Thought Leaders

Kevin Nourse, PhD, PCC, Nourse Leadership Strategies
Dr. Nourse is an executive coach, leadership development expert, author, and speaker with over 20 years of experience developing resilient change leaders. He is the founder of Nourse Leadership Strategies, an executive coaching and leadership development firm based in Washington, DC and Southern California. Kevin and his team provide executive coaching, coaching for leadership teams, and leadership development program design and facilitation. He also delivers presentations and keynote speeches on a number of topics including leadership, resilience, and change leadership. Kevin previously worked as a software developer, CPA, training
manager, and human resources director before starting his professional practice in 2001.
As a coach, Kevin supports the growth and success of his clients using a variety of evidence-based practices. He helps clients develop a compelling leadership vision for the impact they want to make and communicate this vision in a powerful way. Dr. Nourse helps leaders develop self-awareness of their thoughts and emotions so they can self-regulate their resiliency. Also, he helps leaders identify and leverage their strengths, enabling them to demonstrate decisive leadership during challenging situations. He focuses on empowering enabling leaders to think and act strategically to anticipate emerging trends and potential sources of adversity.

Some of Kevin's former and current clients include the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, American Society for Engineering Education, America's Essential Hospitals, Annenberg Foundation, California Speech-Hearing Association, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Child Life Council, Cisco Systems, and the Seattle Mariners. Kevin is on the faculty of the Fielding Graduate University
Evidence Based Coaching Program.

Kevin has a BS degree in information science, MA in human resource development,
andPhD in human and organizational systems. His dissertation focused on resilient leadership among managers working in New Orleans-based organizations during Hurricane Katrina. He is certified in several instruments including the MBTI, MHS EQI, Conflict Dynamic Profile, and CCL Benchmarks assessment. Kevin is a professional certified coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation and co-author of an award-winning book entitled Shift Into Thrive: Six Powerful Strategies for Women to Thrive at Work. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, American Society for Association Executives, California Society for Association Executives, Healthcare Executives of Southern California, and the International Coach Federation.

Kevin's passions beyond his work include flying trapeze, cycling, hiking in the beautiful mountains near Palm Springs, mid-century modern design and architecture, classic disco, impressionist oil painting, and exploring Route 66. He recently completed the 545-mile AIDS Life/Cycle bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles and raised nearly $7,000 for HIV/AIDS research and treatment.
Jay Younger, FASAE, President & CEO, McKinley Advisors
During Jay’s twenty-plus year tenure in the industry, he has become widely recognized as a trusted advisor to the world’s most successful trade and professional associations. As president and CEO of McKinley Advisors, he oversees a multi-disciplinary team of professionals who deliver best-in-class services in strategic guidance, market research, business transformation and membership and marketing solutionsKnown for his uncanny ability to tackle challenging issues with honesty, candor and business acumen to produce extraordinary results, Jay has led high-stakes consulting engagements with the staff and volunteer leadership teams of hundreds of membership organizations. Jay was named as a Fellow of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) in 2007, currently serves on the ASAE Business Services Board of Directors and is a former chair of ASAE’s Membership Section Council. Jay is a frequent presenter, author and contributor to a wide range of industry events and publications. A native Washingtonian, Jay holds a BA in English from Duke University. 
Jeff Cobb, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Tagoras
Jeff Cobb is a co-founder of Tagoras, co-host of the weekly Leading Learning podcast, and author of multiple books, including Leading the Learning Revolution: The Expert's Guide to Capitalizing on the Exploding Lifelong Education Market. As a strategic advisor and entrepreneur with more than two decades of experience in the global market for lifelong learning he has helped hundreds of organizations in the learning business maximize the reach, revenue, and impact of their offerings. Jeff speaks and writes regularly on the critical role that lifelong learning plays for leaders and organizations in our rapidly changing world.  
Ellen F. Kandell, President, Alternative Resolutions, LLC
Ellen  F. Kandell is an attorney with over 30 years of diverse legal experience in the public and private sectors. Her company, Alternative Resolutions, LLC, ( provides mediation, group facilitation and training. Her clients include associations and nonprofits, government agencies, business, professional corporations, and educational institutions.   In 2016 she had a chapter published in Mediation for Estate Planners:  Managing Family Conflict, American Bar Association.  She is one of eight Maryland mediators featured on a statewide demonstration video of good practice.   In 2014 she became certified by the International Mediation Institute, based on a peer review and performance based system.    She was an adjunct professor for 10 years at Catholic University’s graduate Human Resources program and at University of Maryland University College where she taught conflict management and negotiation.

Prior to starting her company, she served as an environmental enforcement attorney at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where she managed and grew the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program and was in private law practice.

Her passion is working with organizations to resolve group conflicts. She has held leadership positions in state and county professional mediation organizations.   Ms. Kandell attended the Harvard Program for Mediation, received her JD from Temple University School of Law and her BS from the University of Maryland.  

Early in the morning, you can find Ellen sculling on the Anacostia River.

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The keyword that comes up again and again at CESSE is trust. Our community members meet through our hallmark events and continue the conversations well beyond. Whether you are looking for a sounding board to help you work through a challenge, tips and advice on industry practices, or referrals to other people who have a solution you can use, CESSE is here to be, or become, your professional network of choice.

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