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Photo of Dr. Ackerman sitting on a park bench with green background

You've seen my photos, so you already know a few things about me: I enjoy my short white curly hair, I like to smile, I'd rather be outside than inside, and I like the color red. What you cannot see is that I love working with other professionals who are in a life or work transition, who may feel stuck in their current situation, are ready to get their groove back and want to love where they are and what they are doing as much as I do.


As you consider what's driving you to choose a coach, perhaps a little background on me could help spark our first conversation.


I dedicated the last four-plus decades of my life to studying and practicing medicine until my recent retirement--which I am working to redefine for myself and others. I am a pediatrician, and a pediatric intensivist, so my professional life was spent caring for children with life-threatening injuries and illnesses. While this was trying and emotionally challenging at times, it gave me many great rewards. I learned the great importance of CARE in healthcare. I always cared for each child as I wanted one of my children cared for in life-threatening situations. Participating in a family's most vulnerable moments allowed me to find ways to contribute and love people who needed that part of me as much as they needed a physician.



Another result of the way I care for people was my ability to hold many leadership positions. Some were formally recognized by titles; others were developed through influence. I learned about the importance of values in leadership early on. I firmly believe that trust and integrity are two of the most important traits a leader can have. I augmented my knowledge of leadership by obtaining an MBA in 2008, and I spent the following nine years as Chair of Pediatrics at a major medical center and as Founding Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at a new medical school, where I am now Professor Emerita. In 2016, thinking it was "the thing to do," I decided to retire and pursue CARE in other ways, primarily as a professional coach, which also feels like a calling to me. Coaching is my "second calling." In retrospect, it may have been my first calling, but I didn't recognize it as such all those years ago.

I learned a lot along this path that started early when my life changed dramatically following the sudden death of my father when I was nine years old. I had to learn to contribute to my family. I learned to work hard. I knew others didn't need to agree with or support me in every decision, but I needed to believe in myself. That is a learning process I find many people are still working through today.

"What would happen," I asked myself, "if I could spend the rest of my working life helping others navigate some of their toughest challenges and become their best selves?" That's how I found coaching as a profession. It has always given me great joy to see others grow and bloom, develop and mature, and come into their own. Like many leaders, some of my best times were spent "mentoring" or "advising" others.

Since I started coaching, my family and friends have noticed that the twinkle is back in my eyes. If you seek to put the sparkle back in your eyes, if you need to take better self-care, stand a little straighter, feel like you are enough, and move beyond whatever is limiting you now, I hope you will trust me to accompany you on your path of self-discovery.

Would you like to chat so I can learn more about you and what you seek?

See the contact box below.

I have told you about me; now I would like to learn about you and the work that we might do together. I am passionately curious about your life, your strengths, the things that you might like to see change, and the things you want to keep and savor.


By being curious, I may help you see truths about your life and your work that you might not have seen before.


By listening to you; REALLY LISTENING to you, I can help you see who you are and capitalize on your innate strengths.


By challenging your assumptions, I can help you to see some truths you may be hiding from yourself.


By holding you accountable, I can help you to actually achieve what you need to achieve to be successful.


I value honesty greatly; and this means I will never lie to you; I will not let you think you are doing well when you’re not. I won’t be mean—I will be kind and supportive, but always honest. How many of your friends, family, or associates can make that statement?

If you are interested in engaging in a process of development, of grabbing the best you and optimizing the future, you may be ready to give this a try. Because so much of coaching is dependent upon the relationship between coach and client, it’s critical to be sure you will “gel” with your coach. So I offer a free “getting to know you” session so you can ask me all your questions, and see whether you think coaching—and specifically having me as your coach—is right for you.

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