The Academies Staff

Rebecca Potts, Client Services Manager

Rebecca 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! Rebecca can be contacted at or 559.547.8200.

Nicoletta 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

The Academies Faculty

James Beeman, PCC, Career Management Coach Instructor, Executive & Leadership Development 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 Academies, the Professional Coach Certification from the International Coach Federation, and theNeuroPositive® Coach License from the Applied Neuroscience Institute. Learn more about James at

Leigh Gauthier, PCC, 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

Ellen Bartkowiak, PCC, MBA|University|Grad School Career Coach Instructor

Ellen is a 20+ year career management guru and President of EllenCoaching, a Leadership Development firm based out of Madison, WI. Ellen loves coaching and training leaders who are looking for brain-based research around the mindfulness techniques that can improve communication, build better leaders, and above all; produce results.  She holds a master’s degree in Career Counseling and certifications as an Executive and Leadership Development Coach, Career Management Coach, Personal Branding Strategist, and Mindfulness Management Coach through The Academies. (Side note: when she went through the CCMC in 2007, course materials were mailed to you and you had to use a “landline” to call in!)  She is a PCC level coach through the International Coach Federation and has been an active member of NACE, MW-ACE, E-ACE, ICF-WI, and the amazing MBA CSEA. Ellen is a strong W-O-O and appreciates the foundation that this Career Management Class has given her as a coach, trainer, parent, and change-agent.

Katherine (Kit) Prendergast, PCC, Career Management Coach Instructor

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 – (estab. 2000) located near the Truckee River in downtown Reno, Nevada. She welcomes coaching and training clients throughout the state, nationally and internationally.

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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