Faculty + Affiliates
Top Tier Coaches. Trauma Responsive Leaders. Decades of Experience.
Kemia M. Sarraf
MD, MPH, RCC, TIPC
President & CEO
Program & Faculty Director
The arc of Dr. K's more than two decade career has included patient care, public health programming, nonprofit & leadership development, and executive coaching. Dr. K founded Lodestar in 2016, responding to a growing need for subspecialty coaching methods for professional clients who were reporting high levels of severe burnout, vicarious trauma and moral injury.
Ann V. Deaton
Ph.D, PCC, CTPC, TIPC
Director, Faculty Development
Executive Coach & Senior Faculty
Ann brings a two-decade career as a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Division Director to professional coaching. Celebrated author, Master Trainer, Executive Coach and Certified Team Performance coach; Ann co-created the Trauma-Informed Professional Coaching curriculum for health care leaders, and the Trauma Mitigation Master Class for professional coaches.
Antoinette DuBois Ayers
RCC, CPCC, TIPC
Director, Training Development
Executive Coach & Senior Faculty
Antoinette DuBois Ayers is a 20 year veteran of Executive Coaching, specializing in Leadership Development, Innovation, Team Productivity and Diversity. Her clients include Financial Services, Healthcare and Nonprofits.
Kiana S. Joersz
J.D., SHRM-SCP, TIPC
Chief Operating Officer
Executive Advisor & Senior Faculty
Kiana Joersz is an attorney specializing in employment law and administrative policy. Kiana specializes in business development, executive consulting, workplace investigations, strategic workforce realignment issues, and discrimination and retention initiatives.
PhD, MPH, PCC, TIPC
Director, All Of Us Programming
Executive Coach & Senior Faculty
Michael Forlenza is an experienced leader, international leadership consultant, and leadership development coach, working for over a decade with leaders across diverse sectors, including academic medicine and healthcare, legal services, law enforcement, sales, government, biotechnology, and engineering.
MD, FAAP, CPC, TIPC
Director, DEI and Senior Faculty
Dr. Lockhart is a board-certified pediatrician and Fellow in ACGME inaugural DEI officers Equity Matters National Initiative. She also holds a Leading Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion certification through Northwestern University. She is dedicated to creating inclusive organizations and devotes time to presentations on this important topic.
MD, MPH, FACP, AGSF
Dr. Pawlson has held senior positions in academic medicine, public policy/governmental organizations and the payer community. His primary focus is now on Executive Coaching and leadership development, and he is a coach for the National Academy of Science/National Academy of Medicine Fellowship Programs.
Wendi Wills El-Amin
MD, RCC, TIPC
Wendi Wills El-Amin, M.D. is the Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and is faculty in the Department of Family Medicine at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, a tireless advocate for her students and patients, and a dedicated steward of young physicians and students.
MD, MPH, TIPC
Dr. Black earned her Doctor of Medicine and Master's Degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently on the clinical staff of the Department of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.
Ken Jenkins is a professional emergency manager with extensive experience in planning, logistics, training, deployment, response, and after-action analysis. Ken has built a remarkable track record, successfully preparing for and responding to emergencies, including terrorist attacks.
RN, ACC, TIPC
Dianne Rizzo is an leadership and executive coach, specializing in personal and organizational leadership development. She has over 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry, both as a practicing clinician and as the leader of multidisciplinary teams.
PhD, MSW, TIPC
Dr. Nakae is the Senior Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion, Diversity, and Partnership, and Professor of Medical Education at the California University of Science and Medicine.
MS, ORSCC, TIPC, CNTC, PCC
Floyd Carlson is a Team and Executive Coach with over 35 years of experience leading teams across a range of sectors from manufacturing, military, and technology. He is passionate about developing people so they can be and create the positive impact they want to enable in their organizations.
PhD, RN, FAAN, TIPC
Dr. Johnson is the founding dean of the George Washington University School of Nursing (GWSON), professor emerita and a certified executive coach from the Hudson Institute’s coaching program. Dr. Johnson has previously served as Dean as well as President of two national nursing organizations.
MD, FASA, ACC, TIPC
Dr. Laura Berenstain is a physician, coach, author, and speaker who combines executive leadership coaching with the practice of pediatric cardiac anesthesiology. Dr. Berenstain is an ICF Certified Coach, Fellow of the Institute of Coaching at Harvard McLean Hospital, and volunteer Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Cincinnati.
MS, CPCC, OTR/L, TIPC
Kate is a trauma-informed coach and Occupational Therapist who brings over 30 years of experience in the Healthcare, education, and business worlds. Kate is certified through the Coaches Training Institute and the International Coaches Federation.
MD, CLC, TIPC
Dr. Byerly is an academic anesthesiologist, Certified Life Coach, and published author, and has served in numerous leadership positions throughout her career, including as the Chief of Staff, Medical Director, Chair of Resident Recruitment, and as Chair of The American Society of Anesthesiologists.
Lydia Johnson is a physician with more than 20 years of experience as a Board-Certified dermatologist in academic and private practice settings.
RN, BSN, TIPC
Debbie Beardslee received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Barnes College in 1993. She has spent her career primarily working in critical care across specialties, including at Barnes Hospital (BJC).
B.A., LL.B., ORSCC, TIPC
Trained as a lawyer, mediator and restoration practitioner, Jennifer works in the area of workplace human rights and complaint resolution. She is founder and principal of RESPECT: Conciliation & Education in Toronto, Canada.
MSW, PCC, CPCC, TIPC
Liz Peintner is a certified leader and executive coach and facilitator, and her work centers on amplifying the resilience, self-awareness, and impact of mission-driven leaders and organizations.
Senior Executive, Executive Admin
Special Projects, Executive Office
Clodagh works alongside Dr. K to meet the organizations key objectives and identifies strategic and business planning processes. She also coordinates functions with internal and external constituents to facilitate streamlining Lodestar's service lines.
Sookyung Suh is an organizational change management and human performance expert and researcher. She earned her PhD and master’s degree from Florida State University. She is currently on staff at SIU Medicine, and has been since January 2018.
Dr. Michael Hersh is a Gastroenterologist, husband, father, podcaster, and physician coach,. He coaches physicians on work-life balance, stress management, reducing overwhelm, and feeling more present at home and less annoyed at work.
M.Ed, Anti-Racism Specialist
Kelly Hurst is a national leader in antiracism organizing & training, and a lead facilitator for Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion work around the country. She is teaching faculty at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in the office of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion.
MD, MS, TIPC, MACP
Dr. Lisa LaFollette Ellis is a women's health internal medicine physician and certified chief wellness officer. Dr Ellis began her career in wellness while serving a 4-year term as Governor for Virginia's American College of Physicians (ACP).
Director of Communications
As Lodestar's Communications Director, Neil Gordon draws upon his extensive experience helping experts, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and other visionaries to become the face of a movement.
Elliott (Ellie) Hirshberg
Dr. Hirshberg currently serves as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Utah and is in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care and the Division of Pediatric Critical Care. She is an Adult and Pediatric Critical Care specialist and was a front-line responder in the COVID pandemic.
Sam graduated from Middlebury College in 2023, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Environmental Studies. He is very excited about the opportunity to be joining Lodestar as a Junior Associate into 2024 and looks forward to the opportunities it presents. In his free time, he likes to write and go on long walks and short runs.
Joseph graduated from Middlebury College in May of 2023 where he received a BA in Environmental Studies and Biology with a minor in Global Health. He currently resides in Illinois and is excited to be joining and learning from the Lodestar team through January. In his free time you can find Joseph fishing or deep underwater scuba diving.
Support Staff Manager
Susan Poggio brings two decades of experience in the corporate world in Operations Support and implementing innovative technology-driven solutions. Susan is also the Co-Owner and Proprietor of The Spice Apothecary.
Support Staff, Executive Office
Allison works directly with the Senior Administrator + Special Projects to help streamline processes within Lodestar's operations team.