Coaching Programs Expert, Culture Builder, and Private Client Coach


Much of my work is confidential, but I can show you a few things to get you thinking about your own program...
Your goals are unique and your mission is challenging. I've seen a lot and can sort it out. Read on and contact me if you'd like to discuss your project.
Selected career and wellbeing coaching programs and products


The DeBruce Foundation Career Exploration

Challenge: Inspiring individuals to take career action beyond current workforce development efforts is a big challenge. It also required earning the Board's trust to invest in unfamiliar digital solutions.

The DeBruce Foundation, traditionally a generous education and arts contributor, was kicking off a new chapter with a mission is to expand career pathways to economic growth and opportunity. The team had a promising job analysis and survey instrument to help people see more opportunities, but they needed to turn that survey into people taking career action in a way that could scale and didn't rely on guidance counselors.

I worked with this team to develop a signature model of career literacy, prototype and test interactive career exploration tools, and develop and deploy career activation experiences with measurement and reporting built in. These were so well received by the marketplace on the first run that we were able to use them for more than two years before exploring other platforms and modifications.

Participants practiced career literacy skills, with 60% taking career action beyond the app, and recommended the programs and tools to others.  The team was able to not only deliver on their goals, but accelerate delivery through Covid-19.

Strong participant engagement and cost-effective product development methodology built trust and Board support to fund this challenging and valuable mission in the digital space.

Developed custom Agility Advantage concept model and supporting infographics based on goals and research.

Developed online interactive tools, site, supporting guides, and extensive interactive experiences.

Worked with the Board to have successful discussions from pre-product to growth of 100,000+ users. 


AARP Life Reimagined Life Coaching 

Challenge: Rapidly Deploy A Signature Coaching Service At Scale

AARP’s Life Reimagined wanted to attracted a younger crowd with an offer to have a mid-life "reimagination" instead of a mid-life crisis. 

They had promising scaled partnerships and luminary experts, but needed a signature coaching program coordinated with a digital program.

I worked with the internal team and their external experts to translate their goals into custom digital coaching experiences, created a coach training program and customer support training program, trained coaches to deliver within the online platform, and trained customer service to support the program.

Through this work, AARP was able to successfully recruit, train, deliver, and support a complete coaching service at scale within six months.

Created coaching workshops, videos, digital experiences and materials

Trained coaches on the coaching activities, digital platform, and coaching online, which was new!

Trained customer service staff to support the digital platform and coaching

"Elissa is a true find and any organization would gain tremendously from working with her. She brings innovations, ideas, new insights and creative ideas to the project. Breaking down major efforts into manageable deliverables and then creating materials that can be used by all was extremely valuable and helped gain traction far more quickly than if we had not engaged with her. I highly recognize Elissa to help bring new ideas to fruition." - Anne Herbster, Senior Director, AARP


Soar by Paul Allen, founder of Ancestry 

Challenge: Make strategic decisions about digital program features to create demand for coaching services.

Soar aspires to advance human development by focusing on strengths, uniqueness, and a supportive circle of people who know and love you. Additionally, their platform investments in voice offered some new and innovative strengths.  If they wanted to develop a program, what would it take? What could it be? 

Dr. Christine Whelan and I collaborated to provide relevant research, strategic alternatives with market examples for illustration, and drafted possible program architecture to help answer these questions. We provided three designs to achieve three different goals as a way to bring the choices to life. These are proprietary, but hopefully hearing what was included is helpful.

Through this work, Soar was able to make strong platform choices to develop voice capabilities in the coach platform market.

"You came highly recommended so my expectations were really high. 
But this was a home run. You hit it out of the park."
- Brad Pace, Chief Experience Officer, SOAR


Truly Accomplished personal accomplishment system

Challenge: Turn award-winning research into an appealing consumer coaching experience.

Elissa and Dr. Bob Pritchard took the ProMES methodology proven to work for team productivity improvement and created an individual coaching solution.  Elissa successfully secured outside investor funding, directed the tech development, built the team of coaches, and deployed to individuals and Fortune 500 companies.

The goal of the funding was to explore the corporate market, but individuals were by far the better market - a good lesson for other programs aspiring to do personal effectiveness work in corporate settings.

Successfully funded, built, and sold to individuals and Fortune 500 companies.


Your internal programs don't need to be boring.  Make them more engaging!

Developed and taught a workshop on Finding Meaning In Your Work for a McKinsey Women's event.

I'm adding this with a note of caution - when you address very personal topics at work, 25%+ hate it.  Ratings were either A+ or F, no in-between, so tread with caution or save it for home.
Developed Leading Managers leadership curriculum, taught to leaders who manage other leaders.

This program was paired with military leaders who really brought the point home with stories of how to give leaders directions in combat. Respect!
Worked with specialty facilitators to launch and deliver over 25 unique programs worldwide including Executive Leadership Program, Management Development Program, and Mentoring Program. Results? Double retention and diversity over prior programs. Score!
Catching fraud early in bank branches would save millions. I designed an incentive program in New York with a baseball theme called the "Nice Catch!" Fraud Detection Program that awarded those who caught fraud.  This fun little program cost so little and saved millions!


Mentor Map
This 30 minute interactive activity was prepared for a Lean In group to help both mentors and mentees get more out of mentoring.


Calendaring Happiness
My life planning tip - plan the best and most joyful things first and build the rest around it. This is my system to do that.


My approach to increasing motivation is based on rigorously tested methodology. If you want to geek out on some of it, these books by Routledge, publisher of academic and applied books in Humanities, Social Science, and STEM, give more details. Dr. Robert Pritchard, a founder of the field of organizational psychology, and mentor to many worldwide, is my dear dad. We have greatly enjoyed our collaboration through the years on books and tools that support individuals and teams to new levels of accomplishment.
"Finally, a no nonsense book on motivation that is based on solid scientific principles that HRM can give to their line managers." - Gary Latham, Secretary of State Professor of Organizational Effectiveness Rotman School of Management University of Toronto

"This excellent book should help first-line supervisors and managers to use concepts in motivation to help their employees and organizations to succeed. The theory and conceptual treatment in the book are sound, but what's different here is the academic foundation gets nicely translated into highly practical and actionable suggestions." 

-Wally Borman, CEO, Personnel Decisions Research Institutes
"Searching for ways to improve productivity has engaged leaders, managers, teachers, and everyone else concerned with human performance for hundreds of years. Not surprisingly, large numbers of methods for productivity improvement have been proposed and adopted. Some have captured our attention for a while, but few have done so for long, and even fewer have been carefully scrutinized by the standards of our science. The productivity measurement and enhancement system (ProMES) is the rare exception. 
Robert Pritchard, his students, and colleagues in industry and government, have developed, implemented, refined, and then meticulously documented the effectiveness of ProMES. 

This 25-year effort meets the highest standards of those who demand evidence for claims of impact on productivity improvement. The success of ProMES can be attributed to grounding the system in well-established psychological principles providing practices and procedures that incorporate these principles into the behavioral routines of people at work. The evidence is clear; ProMES works." -

 Daniel R. Ilgen, John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University

Contact Elissa
in Los Angeles, CA
What I do

About Me

I help techie and not-so-techie professionals develop transformational online projects and businesses  without having to do it all themselves.

The world needs more positive solutions from people who really know their stuff. If that's you, my goal is to lift you higher. 

Ready for someone to bring out the best in you and have your back while you hit a milestone you've only hoped for before?   

This is the magic and meaning I bring to everything we do together. 

Copyright @ Elissa Ashwood 2021. All Rights Reserved. Los Angeles, CA.