Thank you to these coaches and mentors for meeting with emerging professionals to provide career coaching as well as guidance on their personal and professional development.  With stronger leaders we are building a more diverse and powerful sector to create the change we want to see in our communities.


VaTonya Brown, Professional Coach

Types of Coaching: Leadership, Personal/Life, Transition

VaTonya brings 20+ years’ corporate and nonprofit human resources experience along with rich life experiences and a passion for coaching to each Engagement. VaTonya will ask you to dig deep and will partner with you to identify obstacles, embrace change and grasp opportunity by taking action to realize your full potential.

VaTonya has collaborated with individuals and teams in a variety of industries including, insurance, healthcare, nonprofit, consulting, manufacturing and distribution and focuses her coaching in the following areas: transition, performance, leadership and personal/life.

Certification and Credentials

  • *ICF Accredited iPEC Certified Professional Coach Training Program
  • *Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching Expected Graduation March 2018
  • *Certified Professional Life Coach – Life Coach Institute of Orange County
  • *Certified Tracom SOCIAL STYLE & Versatility Facilitator
  • *ICF- Atlanta Member
  • *SPHR
  • *Education – B.S. Business – Indiana University - Bloomington


Val Porter Cook, Blaze: Leadership for Trailblazers

Types of Coaching: Career, Leadership

Val Porter Cook is a social entrepreneur, leadership coach, writer and change agent. Her company, Blaze: Leadership for Trailblazers, provides transformational leadership development for people who serve other people. She specifically focuses on preparing leaders who are bringing about dramatic change in their community and in their world – preparing them for long game careers and helping them cultivate the self-awareness needed to lead and inspire.

For more than twenty years, Val has dedicated her career to strengthening people and organizations that do good in the world. Most recently, she led the Domestic Strategy and Innovation Division for Foundation Center, beginning her tenure at the organization as director of its Atlanta office and taking on an additional assignment as Interim Director of Education. Her career started at Woodruff Arts Center and includes an appointment as Deputy Director of Fulton County Arts Council, one of the largest local arts agencies at that time.

Currently, Val is on the Board of Directors of the National Council of Nonprofits and Center for Civic Innovation and has served on the board of Art Papers Magazine, a leading publication on art criticism. She has also served on advisory boards and committees for Spelman Museum, TechBridge, Independent Sector, Americans for the Arts, and Prevent Child Abuse Georgia.

Val earned a Bachelor of Science degree in management from Georgia Tech, a Master of Science degree in marketing from Georgia State University and a post-graduate certificate from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School. She is a 2003 fellow of Coca Cola’s Diversity Leadership Academy and a 2014 recipient of the Leadership Character Award from the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership and the Turknett Leadership Group.

Val lives in Smyrna, Georgia with her husband, Columbus, and her two daughters Kennedy and Summer.


Russ Finkelstein, ClearlyNext / Fund the People / Roddenberry Foundation

Types of Coaching: Career, Leadership, Personal/Life 

I support people who are trying to realize the goal of a more fulfilling career most often by helping them to transition to something more aligned to their often untapped priorities. I have also helped founders launch dozens of new initiatives and support them in scaling.

I’m Co-Founder and Managing Director of Clearly Next, a career navigation platform that helps people build lifelong fulfilling careers.

I serve as Senior Advisor to Fund the People which increases philanthropic investment in talent development across the non-profit sector. I also work with the Roddenberry Fellowship to aid progressive activists seeking to scale their efforts.

I was on the founding team of

I’ve served as an advisor on talent issues with EPIP, NOI, City Hall Fellows, ELiSS, the Schusterman Philanthropic Network and the Point Foundation among many others.

I currently serves on the board of YNPN and and write articles for LinkedIn and Forbes.


Mary McCoy, McCoy Advisory LLC

Types of Coaching: Career, Leadership, Personal/Life

As the founder of McCoy Advisory LLC, I focus my consulting, executive coaching and advisory services to drive and foster maximum growth for my business and individual clients. I am passionate about helping all clients to achieve personal, professional and business success. With over 30 years of experience in the global technology industry, I have extensive expertise and proven results in the areas of strategy creation, product management, people development and revenue growth.

I am a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) , a certification given by the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credentialed by the International Coach Federation. I have also achieved certification as a Coach and Trainer of The BioCode System™ through Empowerhouse Leadership Consultancy. This is a behavioral exercise program that drives leadership excellence by giving individuals the ability to consistently select empowered behaviors regardless of the difficulty of the situation. The BioCode System™ speaks to the “how” of improving leadership effectiveness.

My executive coaching practice focuses on both leadership effectiveness and career transition. I help clients navigate the complexities of landing a position that truly reflects their interests, passions and skillsets. By combining my perspective gained from my long successful business experience with my ability to truly understand each individual client’s situation, I am able to help people navigate through difficult situations and transitions.

While a VP at Hewlett Packard, I led worldwide product management for a $4B portfolio of services. Throughout my career at HP I was dedicated to the design and early stage revenue growth of innovative services.

If you want to grow your business, accelerate your career or drive personal transformation, I would love to help. Send an email to to schedule a complimentary session and we will explore possibilities.


Anna Taylor, The Greater Sum Foundation

Types of Coaching: Career, Leadership

 Anna Taylor is the Executive Director of The Greater Sum Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to support innovation in our sector.  A mentoring mindset is a cornerstone of her approach to her work and life, and she gains meaningful insights from her own mentors and from the seven Take Stock in Children scholars she has mentored through high school graduation.  Anna is an avid reader and knitter, enthusiastic wife and mother, and recently adopted a pit bull who has taken over her favorite chair and her Instagram feed.  Despite what a job interviewer once told her , "We don't dig up bones here," Anna does use her Cultural Anthropology degrees in her daily work.