Career Coaching is a process of self-discovery and active goal-setting designed to help you create your own unique path to career success.  A career coach will gather information, ask important questions, and provide support, motivation, and accountability along the way. 

The Career Center has vetted and partnered with a select group of career experts to coach you on topics such as:

  • Leadership development and advancement
  • Preparing for a career or industry change
  • Understanding your strengths and career interests
  • Resume reviews
  • Interviewing preparation and skill building
  • And much more!

All coaches listed on our database are small business owners and have a cost associated with their services. Costs often begin around $150 but please make sure to inquire with your coach for their specific rates. Our coaches have generously agreed to provide a discount of their services to GVSU alumni who contact them through our website. See "How To" to learn how to use the database!

Each coach has a unique background, skillset, and expertise. Here are the steps you can take to best utilize this resource:

  1. Determine which career stage you are currently in and narrow down who works with your particular stage. 
  2. Read the coach's bio and visit their website to learn more about them, the services they offer, and their associated costs.
  3. Once you have selected the coach you would like to work with, send them an email by clicking the button underneath their photo.
  4. Make sure to keep the subject line in tact and fill out the questionnaire in the body of the message. Failure to do so will result in potentially not receiving the discount offered to GVSU alumni.
  5. The coach will contact you with your next steps.

Career Coaching vs. Career Advising

Explore the difference between career coaching (external providers) and career advising (internal to GVSU Career Center).

Please review the Terms and Conditions document prior to engaging with the career coaching services offered.

Meet Our Coaches

Stacey Kulongowski


Stacey is the Founder & CEO of The BND Group, an ACC Certified Executive Coach, and in her previous life spent 28 years in corporate America. She has an impressive track record, through coaching hundreds executives, of helping her clients to navigate challenging career intersections, realize exceptional levels of success and transform their professional and personal lives. She does so by creating a safe and inspiring environment and meeting her clients where they are.

Stacey is a former Google Director where she spent 13 years building, leading and coaching high performing leaders and teams. Prior to Google, she navigated a very successful career in advertising spanning across 15 years, 12 cities, and a diversification of clients and industries. She holds degrees from Michigan State University & The Hudson Institute of Coaching.

Stacey’s mission is to be the catalyst that leaders need to get unstuck, develop extraordinary skills and achieve goals they never dreamed possible. She is a keynote speaker, personal development fanatic and loves creating customized transformational shared learning experiences. Stacey lives in Northville Michigan with her family and is currently working to publish her first coaching thought leadership book in October of 2024.

Additional Information

Available Coaching Methods: Virtual

Career Stages: Early, Mid, Late, Transition, Entrepreneur, First-time Leader, Executive


Shaina Lane '01


Shaina’s career has been anything but linear and her experience fuels her passion for helping others navigate the complexities of building their careers. Throughout Shaina’s professional journey, she has achieved several promotions, had her job eliminated, changed professions completely, been stuck in dead end jobs, bravely left corporate America to start her own business, and she successfully re-entered the workforce landing her dream job. 

Leveraging a strong background in HR and Healthcare, 70% of Shaina’s practice includes supporting nurses, physicians, and allied health professionals succeed as leaders. The other 30% of her time is spent supporting clients in a wide array of industries to build a fulfilling and meaningful career.

Shaina holds a BS in Movement Science from GVSU (Go Lakers!!) and a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Auburn University (War Eagle!). If you are ready to make a change, Shaina is ready to make the hard part of that change easier for you.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Executive leadership coaching
  • First-time manager/leader coaching
  • Planning for and navigating career growth or transitions
  • Interview coaching
  • CliftonStrengths coaching 


  • SHRM-CP – SHRM Certified Professional
  • PCC – Professional Certified Coach (ICF)
  • CEC – Certified Executive Coach
  • CPCC – Certified Professional Career Coach
  • Gallup Certified Strengths Coach
Additional Information

Available Coaching Methods: Virtual, Phone

Career Stages: Early, Mid, Late, Encore, Transition, Entrepreneur, First-time Leader, Executive


Jodi Oren '00


As a seasoned Career & Business Coach, Jodi Oren leverages 25 years of experience helping you clarify goals, set vision and take action. Whether you are navigating Career transition, Executive coaching, business ownership or entrepreneurship thoughts, Jodi provides valuable tools and resources to enhance your professional journey. 

With a rich background as President, Director of Training & Development, and Corporate Coach at companies such as: Herman Miller, Dow Chemical, RDV Corporation, and Legacy Coaching & Consulting, Jodi has been featured on WZZM13, Take 5 & Company, special televised segments including: Changing Your Life's Direction and Starting Over. Jodi is a Certified Career Ownership Coach and Professional CoActive Coach, and received a B.A. in Career Management from Grand Valley State University and an Associate's in Engineering from Delta College.

To book (Did someone refer you? mention GVSU) 

Additional Information

Available Coaching Methods: Virtual, Phone

Career Stages: Mid, Late, Encore, Transition, Entrepreneur, First-time Leader, Executive

Renata Ellis


Renata Ellis is a seasoned educator and certified leadership coach whose favorite, most reliable hobby is reading. She has two decades of experience directing equity-based educational and employment readiness programs in schools, non-profits, and churches. She holds a Master of Science in Secondary Special Education from the University of Kansas and Bachelor of Science from the University of Missouri.

As a compassionate truth-teller, Renata is committed to leveraging her leadership skills and hard-won professional insights to see others thrive all-around. Using coaching, resume reimagination, strategic guidance, and emerging analytics about the world of work, her focus is on individuals not only landing the next career opportunity but clarifying their unique “why” for building a meaningful, impactful, sustainable life.

Additional Information

Available Coaching Methods: Virtual, Phone

Career Stages: Early, Mid, Transition, Entrepreneur, First-time Leader


Jeff Doolittle


Dr. Jeff Doolittle has been helping business owners and executive leaders of small businesses to global Fortune 50 companies in a wide range of industries for the past 25 years. He is the author of Life-Changing Leadership Habits: 10 Proven Principles That Will Elevate People, Profit, and Purpose, and his work is taught in university classrooms. He is a trusted partner with a heart for serving others and has global expertise spanning talent strategy, culture, leadership, and change. Jeff is the founder of Organizational Talent Consulting, a premier executive coaching and business consulting firm for leaders and organizations interested in achieving success and significance. Recently, he served as the associate dean of online graduate business programs for his alma mater, Olivet Nazarene University. 

Jeff received a doctorate in Strategic Leadership from Regent University and is a certified International Coaching Federation executive coach. He considers himself a pracademic, someone who is a practitioner of the latest academic research in leadership. Jeff is certified to administer several assessments to inspire leaders at every level to develop, empower teams, and thrive. He has helped hundreds of people on the road to recovery from life's hurts, habits, and hang-ups through a nonprofit community ministry he started in his hometown. You can visit his company website to learn more about Dr. Jeff Doolittle and his coaching solutions.

Additional Information

Available Coaching Methods: Virtual, In-Person (Grand Rapids, MI)

Career Stages: Early, Mid, Late, Transition, Entrepreneur, Executive

Brett Holleman


Brett Holleman is a professionally certified leadership coach and the founder of LeadWell, LLC, a company that provides executive coaching, a human-centered design focus to strategic planning and organizational integration for professionals and organizations looking to grow. Brett utilizes a specialized Implementation System to empower teams and organizations to achieve results. He has over 30 years of experience in building relationships and collaborating with business and organizational leaders in various sectors, with a focus on health care and privately held family businesses.

Brett is also certified in the Enneagram and Leadership Circle Profile, powerful tools that help individuals and teams understand their personality patterns, motivations, and strengths. He has a passion for equipping leaders and organizations to create sustainable change with immediate impact and measurable results, especially in the challenging and dynamic environment of healthcare and family business. Brett has worked with world-class, global organizations and multicultural environments, such as Mayo Clinic, Steadman Phillippon, Vail Health, and Van Andel Institute, where diversity, equity, and inclusion are part of the corporate ethos.

Brett’s work revolves around developing resilient and adaptable leaders and workforces, leading to enhanced productivity, talent retention, and a positive workplace culture. The result is not just organizational adaptability but also a strengthened reputation for your brand. Let's collaborate on creating a path to growth and success.

Additional Information

Available Coaching Methods: Virtual, Phone, In-Person (West Michigan)

Career Stages: Early, Mid, Late, Transition, Entrepreneur, First-time Leader, Executive

Melissa Haveman '95


Melissa Haveman is an ICF-credentialed (ACC) executive, team, and career success coach, with a background in organizational sociology. She focuses on helping creative and tech professionals and leaders achieve their career goals using brain-based coaching and performance science techniques. She's also a certified trainer for Everything DiSC and an accredited facilitator for The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team.

Melissa holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from Grand Valley State University, an MA in Sociology from Southern Illinois University, and a certificate in Leading Virtual Teams from Cornell University. In her free time, she fosters animals for Ottawa County’s Harbor Humane Society and writes short mystery fiction.

Additional Information

Available Coaching Methods: Virtual, Phone, In-Person (Holland, MI)

Career Stages: Early, Mid, Late, Encore, Transition, Entrepreneur, First-time Leader, Teams


Jennifer Maxson '94


Jennifer Maxson, CPC, ICF-PCC is a passionate thought leader in the areas of leadership development, coaching, communication, networking, and public speaking.  She coaches Executives, Emerging Leaders, Individuals, and Teams. Jennifer also provides consulting and customized programs to clients throughout the United States and abroad. Jennifer was named the 2018 ATHENA Award Recipient from the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce and, in the past, has been honored as one of Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan. She is a proud GVSU Alumna and a Laker for a Lifetime.  


  • Professional Certified Coach, International Coaching Federation 
  • Certified Professional Coach, University of Wisconsin-Madison 
  • Practitioner Team Coaching Certified Coach, Global Team Coaching Institute 
  • Team Coaching Foundations Certified Coach, The Global Team Coaching Institute 
  • Wiley Everything DiSC® Certified Trainer 
  • Accredited Facilitator, The Five Behaviors® of a Cohesive Team 


Jennifer Maxson & Associates is proud to have three certified coaches, Jennifer Maxson, Mike Bivens, and Jana Postma. We will match you with the right coach to achieve your goals. Coaching focuses on enhanced performance to drive business results and the individual’s career. To achieve these results, our coaching process incorporates assessments, discussion, thought-provoking questions, observation, and accountability into sessions. All coaching services are tailored to the individual/team and organizational needs. 

The mission of Jennifer Maxson & Associates is to/Enhance the Credibility of Leaders. Our purpose is to inspire current and future leaders to/Lead to the Max!® 

Additional Information

Available Coaching Methods: Virtual, Phone, In-Person (Grand Rapids, MI)

Career Stages: Early, Mid, Late, Entrepreneur, First-time Leader, Executive


Hannah Staal '12


As a talent professional, Hannah Staal is passionate about more than just filling roles – she is committed to shaping career success stories. With a robust background in recruitment, Hannah specializes in identifying and nurturing top-tier candidates across various organizational levels, spanning entry-level to executive leadership. Her approach is rooted in building meaningful relationships within creative, IT, and other professional communities. 

Beyond her role at OST, she is a proud graduate of Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Arts. Her career journey began in Marketing and evolved into a rewarding path in recruitment, with an additional five years of experience in the education and creative staffing sectors before joining Vervint in 2018. Hannah is here to guide and empower individuals in crafting compelling resumes, navigating career transitions, and achieving professional fulfillment. As your dedicated career coach, Hannah leverages her extensive experience to ensure you not only secure the right opportunity but also build a career that aligns with your aspirations.

Hannah’s noteworthy achievements include spearheading OST's 2018 internship program which was awarded Internship Employer of the Year in 2022, obtaining certification in competency-based interviewing as a targeted selection trainer, and playing a pivotal role as a founding member of the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee at OST. 

Services include: - Professional Resume Writing - LinkedIn Profile Optimization - Cover Letter Development - Interview Prep - Career Coaching 

Additional Information

Available Coaching Methods: Virtual, In-Person (Grand Rapids, MI)

Career Stages: Early, Mid, Late, Transition, Entrepreneur, First-time Leader, Executive


Kali Wolken


Searching for meaning and balance in life, but feeling stuck? As an experienced career coach, Kali Wolken guides clients towards finding renewed purpose and command over their lives. Our collaboration will focus on your whole story, exploring new ways to pursue your career goals, and progressing at your pace. 

Initially pursuing a career in mental health counseling Kali attended Taylor University (BA) and Ball State University (MA). She acquired counseling licenses in Indiana and Michigan (LMHC, LPC) before pursuing a certification in career counseling from the NCDA (CCC). 

Kali’s clients often say that their work together is both practical and organic-like having a conversation with a trusted friend. It's important to her that all her clients walk away from their work together not only feeling confident in their career path, but equipped to continue forward no matter where life takes them.  Ready to feel hopeful about your future? Visit Kali’s website to schedule your free 30-minute consultation!

Additional Information

Available Coaching Methods: Virtual

Career Stages: Early, Mid, Transition, Entrepreneur


Kelly Blakeslee


With over a decade of experience in disability and autism support, Kelly is dedicated to fostering inclusive workplaces and empowering neurodivergent individuals to achieve their career aspirations. Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications, Sciences, and Disorders from Michigan State University and a master’s in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from Wayne State University. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and a licensed professional counselor (LPC).

Early in her career, Kelly demonstrated her expertise by developing and executing successful autism hiring pilots within Fortune 500 companies. She placed and supported neurodivergent candidates in diverse workforce settings, showcasing her ability to create inclusive environments. Her experience partnering with government agencies, non-profits, businesses, and communities to promote DEIA and belonging values has led to significant improvements in equity and inclusion for neurodivergent employees in the workforce.

Kelly's coaching approach is not just about providing advice, but about understanding each individual's unique strengths and career interests. She places a strong emphasis on self-advocacy and disability identity, offering tailored advice on leadership development, industry transitions, resume enhancement, and interview preparation. Combining her clinical background with vocational counseling, she guides individuals to succeed in their careers.


  • Disability and Autism Career Coaching
  • ADA and Accommodation Coaching
  • Professional Social Skills Coaching

Services Include:

  • Career coaching & goal setting
  • Workplace accommodations & disclosure
  • Resume review & enhancements
  • Interview reparation
  • Job search strategies
  • Networking & relationship building
Additional Information

Available Coaching Methods: Virtual, Phone

Career Stages: Neurodivergent, Early, Mid, Transition, Return-to-work

Page last modified June 17, 2024