach from The Academiesthe Professional Coach Certification from the International Coach Federationand theNeuroPositive® Coach License from theApplied Neuroscience Institute. Learn more about James at www.ClearCareer.us.


Leigh Gauthier – Executive & Leadership Development Coach Instructor

Leigh Gauthier is a Certified Coach (CPCC) (PCC), professionally trained facilitator, and former management consultant with a Fortune Global 500 firm. She has a passion for improving human performance and has dedicated the past 18 years to helping others identify their strengths and pursue their goals. With People Development, Learning, and Career Counseling roles spanning national, multinational, and global organizations such as Accenture, The Ken Blanchard Companies, and the Rotman School of Management Leigh has had the privilege to work with some of the world’s best and brightest talent. Leigh specializes in career and life management, team building and leadership development services offered through professional and executive coaching, facilitation, and speaking. More on Leigh at CoachLeigh.com.

KPrendergastPhotoKatherine (Kit) Prendergast, CCMC Instructor and Mentor Coach

Katherine (Kit) Prendergast brings a wonderful energy, spirit and focus to her work. Kit is a PCC credentialed coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF), a Certified Career Management Coach (CCMC), a Certified Life Coach (CLC), and a certified Life Blueprint® Facilitator for the “Now What?™” coaching program. She is also a certified Myers Briggs Inventory Instructor, holds a Master’s degree in social work (MSW) and was previously licensed as a clinical social worker (LCSW) in three states. Kit also lived in Norway for six years where she established a successful training business specializing in cross-cultural transitions.

Kit is the owner of Career Connections of Sierra Nevada – www.CareerConnectionsSN.com (estab. 2000) located near the Truckee River in downtown Reno, Nevada. She welcomes coaching and training clients throughout the state, nationally and internationally.

Sophie Turner – Executive & Leadership Development Coach Instructor

Sophie’s passion is to empower people to freely be themselves through the work they do, the people they lead, and the lives they experience. Sophie has been developing products, brands, and people for over 20 years across various industries and continents. She currently works with business leaders, entrepreneurs, and groups who are on a mission for change in their worlds to be in greater alignment with living and creating from their truths.  With a passion in human behaviour, communications and storytelling, Sophie created the Marquee Profile, an archetype assessment tool supporting leaders and entrepreneurs to gain deeper insight into their habitual behaviour to then create their professional brands. Sophie is a CPCC with CTI, a PCC with the ICF, a certified and accredited practitioner of both the Leadership Circle Profile and Facet5 Personality Assessment, and has extensive training in Positive Intelligence, Gallup Strengths Finders, as an Essential Conversations Facilitator, and contextually based, experientially driven, transformative learning disciplines. Learn more about Sophie at BrazenCo.ca.

Pat Schuler, The Academies’ Sales Expert and Co-Creator of Serious Revenue

In memoriam: Pat Schuler continues to be a gift to The Academies’ community of coaches through her timelines “Serious Revenue” sales program for coaching entrepreneurs. Pat brought decades of experience to the table, having worked for technology companies, large and small, and won awards. She sold successfully to Fortune 500 companies in the long-term, complex, big-ticket technical sale, and she coached career entrepreneurs to double and triple their income while landing 4- and 5-figure clients. Her mission on earth: helping you find the right combination of sales skills, inner strengths, and overall strategy to make a difference in an astonishingly short time. We trust that her spirit is present, and that she is taking joy in you finding the freedom to flourish and prosper.


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