2019 Board of Directors


Jim Sims

Jim Sims is an executive leadership coach whose first career spanned over three decades in the legal profession (the last 22 years as a partner in a large international law firm), during which he trained and mentored countless people with diverse backgrounds and interests.  Jim also worked in numerous volunteer capacities for the American Bar Association, provided pro bono legal service to dozens of clients, and served on several nonprofit boards, including the American Hospice Foundation and the Mid Atlantic Association for Imago Relationship Therapists (as a non-therapist member).


A graduate of the highly regarded Executive Leadership Coaching program in Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership, Jim’s prior legal, business, and board experience provides a valuable framework for his coaching work with senior executives, senior corporate counsel and attorneys in law firms, and other leaders.  Jim’s goal in coaching is to help clients turn their paths in new directions and in the process, propel positive transformation of themselves and their organizations.  Jim’s primary role on the ICF Metro DC board will be to spearhead planning for the 2018 Capital Coaches Conference.


President Elect

Gary Crane

Gary Crane, President-Elect for the ICF Metro DC chapter, is an Executive Coach who specializes in leadership coaching as well as strategic planning and management consulting.  Gary originally joined the ICF Board in 2015, serving as its Treasurer for over three years.  While on the Board he has played an active role in many Board activities including the planning of the Capital Coaches Conference and assisting the Professional Development Committee in planning chapter events.  Gary received his coaching certification from Georgetown University.  He maintains an ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC) certification and Hogan Assessment certification.  He is also the author of a leadership blog entitled, Leading by Example. Prior to establishing his coaching practice, Gary served as a finance executive in both the Federal government and the private sector.  He currently works with leaders in the Federal government, private sector and in the Executive Education program at the Harvard Business School.  He is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

 Past President-

Brooke Carpenter

Brooke Carpenter’s journey through life reflects her desire to explore and try new things. She started her career in the U.S. Air Force, spent many years as a wedding planner and owned a stationery boutique, built a career in human resources, and along the way, found her passion as a Life and Leadership Coach. Brooke has an MBA in Leadership and Management from Webster University, a Human Resources Management Certificate from George Mason University, and has completed the Core Essentials Program at Coach U. Brooke currently juggles life with a young family, building her coaching practice, serving her community as a volunteer, and nurturing relationships with friends and family. She believes that it’s not about doing it all, but rather, creating a life, on her terms without apologies and she is on a mission to help others do the same.




John Curley

John Curley, Treasurer for the ICF DC chapter, is a graduate from the coaching program at Treasury Executive Institute, Washington, DC.  He has spent his career as a contractor, consultant as well as a federal employee at the United States Department of Treasury.  He now coaches select clients internally and externally to the federal government.

The ICF defines coaching as, “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential…”, and states that a coach’s responsibility is to:   Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve, encourage client self-discovery, elicit client-generated solutions and strategies, and hold the client responsible and accountable.  “What I love about coaching is helping to maximize someone’s personal and professional life. People do not always see themselves, or their own situation, clearly.  A coach helps you to learn more about yourself and identify where your strengths would provide a positive transformation…”

John is a graduate of University of Cambridge’s executive and group coaching programs. In addition to coaching, he is a project management professional, certified federal mediator, member of the ABA’s dispute resolution committee, and volunteers as a pastoral visitor at The Johns Hopkins Medical System.  John has held positions on several well established non-profit organizations in the Washington, DC area.  He believes in setting the bar high for his own personal, professional, and physical fitness goals.  Equally important for John is to give back to his fellow employees and his beloved local community.




Board Director at Large (2 year term)-

Renee Bostick

Military spouse, moved 27 times; lived on three continents (Europe, Asia and North America), in six states in the United States (California, New York, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia).It is my honor and privilege to count myself a member of the community of military spouses. Executive Coach, graduate of George Mason University's Leadership Coaching for Well Being, ICF-ACC certified, and a proud member of the George Mason University Coaching Community.

Professional Educator, M.Ed., 38 years of experience (26 schools) as a classroom teacher (ES, MS, HS), Reading Specialist (ES, MS), Assistant Principal (ES and MS: Killeen, Texas), and Principal (ES: Arlington, Virginia). Graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Indiana University, Curry School of Education and Darden School of Business Turnaround Schools Program, and Harvard's Principal Leadership Institute. Bostick Global Strategies, Co-Founder, service-diabled veteran-owned small business which provides coaching, professional development training, parent programs (Book Magic/current children's literature and reading aloud to children), engineering, media, communication, and VR (virtual reality) consultant services.

Volunteer work currently includes Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC), Member Board of Directors, 2010-present and Finance Committee member; George Washington University Clark Scholars mentor, and American Corporate Partners (ACP) Military Spouse Program, mentor. 


Board Director at Large (2 year term)-

Marlene Thomas

Ms. Thomas is retired Senior Executive and is currently President and CEO of Thomas Management Consulting. Marlene is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), and a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF). She received her coaching certification from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI). Through her coaching skills, she unlocks the potential of individuals and teams to allow them to improve personal and professional business processes and organizational outcomes. Her experience as an Executive and Leadership Coach has led to partnering with executives of small and medium-scale businesses, as well as large and small non-profit organizations.


Board Director at Large- 

Adrienne Fikes

Adrienne Fikes, M.Ed, PCC is the Soul Power Coach™, a civic advocate, facilitator, associate coach trainer, and author. Transformed by difficult stories buried in the roots of her family tree, Adrienne is invites clients to stand firm in their deepest truth; secure their self-worth, and actively contribute to a more racially equitable community.  Adrienne is a former training and development specialist and management analyst for a technical engineering and management consulting firm that provided senior leadership and civilian workforce development support for the Navy's strategic missile system. She earned a Master’s in Education and Human Development from The George Washington University, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology with a focus in cognitive and behavior change from Georgia State University. Adrienne has been a certified success coach since 2008, and now trains coaches for the Success Unlimited Network coach training and certification program. 

Board Director at Large- 

Loretta Cooper

Loretta Cooper is an executive coach working with clients who want to enhance their leadership and communications presence for organizational results. Drawing on her years as an award winning journalist, Loretta offers customized coaching services to high-potential talent and senior-level executives who need to elevate their leadership presence and influence. 

Loretta Cooper is a graduate of Georgetown University Executive Leadership Coaching Program and a member of The International Coaching Federation.  A former ABC News, Washington-based correspondent (aka Lauren Rogers) she reported on our nation’s leaders at the White House, Congress and the US Supreme Court while leading production teams covering breaking news.  In these chaotic and stress-filled environments, Ms. Cooper facilitated teams to function at a high level of professionalism and productivity.


Board Director at Large- 

Lorri Manasse

Lorri has more than 25 years of experience in executive coaching, leadership development, and organization development.  In addition to Cortland Group, her own coaching and consulting practice, since 2004 Lorri has been adjunct faculty at the Federal Executive Institute (FEI), the US government’s premier leadership development training facility.  Lorri has coached more than 250 leaders across a wide range of government agencies, commercial organizations, and non-profits, both state-side and world-wide. She encourages her clients to think systemically and to experiment with alternative perspectives and behaviors, while they also discover and hold true to their values and goals.  Lorri holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy/Urban Studies from University of Southern California, a Certificate in Business from the Wharton School.  She is certified as a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation

Board Director at Large- 

Randy Benn

Randy comes to the field of executive and leadership coaching after a 30-year career as an attorney, lobbyist and strategic consultant in Washington D.C. Randy has been a Partner in three of the world’s largest law firms, served in a senior role at the U.S. EPA and as a Senior Fellow at his alma mater, among other positions.

Randy has worked at all levels of the U.S. Executive and Legislative branches, led several strategic planning processes, worked in the international development community and helped found businesses in Costa Rica, Switzerland, the U.K. and D.C. He has decades of Board and Advisory Board experience promoting water quality, protecting endangered species, addressing the Muslim/West divide, increasing interfaith peace and justice and reducing gun violence.

Randy is certified by Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership as an Executive and Leadership Coach. He has also been credentialled by the International Coaching Federation and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the ICF’s Metro D.C. Chapter.  Using backbone, heart and humor, his coaching experience includes work in the areas of law and public policy, medicine, education, government, tech and international development. With these engagements and his own diverse work and personal background, he looks forward to partnering with individuals from a wide variety of professions and nationalities. 

Randy is a magna cum laude graduate of Duke University and Duke Law School. He is married with three grown children, lives in DC and performs with his rock and roll band, Soulfire.

Sharon Podobnik

“I support leaders who strive to do well AND do good.”

Growing up just above the poverty line in a blue-collar town outside Pittsburgh, Sharon spent her early years acutely aware of the impact of education. She began her career at Teach for America, and quickly moved up in the ranks to become Director of Academics at a charter school in Washington, DC. She affected record change in teacher retention and student achievement at a number of urban public and charter schools, and established a local chapter of a national non-profit committed to helping high-achieving, low-income students gain the skills necessary for college.

While Sharon’s work felt meaningful and fulfilling, she found herself in a state of perpetual burnout. She began questioning the expectation that women sacrifice their personal well being for the sake of others, at the cost of their own health, finances and happiness.

After leaving her teaching career and speaking to many women in the same boat, she realized that sustainable change is only possible when supported by genuine self-love and self-care, which in turn is only achievable when we learn to break free from societal expectations - an education that most of us never receive.

Sharon now coaches exceptional social impact leaders and game changers through her teaching position at Johns Hopkins University’s Graduate School of Education, and through her coaching organization, The Center for Conscious Leadership. Her approach bridges courageous action with radical self-compassion, all rooted in the belief that we already have everything we need within to achieve our fullest potential.

When she’s not teaching or coaching, she’s exploring the world with her husband, Mark; or reading with her spunky kitty, Annie, in Washington, DC.