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Meet Our Workshop Instructors

CTC Instructors partner with you to:

  • Discover what is meaningful to you in your next career
  • Clarify, align, and develop a plan for what you want to achieve
  • Generate career possibilities and strategies
  • Encourage and support you through the career transition journey
  • Hold you responsible and accountable for progress

CTC Volunteer Instructors bring diverse professional experience, knowledge and expertise from illustrious careers in human resources, recruiting, management, training, leadership development, and coaching in financial services, healthcare, education, not-for-profit, government sectors. In addition, many possess coaching certification from the International Coach Federation (ICF) approved institutions such as the Coaches Training Institute (CTI), iPEC and Fielding.

Amy J. Berk

resume workshop instructor

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Amy is the President of Amy’s Amazing Resume Coaching, which she started in 2018. For three years prior, Amy served as a Certified Career Transition Coach and Certified LinkedIn Profile Content Reviewer with Challenger Gray & Christmas, where she provided customized intensive and follow-up outplacement services to over 300 former corporate employees released by their employers.

Prior to that, she worked for Jewish Vocational Services, providing employment services to a wide variety of people with challenges. As the program coordinator for the JVS Duman Entrepreneurship Center, she managed over 100 entrepreneurship programs.

Amy is deeply committed to collaborating with individuals and helping them to reach their career goals—whether it’s a first job, career progression, career transition, starting a business, or moving toward retirement.  She specializes in motivating job seekers and helping them to recognize and build upon their own strengths.

Raquel Cosden

Strong Interest Inventory Instructor

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Raquel Cosden is a leadership trainer and career coach with years of experience helping clients and leaders in the workforce to identify and achieve their goals. She helps clients identify their values and find ways to live them and incorporate them into their work. Raquel has experience helping clients in all phases of their career, whether you have just started in your career or are looking for a change.

Howard Fox

LinkedIn workshop instructor

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Howard Fox uses theories from leadership development and adult development to assist his clients. “I believe people who seek coaching are looking for help to overcome personal dilemmas and mindsets that impede action.” Howard holds a MA in Organization Management & Development from Fielding Graduate University and is a graduate of Fielding’s Accredited Coaching Training Program. He is a member of the International Coach Federation, the Association for Psychological Type International, the Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence, and the Boss Whispering Institute. He is also a Pfeiffer Partner, distributor of the Leadership Practices Inventory, and a distributor for Inscape, publisher of the DiSC family of assessments. Howard also has a Master of Public Administration from Wayne State University. He received his Evidence Based coach training from Fielding Graduate University. Howard facilitates LinkedIn workshops.

Marty Gahbauer

info interviewing workshop instructor

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Marty is the Executive Director of the Weigand Center for Professional Excellence at Elmhurst University.  Previously, has the associate director of Employer Relations & Outreach at Loyola University of Chicago. Marty spent more than twenty years in the advertising and marketing industries with the majority of his career at Leo Burnett in account management. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time chasing after his twins. Marty holds a BS in advertising from the University of Illinois/Champaign-Urbana as well as an MEd in higher education from Loyola University Chicago.

Robert Gramillano

peer group facilitator

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Robert combines years of experience, extensive education and a unique voice in his coaching practice. “I try to motivate people into as much action as possible. Action generates energy, and positive energy generates results.”

Robert Gramillano applies a creative and innovative approach to coaching. He seeks to inspire people to live rich and fulfilling lives through personal exploration and action. He helps clients find the powerful, centered being within themselves: a person who embraces change, lives passionately and realizes their full human potential.

Robert has earned a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University, is an MBA graduate from DePaul University, and has made a successful transition from a managerial/consulting background in Information Technology. He is a Certified, Licensed NLP Master Practitioner, a Certified Empowerment Coach and a Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach and has recently earned a Certificate in “Leadership in Sustainability Management” at the Graham School of The University of Chicago. He facilitates the Monday Peer Group.

Naruki Hirai

Workshop Instructor

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Naruki is a Risk Manager for Oportun, a FinTech firm located in the San Francisco
Bay area. Prior to joining Oportun, Naruki spent over ten years as a financial analyst
in the banking and energy industry. He holds a MB in Marketing from Northwestern
University's Kellogg School of Management and currently resides in Washington,

Bliss Hansen

Strengthsfinder Instructor

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Bliss Hansen helps midlevel executives become better managers and improve their career prospects by acquiring specialized professional skills. She also helps clients navigate job/career transitions and determine where they want their new professional paths to go.

Bliss’ accreditations include a CPCC from the Coaches Training Institute and an ACC from the International Coach Federation. She also has a BSW from Providence College and has operated her own consulting firm, BHF Coaching, since 2012.

She facilitates CTC’s StrengthsFinder workshop.

Sharon Krohn

Interviewing Workshop Instructor

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A leadership coach and executive search consultant, Sharon emphasizes the personal insights to be gained from CTC’s job search process.  “When people work the process at CTC, the change is often transformational,” she says. “It’s inspiring to me to walk alongside my clients and help them get through the nuts and bolts of putting together a resume, learning interview skills — using the experience as a catalyst for personal growth.”

The principal of a Chicago-based firm, Sharon conducts executive search, organization consulting and coaching across the business spectrum.  Prior to establishing her practice, Sharon spent ten years as Senior Vice President of Administration and Director of Human Resources with a national real estate firm.

Sharon is a past president of Commercial Real Estate Executive Women, is chair of the group’s leadership and professional development committees, and serves on the national leadership committee.  She has served as co-chair of The 2014 Georgetown University Leadership Coaching Conference. Sharon holds a B.A. in Literature, a Masters in Communications from New York University, and an advanced degree in leadership coaching from Georgetown University.  She has a MCC (Master Certified Coach) certification from the International Coach Federation.

Her specialties include creating short and long-term actionable career goals, resume development, interview preparation, and salary negotiation. Kristen’s objective as a coach is to take into account each client’s practical desires for a position (i.e. salary, benefits, etc.) and to tie those with the personal values, passions and culture-fit they’re looking for in their next role. 

David Logan

Photographer/Video producer

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CTC photographer/video producer David Logan specializes in business imagery that drives brand engagement. His background includes a 15 year career at Harpo Studios running the post-production operation for The Oprah Winfrey Show followed by 7 years at ad agency DDB Chicago overseeing in-house production/post in support of major Fortune 500 brands.

Later as a client and with guidance from CTC, Dave pivoted to launch DLVisuals, switching gears toward entrepreneurial, start-ups and established small businesses. Working off the premise “you seldom get a second chance to make a good first impression” Dave creates impact imagery featuring headshots, business portraits, vocational lifestyle, industrial and product shots. Make an appointment to have your professional LinkedIn headshot taken at a special CTC discounted session rate.

Colleen McFarland

Networking Workshop Instructor

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Colleen’s expertise is organizational change management. She works with leaders who appreciate the value of anticipating and preparing for the impact a business change will have on their customers and employees. She has seen the benefits of good change management on business outcomes and culture.

Colleen works for Beam Suntory whose products include the World’s Number 1 Bourbon Whiskey, Jim Beam. She is working to integrate change management practices into everyone’s ways of working at Bean Suntory.

Colleen is a huge advocate of networking and makes networking part of her every day. Being open to others, getting to know them, working to understand their point of view and learning from them is what she does.

Treasa Moran

Financial Education Workshop Instructor

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Treasa Moran is a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley and has worked both professionally and as a volunteer to help individuals with financial concerns to address everything from budgeting to emergency spending plans to making decisions about investments, insurance and negotiating severance and benefits packages.

Tom Murray

Discovery Workshop Instructor

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Tom Murray was the Executive Director of Career Transitions Center from 1997- 2005. He recently retired as President of Severtsen Murray, Inc., a healthcare consultancy firm that provided hospital construction, management and organization expertise to hospitals and their associated clinical specialties.

Tom served as an Adjunct Professor at North Park University and was the President of the Institute for Entrpeneurship for six years. He holds a doctorate in Educational Administration from Loyola University.

Blanche Roberts

Resilience, Worry Workshop

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is the former Program and Coaching
Director for Career Transitions Center. Having personally experienced many career transitions, planned and unplanned, Blanche Roberts passion is to
help clients discover how to thrive from their own career transition effort. Her background includes business development, career coaching and treasury management consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Arthur Andersen, and Vice President and Manager of Treasury Management Services sales, product management, customer service businesses with LaSalle/ABN AMRO now Bank of America. She began her corporate career in International Cash Management Sales and Consulting with First National Bank of Chicago now Chase, Northern Trust. Blanche earned a BA at Dartmouth College, a MBA at DePaul University and is a Certified iPEC Empowerment Coach. Blanche has lived and worked abroad in
Spain, Chile, and Brazil teaching Spanish and English. She is a former CTC client and volunteer career coach.

Jill O’Mahony Stewart

Cover Letters Workshop Instructor

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Jill O’Mahony Stewart is an adjunct faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Communication. She has also taught at the School for Continuing and Professional Studies [formerly School for New Learning] at DePaul. She has been a public relations consultant and owner of a boutique firm, Stewart Communications Ltd., since 1986. She is a past co-president of the Publicity Club of Chicago, and a former board member and client of CTC. She is a graduate of Allegheny College and holds an M.S. from Boston University in public relations and an M.A. from DePaul University’s School for New Learning.

Ed Valentine

CARS Workshop Instructor

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Ed Valentine is the Owner and Principle Consultant for EA Valentine and Associates, a change management consulting firm. He has more than 20 years success working in higher education, telecommunications, healthcare and not-for-profit organizations.

Rick Wemple

Self Talk Workshop Instructor

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 Mental Performance Coach, Running Coach, Personal Trainer, Rick seeks to provide clients guidance on the mental side of affirming ourselves and building stronger self-confidence through more positive self-messaging. That ultimately leads to healthier decisions, actions, and performance in all areas of life, including career, athletics, academics and relationships. Currently, the owner of  Rick Wemple Mental Performance & Personal Training, Rick was the  Head Coach – Track & Field/Cross Country Head Coach – Track & Field/Cross Country at Loyola University Chicago and the Head Cross Country/Assistant Track & Field Coach at Lewis University. He has a Biology Degree from Yale University and an MA in Exercise Science from Ohio State University.

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