i-lead.com by International Leadership Associates

 Success Stories  Leadership Model 
The ILA Staff 

Meet ILA

We are a team of business executives who are passionate about real leadership and the impact it can make on the success of an organization. We are recognized for our depth of knowledge, skilled facilitation ability, and engaging and highly dynamic presentation style. We are frequently sought as speakers or program leaders for special events.

Steve Coats

Steve CoatsAs one of the leading authorities on the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®, Steve has taught, coached and consulted with executives and managers in several countries around the world. Steve focuses his work on leadership and team development, personal growth, change, and business strategy. He also has extensive development experience with renowned programs such as Steven Covey’s Principle Centered Leadership and a number of client-specific customized programs. Steve has published several articles, as well as co-authoring the book, There is No Box (Executive Excellence Publishing, 2007).

Steve understands leadership from the inside out, with experience in both Fortune 100 companies and small upstarts. Steve led a National Account Team at telecommunications giant, AT&T, and also co-founded The Leadership Dimension, Inc.

Steve received an MBA from North Texas University and completed an executive program in technology and innovation at the Wharton School.

Driven by a deep commitment to his clients and their success, Steve helps individuals and teams identify and resolve key issues that impede effectiveness in order to achieve remarkable results.

Steve Houchin

Steve HouchinSteve’s passion is helping individuals and teams discover the power of leadership. A dynamic, engaging facilitator, he works to develop in senior executives, mid-level managers, and front line supervisors the leadership skills necessary to foster collaborative environments, encouraging associates to commit their best effort and creativity to the organization’s mission. He has delivered experiential-based leadership and team-building programs to all size firms throughout the United States and in several foreign countries.

Steve’s own management experience gives credibility and practicality to his training and consulting. At the Kroger Company for 18 years, he held various management positions including the role of divisional human resources director, in which he was a key member of the executive team responsible for the P&L success of 90 retail stores, warehouse, and transportation fleet. Steve also served as Kroger’s corporate director of management education and development.

Steve earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio State University and completed graduate studies at Central Michigan University.

His love for teaching and modeling leadership behaviors, inspires participants to grow personally and professionally and truly impact the success of their organizations.


Connie Sullivan

Connie joined International Leadership Associates in March of 2003.  She has deepexperience in sales, training anddevelopment, and is an accomplished program facilitator.  Along with facilitating ILA workshops, she runs the day-to-day operations of the company.

Prior to coming to ILA, Connie was with Coors Brewing Company.  While with Coors, she held positions in field sales, training and develoment for sales and marketing, and also served as plant training manager in Memphis.  She is credited with the development and delivery of numerous curriculums, including one that defined, assessed and developed skills required for the sales force.  She also led the development of an apprenticeship program for the manufacturing group, and a company diversity awareness program.  After Coors, she was with PC On Call, an information technology company in Cincinnati, where she developed and delivered sales training.  She also assisted in the develoment of a customer service curriculum.  She holds a number of facilitator certifications with a variety of companies.  Throughout her career, Connie has successfully worked directly with all levels of management, including executive teams.

Connie thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to share the experience of learning and developing leadership skills and abilities with ILA's clients.  Workshop participants frequently comment about her subject matter knowledge, her genuine belief in the programs she facilitates, and her contagious enthusiasm.

Tom Barley

Tom BarleyTom Barley’s career has spanned from service in the United States Air Force through management assignments at Eastman Kodak Company and Xerox Corporation, to doctoral studies at Cornell University, followed by faculty positions at West Virginia University and University of Pittsburgh. He also was managing partner in his own consulting firm for over 20 years.

Partner Facilitators

Sherry L. Gevedon, PhD, MBA, MS, RN

Sherry L. Gevedon is a strategist, innovation consultant, leadership facilitator and entrepreneur.  She has over a decade of aligning leadership with business strategy and creating high performance organizations. Blending traditional models of leadership with transformative principles and modern business strategy, Sherry helps motivated companies “out lead” their competition. 

Dr. Gevedon has the ability to develop compelling concepts that drive substantial growth for health care through leadership development.  Hospitals are energized by her “big ideas” to help clients fix “big problems” destabilize old paradigms and invent new ones.

Sherry works with clients to “re-boot” and “unleash” leadership in their organizations.  She helps organizations to "re-think" a new set of beliefs, behaviors and business skills…a fundamental shift in the relationship between leaders and their organizations. 

Sherry’s extensive experience and background consists of 3 worlds—entrepreneur, leadership consultant and trainer; she has over 15 years experience in public and private sectors including health care and government agencies

Sherry's research in leadership behaviors and her entrepreneurial success is supported with a doctorate in leadership from Miami University, Oxford and an MBA from Xavier University.


Valarie D. Willis

Known for her passion and energy, Valarie has worked with companies in industries including health care, manufacturing, wholesale, retail, technology and finance.  Her mission is to guide and provoke orgnaizations to optimize business results through leadership development.  Her belief is that each individual can achieve their fullest potential given the tools and opportunity.  Throughout her 20+ year work history, Valarie has assumed critical management, leadership and consulting roles of significant scope.  She led a major transition for one of her previous companies, and led a fledgling division to profitability. 

Valarie is an accomplished speaker, facilitator, consultant and executive coach, focused in the area of leadership, teambuilding and change.  She is a Master Facilitator of the Leadership Challenge® Workshop, which is based on the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®.  Valarie has worked with Fortune 100 companies, small companies, as well as non-profit organizations.  Her versatility allows her to work from the factory floor to the boardroom.

Valarie holds an MBA from Xavier University and a B.A. from Wilmington College.


Dave Carr

Life is short.

Change is constant.

Dysfunctionality is part of the human condition.

Leadership is a choice.


As a facilitator, Dave Carr seeks to help leaders with the human side of work and deal effectively with these truths.  It's no longer about earning a living, but rather learning a living.  As a life-long learner, Dave is committed to helping others break phantom rules and move from his/her comfort zone into the learning zone.


Dave is a uniquely qualified facilitator based on his life experiences.   His personal leadership development began in Boy Scouts, earning his Eagle Scout award.  He partnered with his father after receiving a B.A. in psychology, DePauw University, owning and running a profitable distribution business.


Dave took over leadership of this business in 1988.  Dave has been an artist, jeweler, newspaper columnist, teacher and marketer.  Facilitation is his passion and where he has chosen to focus his skill enhancement and education since 1995.


Dave is a qualified administrator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and is a member of the Association of Psychological Type (APT).   He is a member of the Experiential Training and Development Alliance (ETD) and American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).


He has worked with all kinds of leaders and teams from Fortune 500 companies, government, educational institutions as well as small family owned companies.  He is currently Executive Director of Montreat College Professional Development Institute.


Friends of ILA

Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner


Jim Kouzes
Jim Kouzes

Barry Posner

Jim and Barry are not just a friends, they are the reason we exist as a business. Together they wrote the worldwide best seller, The Leadership Challenge.  It was their research and findings that inspired us to start our business several years ago.   Much of our work today is still based on the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® described in their book.

Jim Kouzes is the chairman emeritus of The Tom Peters Company and an Executive Fellow at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University (SCU).

Barry Posner is dean of the Leavey School of Business and Professor of Leadership at Santa Clara University, where he has received numerous teaching and innovation awards.

Jim and Barry continue to be great mentors and coaches for us, and are always there with answers to tough questions and endless encouragement.   To learn more about Jim, Barry and their work, please visit www.theleadershipchallenge.com.




- Home Page - About ILA - Articles - Leadership Journal - Programs & Services - Success Stories -
- Assessments / Instruments - Continuing Development - Leadership Model - Partners - Contact Us -

All materials Copyright © 1999-2008 International Leadership Associates. All rights reserved.
No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without written permission of International Leadership Associates.