Meet Our Launch Team

Our coaches are experts in helping adults who struggle with Executive Function Deficits and ADHD succeed in all aspects of their lives.

 

At Launch, we pride ourselves on our exceptional team of highly trained, experienced coaches who all hold advanced degrees in education or related fields. Our coaches are selected based on a combination of experience, education, and the ability to connect with clients and build a positive relationship based on trust and support.

 

Each coach is required to complete the extensive Launch Coach Training and Mentor Program that encompasses current science-based research and strategies proven to increase success in adults who struggle with executive function difficulties. New coaches are paired with a veteran coach who they observe, and they are observed by during coaching sessions. Mentors give guidance and are available to coaches on an ongoing basis.

 

Coaches are paired with clients based on a number of factors including the pertinent issues of the client and suitable personality traits.

 

For career coaching clients, our coaches are committed to successfully transitioning clients from the lifestyle of a college student to an employed and productive professional in a career that provides inspiration as well as independence.

Our team (2)

Susan V. Schaefer, M.Ed, M.A.T.

Founder & CEO

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Susan holds a Master of Arts degree (M.A.T.) in Teaching and a Master of Education degree (M.Ed) and has completed the Career Coaching Mastery Certification Program through C.T.A. (Coach Training Alliance).  Sue has executive function challenges and was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. Committed to helping adults and young adults overcome obstacles and reach their personal and professional goals. Her expertise is focused on strengthening executive function skills including organization, time management, pre-planning, prioritizing and problem-solving. One of the reasons for Sue’s success is her gift for motivating and forming positive connections with her clients.

 

As a sought-after speaker, Sue has done a multitude of speaking engagements on various topics in executive function. She had been a volunteer mentor for Untapped Potential, a non-profit organization that helps women who have opted out of the workforce for a period of time.  She has mentored budding entrepreneurs who have ADHD develop their businesses by teaching them to use the positives of AHDH work for them in order to be successful. Sue, an avid animal lover, fostered puppies during the pandemic.

 

Sue is married with 2 adult sons who are awesome human beings.  She has 2 dogs, Murphy is a tiny terrier mix foster-fail who sports a mohawk and underbite.  The other is a huge chocolate lab named Sophie who loves the beach, giving kisses, and napping.

Coach Hilary

Hilary Ben-Ami, M.S.

Adult Executive Function Coach, Certified Life Coach

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Hilary is a certified Personal and Corporate Coach who received her coaching credentials from CoachU and has been a practicing executive function coach for over 18 years. She primarily works with ADHD adults including those who have been diagnosed “later in life”. Hilary blends applied brain-based learning, strategic thinking, and mindfulness techniques as a basis of strengthening executive functions.

 

Using a holistic approach, Hilary coaches clients in practicing and maintaining personal accountability while prioritizing well-being and mindfulness.  During sessions, Hilary sets up ways with each client to create simple structures and routines to develop better habits and plans.

 

Hilary has a keen understanding of how the sense of feeling overwhelmed, stemming from a lack of executive function skills, impacts other areas of a client’s life, including their professional performance and interpersonal relationships. She has been highly successful helping clients learn and practice strategies to smoothly integrate and create balance in their work and personal life.

 

In her free time, Hilary can be found visiting her grown children, hiking, doing yoga, on the beach, or listening to music with her artist husband. 

May Hallenbeck

May Hallenbeck, M.A.

Adult Executive Function Coach, Career Coach

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As a lifelong educator, May has experience working as an executive function coach for over twenty years. She earned her BA in Psychology at the University of San Francisco and went on to complete her MA in Sociology and Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Her experience and education in understanding how anxiety and other mental-health related concerns can affect executive function skills is an asset in her coaching.

 

May’s areas of expertise include executive function coaching specializing in supporting adults with ADHD to learn and build skill sets to help them thrive in life. By using a holistic, lifestyle-based coaching approach that focuses on creating more control, consistency, and ease, clients will feel more successful in the workplace and in everyday life. Her experience and education in understanding how anxiety and other mental-health related concerns can affect executive function skills is an asset in her coaching.

 

Another area May has significant experience in is career coaching. Specifically, support in resume review, job searching, cover letter creation, and networking. Helping clients create an organized, task-focused plan and follow-up has been an area of great success. May’s goal is to help clients identify and connect their own values, experiences, and strengths into real-life action plans for growth.

 

When May isn’t coaching she enjoys cooking, being active outdoors, and spending time with her two kids and husband.

May Hallenbeck

May Hallenbeck, M.A.

Adult Executive Function Coach, Career Coach

As a lifelong educator, May has experience working as an executive function coach for over twenty years. She earned her BA in Psychology at the University of San Francisco and went on to complete her MA in Sociology and Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Her experience and education in understanding how anxiety and other mental-health related concerns can affect executive function skills is an asset in her coaching.

 

May’s areas of expertise include executive function coaching specializing in supporting adults with ADHD to learn and build skill sets to help them thrive in life. By using a holistic, lifestyle-based coaching approach that focuses on creating more control, consistency, and ease, clients will feel more successful in the workplace and in everyday life. Her experience and education in understanding how anxiety and other mental-health related concerns can affect executive function skills is an asset in her coaching.

 

Another area May has significant experience in is career coaching. Specifically, support in resume review, job searching, cover letter creation, and networking. Helping clients create an organized, task-focused plan and follow-up has been an area of great success. May’s goal is to help clients identify and connect their own values, experiences, and strengths into real-life action plans for growth.

 

When May isn’t coaching she enjoys cooking, being active outdoors, and spending time with her two kids and husband.

Our team

Celia Lofink, Ph.D., M.Ed.

Lead Career Coach

Celia’s depth of experience and astounding success assisting countless recent graduates and young professionals land their first jobs makes her a top-notch Career Coach. She holds a Ph.D. in Education Psychology from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Education from Boston College.

 

Presently, she is the Assistant Clinical Professor and Assistant Dean for the Barney School of Business at the University of Hartford. She teaches topics related to career readiness, the mechanics of job searches, interviewing, networking, and internship pursuits. She works with the University’s Office of Career Services and Barney internship coordinators to improve her student’s career development experience.

 

Celia heads up our Jumpstart programs which guides college students toward picking an appropriate major and helps young adults narrow their career choice. She is a master at honing in on just the right fit for her clients. She works one on one with clients to map out their steps to success. She is proud of the fact that in the eight years she has been career coaching, 93% of the clients she works with have secured placement in their first career job.

Celia recently made the move from Connecticut to Colorado to enjoy the beautiful scenery and be closer to her adult twin sons.

Our team (3)

Christine Riley, M.A.

Career Coach, Transition from College

Christine holds a Master’s Degree (M.A) in Counseling and Clinical Practices and has been part of the University of Hartford team for the past 5 years. She began her career in the Office of Admission, Career Services and currently is the Associate Director of the University of Hartford Center for Student Success. Her primary goal is to help students acquire the tools needed to make effective career decisions during each phase of their academic career development.

 

As a Career Coach, Christine assists with résumés, cover letters, and interviews, and teaches students how to use LinkedIn to network professionally. She can provide self-assessments to assist students in exploring majors and careers as well. Assessment tools can help individuals determine the type of work and environment that are best suited for them by examining their skills and interests. Additionally, she encourages and coaches students on how to effectively connect with people in their field of interest through informational interviews.

 

Whether students are just starting out, or have a clear career objective; Christine meets with students individually to assess their individual needs and provide solution-focused support.

Team Pictures

Marissa Niles, M.A.,

Director of Operations and Marketing

Marissa earned her Master of Science in Human Performance from the University of Florida and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of West Florida. During her time in graduate school, Marissa worked in the Career Resource Center where she helped students with career planning, organization, and time management skills.

 

Previously, Marissa worked with the United States Army where she taught soldiers academic performance training skills such as time and stress management, study techniques, and test-taking skills. These skills helped soldiers successfully complete coursework throughout their rigorous flight school training and during their trainings as a soldier on the range and as a pilot in the cockpit.

 

In addition to her academic coaching position at ACA, Marissa works as the Director of Operations and Marketing for Launch Coaching and Academic Coaching Associates. In these roles, Marissa focuses on client services, acts as the parent and coach liaison, and helps onboard new clients and coaches. She also is in charge of our social media and marketing campaigns.

 

When she is not working, you can find Marissa playing outside with her baby boy Bennett, relaxing on the beautiful Florida beaches, or traveling with her husband and their sidekick Mia the Double Doodle!

about-steve

Steven J. Schaefer, M.B.A., C.F.A.

Consultant, Careers in Business 

Steve brings 30 years of corporate experience in business, specializing in the financial services industry, to the young adults he works with at our Launch Career Coaching services. Having held the positions of Director at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Babson Capital Management, and Allstate Financial, his passion has been on helping those organizations with onboarding, intern evaluations, corporate etiquette, and professionalism with new hires. In addition, Steve applies his extensive business background and experience to help those seeking positions in the corporate world with resume building and editing, business writing, and developing appropriate interview skills.

Our team (2)

Susan V. Schaefer, M.Ed, M.A.T.

Founder & CEO

Read Full Bio

Susan holds a Master of Arts degree (M.A.T.) in Teaching and a Master of Education degree (M.Ed) and has completed the Career Coaching Mastery Certification Program through C.T.A. (Coach Training Alliance).  Sue has executive function challenges and was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. Committed to helping adults and young adults overcome obstacles and reach their personal and professional goals. Her expertise is focused on strengthening executive function skills including organization, time management, pre-planning, prioritizing and problem-solving. One of the reasons for Sue’s success is her gift for motivating and forming positive connections with her clients.

 

As a sought-after speaker, Sue has done a multitude of speaking engagements on various topics in executive function. She had been a volunteer mentor for Untapped Potential, a non-profit organization that helps women who have opted out of the workforce for a period of time.  She has mentored budding entrepreneurs who have ADHD develop their businesses by teaching them to use the positives of AHDH work for them in order to be successful. Sue, an avid animal lover, fostered puppies during the pandemic.

 

Sue is married with 2 adult sons who are awesome human beings.  She has 2 dogs, Murphy is a tiny terrier mix foster-fail who sports a mohawk and underbite.  The other is a huge chocolate lab named Sophie who loves the beach, giving kisses, and napping.


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