“Coaching and consultative support from Vanessa has proven to be one of the most valuable resources I have in helping me grow my company and work effectively with my board of directors.

When I am looking for business development support, I need someone who can deftly cut through the conflicting priorities and the noise that complicate a CEO’s decision-making process – and that, to a tee, is what Vanessa is able to do. When I am looking for assistance to work through the complexities of a board process, I need someone who can meld strategic thinking and group dynamic into a winning package – and again, that is what Vanessa so effectively delivers.

Bright and intuitive, Vanessa is able to synthesize a multi-dimensional picture into observations that really do translate into action options. Unlike too many others that I have encountered, she is able to concurrently conceptualize an issue from a range of different perspectives, effortlessly shifting focus from 30,000 feet right down to the details of implementation and then back up, integrating the disparate pieces that must come together to achieve success. Perceptive and engaging, she can see what you need and she makes sure that you have the tools and strategy that can make things happen. A natural leader herself, Vanessa infuses the power of leadership and trust into her counsel.

I strongly recommend that you consider engaging Vanessa Williams and Leading Edge Consulting.”

Allen S. Gouse, Ph.D.,
President and CEO, Easter Seals Capital Region and Eastern Connecticut

“Due to an organizational realignment at the company I worked for, my job was recently eliminated. I had started working with an outplacement resource firm and was concentrating on growing my network.

Having worked for Vanessa about 5 years ago, I reached out to her for her perspective. She had always been someone I highly valued for her abundance of ideas, her energy and her visionary skills. She quickly cleared her calendar to get together to go over my situation and we had an awesome meeting. Vanessa was quickly able to tell me what she saw as my greatest strengths which helped me in how I communicate my story effectively to employers. She reviewed my target companies and gave me a very long list of contacts and their emails, and told me to reach out to them and to feel free to use her name. The generous information and advice she provided me was so meaningful as it was specific to my skills, experience, passions and target companies and was not just generic best practices anyone should follow when searching for a new job opportunity.

Vanessa is truly a fabulous coach! She has fresh ideas, is very insightful, has an abundance of contacts, and always helps you rise to the challenges. I am so fortunate to know her. I highly recommend Vanessa as a coach to anyone seeking a new business opportunity. ”

Cheryl Koda
Business Operations Professional, major financial services organization in the Retirement Industry

“Vanessa is a brilliant and insightful leader with an uncanny ability to balance personal power and tender care. She was an invaluable coach, friend and mentor to me when we worked together, and since that time, has continued to learn and evolve.

I would recommend her to anyone who is motivated to improve and soar.”
Brenda Savage
former Assistant Vice President, MassMutual Financial Group

“When I was introduced to Vanessa I did not know what to expect, and did not know what I wanted, except that I wanted to learn, grow and progress in my career.

I remember how I felt hanging up my phone after my very first conversation I had with Vanessa- a deep sense of comfort knowing that I was in great hands. A person who was there for me, to guide me and help me chart out what I needed to do to achieve my goals. Without even a contract in place, Vanessa helped me through a job interview process, preparing me for what to expect and made me understand my own potential. She was flexible with her schedule and ensured that I was well prepared and followed up with me after. She was genuine in her approach with me and helped guide me through the process and what to expect, questions to ask and key issues I needed to think about. Her approach is holistic and she is a great coach. I thoroughly enjoy working with Vanessa and would strongly recommend her.”

Senior Executive in Real Estate and Property Management

“I am Vice President, Chief Learning and Knowledge Officer of one of the top 50 financial services companies, US Business Operations.

The support that I’ve received from Vanessa has been invaluable as an executive. Our coaching relationship has lasted for years, through many levels and positions. Vanessa has both depth and breadth in her business experience and because of that there hasn’t ever been a situation that she couldn’t draw out of me MY best course of action both in the short term and long term.

I frequently replay many many conversations we’ve had over the last 17 years and every one of them brought me to a place of growth. One statement in a conversation I particular think of often and when I do it brings a smile to my face – “Remember it all starts with you, respect your self, your scope and your work. Never allow others to drive your success.” Vanessa understands deeply businesses of all shapes and sizes as well as the people who are leading them. I highly recommend her as a coach for those who are willing to take control and make a difference in their careers.”

Vice President, Chief Learning and Knowledge Officer

“I first met Vanessa as a successful business executive in the financial services industry and I was her client. What I admired and appreciated about her the most was her broad and deep practical experience in her area of expertise,

but more importantly her passion for coaching and mentoring others, helping them learn the skills needed to be successful both personally and professionally. Over the years I have experienced professional changes and challenges and have been fortunate to have Vanessa’s insights to navigate the maze. I reached out to Vanessa to formally work with her as my executive coach. As an executive coach with related business expertise, she was able to guide me through to the heart of the matter and in so doing she helped me achieve a self-awareness with a focus on identifying what is truly important. I carry what I learned with me always, and come back for a refresher when necessary. Anybody who has the opportunity to work with Vanessa is truly fortunate.”

Kim Cooley
Director, Retirement Programs

"Vanessa Williams is a highly respected and effective professional who leverages her extensive experience, expertise and expansive network to drive outstanding results for her clients.

She is visionary and strategic in her approach while navigating the professional landscape with ease.  Without hesitation I strongly recommend Vanessa Williams to senior leaders in both the corporate and non-profit sectors.”

Beth Pritchard
Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing & Philanthropy Officer at Easterseals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut

“I have known Vanessa since she was a senior executive at a major insurance company. I met her at a time in my career when I needed someone to help me sort out where I wanted to go in the short term, and what my ultimate goals were.

I asked Vanessa for her help because I knew she had established her executive coaching practice and throughout her career had a genuine interest in coaching others. Her reputation was impressive and I had seen the impact she had on some of my peers. Through her thoughtful approach, she helped me to think about what my strengths are, what motivates me, and what values are important to me as an individual. Her coaching style allowed me to explore the past, the present, and the future in a way that enlightened my thinking and guided me through a decision making process that still works for me today. As one of Vanessa’s “coachees,” I had work to do — she is not an “easy” coach – but the results speak for themselves. I am where I want to be in my career today. I am grateful for the coaching she gave me back then, which still guides me today, and the interest she continues to show in my career and my life.”

Vice President, Global Learning and Development, major financial services organization

“I began working with Vanessa on a global client experience measurement program during her time at Sun Life. It was a huge undertaking, and right from the start I was impressed with her ability to organize our work in collaboration with leaders

across the organization. Her enthusiasm for the program – and her commitment to the idea that clients come first – was infectious.As our work progressed, Vanessa became a partner I turned to more and more often for direction. In time, that came to include career advice. She was more than supportive. For the first time in my 26-year career, I feel I have a detailed blueprint for advancement. She has shared specific, actionable guidance on how to more effectively influence and collaborate with senior executives. It’s not an overstatement to say that I think about work differently, and conduct my day-to-day more productively than ever. I owe that largely to Vanessa’s coaching.”

Kevin Press
Assistant Vice President, Market Insights, Sun Life Financial

“After having used 2 different career coaches in the last 20 years, I was a little skeptical giving it another try. Meeting Vanessa was a completely different experience.

After working with Vanessa, I gained much needed confidence, motivation and inspiration. She has the ability to look at the big picture, while also giving very practical advice, that can be immediately used. Because of her experience in the business world, and the ability to understand, articulate, and empathize with my goals, we quickly made progress. Her ability to guide me in some difficult work situations is a gift that I will always be grateful for. My only regret is that I did not meet her several years ago. I could have save myself job frustration and discouragement. I highly recommend working with Vanessa. She is a truly remarkable coach.”

Senior Fund Development Executive, Healthcare Industry

“I had decided to make a career change after being with a company for over 17 years. This decision was not only exciting but also overwhelming. I knew that I wanted to make that transition but I needed guidance and a plan.

I had worked in Vanessa’s organization and she was the executive lead for the Employee Resource Group. Although Vanessa had a large organization, she was alway available for her team and often spent time with me to provide career coaching. I had not connected with Vanessa for a while but decided to reach out to her for assistance. She and I met and we immediately started to discuss my goals and developed a strategy. We talked about the peak and low periods of when most companies do their hiring. She and I discussed networking techniques and how to reconnect with people that were in my network. She was very helpful and willing to bridge connections with people that she knew in her network who might be able to assist me with my goal. She reviewed my resume and provided constructive feedback that I incorporated. In doing so, I believe, those changes helped attract employers. I was getting attention from recruiters. During this process, I did get discouraged, however, Vanessa was always positive and reassuring. Her positive personality helped me during this time in my life. It was with Vanessa’s coaching that assisted me in landing a great position that I am truly enjoying. I am pleased to have taken this journey with Vanessa.”

Senior Compliance and Vendor Relations Manager, major financial services organization

“I was a client of Executive Talent Services and they offered as part of their program time with an executive coach. They put me in touch with Vanessa Williams.

Throughout our interactions, I felt very engaged and truly in a partnership.

Vanessa has an uncanny insight and ability to get to the heart of the matter. In my case, I have been pursuing opportunities external to my current employer. In addition to sound advice regarding my search, Vanessa provided practical advice as to how to remain positive and productive in my current position while my search progresses.”

Finance Executive, Manufacturing