About Abby

About Abby

 

I am a certified Integral Master Coach™ with formal qualifications in business, coaching, psychology and yoga. I have over 18 years of professional and personal development experience in Coaching and Leadership. I work with colleagues, students and clients from over 20 countries in the world which has been an invaluable source of perspective and understanding of the complexity and responsibility of leadership in its many forms.

Examples of current and recent clients include Prudential Investment Managers, Old Mutual Investment Group, Investec Private Bank, Prodigy Finance, Coronation Fund Managers, African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), GetSmarter/2U, CARE International, Johnson and Johnson International, FutureGrowth Asset Management, South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP), Rhino Africa, The Clothing Bank, and Tourvest Travel Services. As an executive coach on ASCEND, Johnson & Johnson International’s Executive Development Programme for women, I coached women from Europe, the Middle East and Africa from 2009-2011. From 2012-2014 I was an executive coach on the Women in Leadership Programme at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business and since 2013 I have coached leaders from across Africa on a number of Leadership and Executive Development Programmes at Old Mutual. From 2011 to 2015 I was one of 20 coaches to coach women on a two-year Enterprise Development Programme at The Clothing Bank in Cape Town, South Africa with the mission to “empower unemployed mothers through enterprise development so that they can become financially and socially independent”. In 2016 I joined the team at 57 Coaches, a pro bono coaching initiative available to leaders within NGOs supporting refugees. In 2017 I joined the team of coaches on the Beyond Your Edge Leadership Program, funded by the Ford Foundation, for leaders under the age of 40 in East Africa. In 2018 I joined the team of coaches on the CARE USA Regional Leadership Coaching Program for CARE leaders in Asia. I have been a faculty member with Integral Coaching Canada since 2014.

My strength is to coach individuals in leadership roles who are at a point in their career and personal life where they are asking important questions of themselves and their environments that can be addressed in a professional coaching relationship. My clients respect me for creating a safe and confidential space that enables them to achieve outcomes that deeply matter. Rooted in my own commitment to personal integrity, as a coach my aim is to enable people to grow and advance the health, meaning and integrity of their lives, in and outside the workplace as well as the lives of others.

 

Speaking personally.....

I grew up on the west coast of Canada and have been living in Cape Town, South Africa since November 2001. I am married to Daniel and we have two young daughters. We travel frequently between South Africa and Canada and all feel a deep connection to both places. I’ve run my own business in the field of coaching and leadership development since early 2003. Prior to this I was an Occupational Therapist working in adult mental health in Vancouver, Canada and with kids with learning difficulties in London, England. I am passionate about all forms of sport that take in my natural environment. On good days I am found trail running, in a yoga class, swimming, mountain biking, hiking or walking the beach. I love to read, write, explore new places, discover new music, walk my dog, and pick up my kids from school. I am energized by nature, time alone and thoughtful conversations.

I was born to New Yorker parents who migrated north into Canada during the time of the Vietnam War and then west to British Columbia. I was raised in a gorgeous artsy bohemian town on Kootenay Lake on the west coast of Canada called Nelson – a place I feel very proud to say I come from. As a child I traveled a lot with my parents including a 3-month journey from Canada to Australia. This trip included a 2-week journey across the Pacific Ocean (with only one sighting of land) aboard the Brigantine Soren Larsen, a 140 foot sailing ship. I’ve lived on 4 continents and in 5 countries and have traveled and explored in many more.

As my teacher and colleague once said to me, I am a ‘textured woman’. I’m an earth-child at heart – I feel most at home in nature, at outdoor music festivals, and on my yoga mat; I love Tracey Chapman, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Norah Jones and Joni Mitchell (plus many others); I love yoga, hiking, swimming and trail running; I’m most often found wearing flip flops or running shoes and comfortable clothes; and I love rain storms, fog and the smell of the ocean. I have a strong and rich academic background and 14 years of experience in the field of coaching and leadership development. I’m a wife, mother, daughter and friend. I don’t like to miss out on anything, I try to do and be everything much to my exhaustion! I’m ambitious and sensitive and I have strong opinions. I’m fun and I’m naughty but only if you’ve got a good eye for naughtiness (!) and I enjoy being different. I have big dreams and aspirations and I work hard to make them happen. I feel fulfilled by deep and ‘real’ conversations. I’m an introvert – I’m energised by my alone time but I enjoy meeting people and being social. 

I dream of being a journalist and of one day writing down the stories of people’s lives. I feel honored that in my work I am able to listen to my clients share some of life’s most wonderful and most challenging moments. I consistently feel a calling to bring people together to share their stories so that they can know that they are not alone, that in fact they, no matter who they are, share many of the same fears, joys and dreams.

My greatest joys in life include time with my family when we’re away from or outside of the routines of work and school and being in nature.