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    Ed Helton is the Assistant Vice President of Leadership Development at Columbus State University. He serves on the President‘s Cabinet and is responsible for internal leadership programs facilitated by the Leadership Institute.

    Ed Helton

    Executive Director of Leadership Development, Columbus State University

    Shana Young

    Executive Director, Leadership Institute at Columbus State University

    Shana is a certified Human Behavior Consultant focusing on helping individuals to understand theirs and others personalities in order to improve communication and become a more effective leader. In addition, Shana is certified in Basic Behavioral Studies, the DISC Self Assessment Tool, the EQ-I Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory, Hogan Assessment, and consult/coach on 360° Assessments.

    Kat was reared and educated in Columbus, Georgia. She is a Certified Program Planner (CPP) and spent six years with the Continuing Education division of Columbus State University. As Program Coordinator, and later Program Manager, she expanded the breadth and scope of the personal and professional development programs offered in an open-enrollment format to the community, with an emphasis on developing professional certificate programs.

    Kat Cannella

    Assistant Director of Leadership/Facilitation

    Jessica Drake

    Director of Marketing and Business Development

    Jessica Drake is the director of marketing and leadership development. She is also responsible for Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum sponsorships. She attended Columbus State University where she earned her bachelor‘s degree in Communications in 2007 and her master‘s degree in Public Administration in 2010.

    Janescia Harvey

    Administrative Financial Assistant

    Lee Shattuck

    Administrative Assistant

    Our Consultants

    Cathy Alford, MA, PCC, is a Leadership and Strengths Coach credentialed with the International Coach Federation. She works with individuals and teams to identify strengths, team dynamics and growth opportunities for success. She is the founding member of the Columbus Coaching Collaborative. Her certifications include: Myers-Briggs, Clifton StrengthsFinder®, Prepare-Enrich and Workshop Facilitation. She has taught Coach Training at Columbus State University and served in pharmaceutical sales management for more than 23 years. She is a contributing author in the book, Inspired Women Succeed and the author of If Only We Could Talk: 3 Simple Steps to Parent-Teen Conversations.

    Cathy Alford


    Lori Auten


    Lori Auten is the CEO of Focus Consulting Group, a consulting firm that provides professional coaching, business consulting, group facilitation and leadership development. Lori is an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation and has provided more than 7,500 hours of coaching and counseling to more than 1,500 entrepreneurs and business leaders in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, team building and management. In addition, Lori is a certified facilitator and provides training courses for businesses and non-profit organizations. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics/Mathematics from Emory University and an MSA in Management from Georgia Southwestern State University.

    Rachel’s career aspirations can be summed up in one phrase: Engagement is the key to making dollars and sense out of the organizations and businesses she represents. Her experience ranges from management of educational programs in four languages, curriculum and web development, staff training and financial empowerment for individuals and small businesses.

    Rachel Jones Wilcox


    Alison Mills-Long


    Alison Mills-Long has more than 23 years’ experience in project management in the financial services industry. She worked for TSYS for more than 10 years and is currently VP/BankCard Vendor Relationship Manager at BB&T. In Alison’s project management role, responsibilities included the oversight of new bankcard products launches, acquisition activities including portfolio conversions, and compliance projects. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga. Alison is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Manager of Quality in Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE). She is an active member of both the Project Management Institute and American Society for Quality and volunteers for Columbus Hospice.

    Kim Cantrell, MS, ACC, is an experienced Senior Executive with an extensive background in leadership, non-profit operations, strategic planning, team building and finance. She currently serves as the CEO of 2 Impact, a coaching and consulting firm dedicated to equipping individuals and businesses to reach their maximum growth potential.
    Previously, Kim served as the Senior Vice President of Mission Services for Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers, (GWISR), headquartered in Columbus, Georgia. She joined the organization in 2000 as the Chief Financial Officer, after a successful career in retirement plan administration. She holds a bachelor‘s degree in Accounting and a master‘s degree in Organization Leadership with a concentration in Servant Leadership from Columbus State University. She holds the designation of Associate Certified Coach (ACC) from the International Coach Federation.

    Kim Cantrell