Case Study – Easter Seals

Quick Facts

  • Worked intensively with CEO to develop her platform and messaging
  • Increased CEO presence in her community through key introductions, and nominations for DEI and Leadership awards
  • Ongoing thinking partner for CEO, coaching for direct reports, development of identified emerging managers into executive roles
  • Step in as interim leader for Development team
  • Sourcing, recruitment, and placement of 3 board members and several C-level roles including diverse hires
  • Initiation of External Role Model mentoring program, touching hundreds of staff
  • Led “What is your Why?” workshop for board retreat to help them better serve as ambassadors for the agency
  • Hired to field a compensation benchmarking study for the leadership team.  Presented findings to the Compensation Committee.

Company Overview

$130MM regional chapter of national health and human services organization providing disability, behavioral health and addiction treatment services to help individuals be better able to live, learn, work, and play in their communities.

The Challenge

CEO had been hired three years earlier to turnaround a floundering organization that was on the verge of insolvency. After righting the organization through laser focus on fixing internal operations, the CEO’s board suggested she invest in a coach to work on the agency’s external presence.

Now profitable, the healthcare organization sought to focus on the personal branding of the CEO with key stakeholders which in turn would help the agency’s brand which was hurt by the fiscal instability. There was confusion as to where the agency had been and where it was going.  Considering the 40,000 (individuals + families) served, the agency was not as well known or understood as it could be. Audiences included current staff, public and private funding sources, prospective hires, media, local management entities/managed care organizations, and other key stakeholders.

Savvy Solution

The CEO hired Grace to be her personal branding coach to build her platform and her external presence.  Grace assessed the situation and put together a comprehensive personal branding strategy.  The CEO bought into the strategy, took quickly to Grace’s coaching and through Savvy’s process developed a strong platform, raising both the CEO’s and the organization’s presence with a clear articulation of the why of their mission and the CEO’s own why around DEI.

Over a six year engagement, Grace became the trusted partner of the CEO and her leadership team as a coach and thought partner. Having a 1:1 relationship with each member of the leadership team, where she provided psychological safety for each to share with her, she held a synthesized understanding of the key people and business challenges and opportunities from which she could coach and advise with integrated organizational insights.

Whenever the CEO faced a challenge or opportunity, Grace would be her go-to resource for processing through the issue at hand or leading important strategic projects.  She often called Grace her “BFF@W.”  

It is lonely at the top for CEOs, so having an external advisor proved to be an invaluable resource.


As the six year engagement concluded, the agency stood strong, shedding some services that didn’t make sense and acquiring organizations that complemented and  created a more integrated offering to the individuals and families they served.  

The leadership team was its strongest yet as they graduated from coaching with Grace.At the conclusion of the engagement, the CEO thanked Grace saying “every minute of our engagement has had high ROI.”

I am so grateful for Grace’s invaluable coaching that has had a solid return for me as CEO and for my leadership team. After an initial three-month engagement where my board brought in Grace to help me build my external personal brand, I had such a full plate, I brought her in to focus on providing interim leadership and coaching for a start-up group in our organization. Her positive results and complexity of my business made me decide to retain her coaching services for this coming fiscal year. I will always have challenges that I’d like to discuss with a wise and objective third party. Unlike other coaches, Grace looks through multiple lenses in asking her many good questions. She has become my go-to resource.