Our Newsletter

Content from our Growing Leaders email newsletter editions with articles, special announcements, and nuggets of inspiration.

August 2023 iLead Update: Lessons on Leadership

News Flash!- Things Are Heating up In McKinney

The residents of McKinney, Texas have not all burned up from excessive heat. The evening news got that wrong. Yes, we lost a small bunny to spontaneous combustion, but thankfully no children or adults. . . . R.I.P. Thumper.

In this month’s issue, we have some amazingly cool updates to report:

  • We started the month with a visit by Barry Posner. Barry wanted to hang out with recent CMs and CMITs for his First Final Farewell Tour.  We had an amazing dinner and had the opportunity to hear from Barry “unplugged.” Check out the photos and the article here.
  • We have two new Certified Masters to Announce – The “Amazing” Helen Doefler, and the “Multi-Talented” Tom Lynch – Read More
  • CMIT Candidate Felix Yerace and his High School Students demonstrated true leadership with an astonishing youth-led fundraiser in a Pittsburgh High School – Read More

Interested in the Leadership Challenge Open Enrollment Workshops coming up in Austin in September and McKinney in December? – Sign Up Here

Our team has recently been “nicely busy” with projects in California, Missouri, Florida, Texas, and Colorado. We remain grateful for those who partner with us to bring the life-changing lessons of The Leadership Challenge to their leaders through workshops and coaching.

Let us know how you are and how we can help!


Leading for Impact and Relevance from South Fayette High School in Pittsburgh

Can high school students lead in a way that is impactful and relevant? Just ask cancer patients at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. This post was written by guest contributors Morgan Clark and Olivia Brennan, South Fayette High School Class of 2023. The story was recommended by Felix Yerace, CMIT, and a teacher in Leadership Studies at Fayette High. It is a tribute to leadership at every level.

A “Mini-THON” is an event that high schools can hold based on Penn-State University’s 48-hour “THON,” which raises money for Four Diamonds. Four Diamonds provides support for families whose children are battling pediatric cancer at Penn State – Hershey Medical Center. Throughout the year, our school, South Fayette High School, located outside of Pittsburgh, holds events such as “Play for the Kids” games, car washes, restaurant nights, and more to raise money for our Mini-THON.

The event at South Fayette started in 2013 and has continued to be a special night for our school ever since. We are enrolled in both Honors Management and Marketing that organizes the event, as well as CHS Leadership Studies II. By being a part of both classes, we have been able to apply what we have learned from our Leadership Studies class to our groups in the Management and Marketing class. Mini-THON Inspires a Shared Vision by bringing together not only the high school students but the entire South Fayette community to fight this awful disease.

Our vision is exceeding the amount raised from the previous year. In 2023, our goal was $275,000 and we are proud to say that we raised $336,140.10 this year for children fighting cancer. As we are preparing to graduate, we could not be more thankful to say we were a part of such a successful cause. Some people underestimate how much of a difference an event like this makes in these children’s lives. After reflecting on our event, we are so grateful to have been involved in this program and have been able to apply our knowledge to organizations such as Mini-THON and Four Diamonds.

Felix Yerace – CMIT

Unleashing Leadership Excellence: Welcoming Two New Certified Master Facilitators to The Leadership Challenge Family!

The last couple of months have seen the addition of two new Certified Masters to The Leadership Challenge Community.

Helen Doerfler began her TLC learning journey in 2020 after attending a TLC Workshop. She rapidly completed the requirements for her CM status due to an unwavering commitment to TLC and her willingness to take any assignment offered to help her complete her goal of becoming a Certified Master.  On her journey, Helen worked with numerous other Certified Masters and Certified Facilitators to provide TLC to organizations ranging from Missouri Adult Protective Services to the University of Texas at San Antonio. These included Denise McDonald, Jeanie McHugo, Tom Lynch, Kim Gibbons, and Steve Skarke. Helen was a graduate of the 2022 Advanced Facilitator Training and served this year as an Ambassador to the program. When Helen is not developing tomorrow’s leaders at the Department of Defense, she loves hiking, running, and spending quality time with her family of humans and pets.


Tom Lynch was also recognized this quarter as a Certified Master and has been working on Leadership Challenge-related activities since December 2021. Tom worked consistently to complete the program and added his unique perspective to much of the research by Barry and Jim, especially in the area of the LPI.

On Tom’s journey, he worked with numerous other Certified Masters and Certified Facilitators to provide TLC to organizations ranging from Missouri Community Development Programs to the EcoTarium, a science and nature museum located in Worcester, Massachusetts. He has also worked with a variety of Certified Masters including Denise McDonald, Jeanie McHugo, Michele Kawamoto Perry, Valerie Willis, Helen Doerfler, Rachel Monteverdi, Tawnya Mitchell, Ron Siers, and Kim Gibbons. Tom was a graduate of the 2022 Advanced Facilitator Training. He returned in 2023 as an Ambassador to the program. When Tom is not exploring leadership, he loves music, reading, sports cars, and spending quality time with his family and grandchildren.

Michael Curtis is the Senior Director for Advanced Facilitator’s Training at iLead Consulting and Training.  When not at his computer, he can be found on the lake with his wife Patty, volunteering as a Marriage Coach at his local church, or flying drones in the hills of Lindale Texas.

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