The image at left is the home in Louvieres, France, where I first learned about foreign cultures and developed my love of all things international.
I am a Culture Transition Strategist with almost 20 years experience in sales, marketing and customer service, working with cross-cultural teams and speak 6 languages. I offer solutions to individuals and businesses to help you transition and adapt to new cultures and cross-cultural teams. Whether you are relocating domestically or internationally, or simply unable to create synergy to accomplish goals within your team, I can help you navigate the core set of social, personal, and professional challenges that stand in the way. I also help individuals start new busineses to bring career fulfillment to your life wherever in the world you live.I am the Founder of The Expat Coach Association and The Expat Coach Directory whose missions are to further knowledge about the Expat Coaching Industry and create a community for this niche of coaches.
I developed an understanding of the issues that develop with settling into a new life from traveling and living abroad for much of my life.. I also have had the pleasure of working with people from many different countries and cultures, each of whom gave me insight into their worlds, our differences, and our similarities. I love working with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, helping them to feel at home away from home. I have always loved challenging people's perceptions and inspiring them to follow their dreams to create the life they want for themselves.
In corporate life, I was selected as a team leader to help discover and address employee/team disatisfaction, and then work with management to improve overall employee morale which resulted in an improved work culture and on-the-job satisfaction. My experience in sales, marketing, customer service, added to creating my own business and investing in both business and internet marketing training allows me to bring all this expertise to anyone looking to start a business, or improve an existing one.
I received my Bachelor's degree from The George Washington University, with a focus on International Relations at the Elliot School of International Affairs. I received my Coaching Certification from Coaching that Works. I've been blessed in my life to work, live, and travel overseas which exposed me to multiple cultures, languages, and work styles. It also helped me gather friends all over the world! I have studied in England (the London School of Economics), France (Reid Hall and La Sorbonne) and Italy (Centro di Cultura Italiana). I have worked in Switzerland and France.
One of the most profound experiences of my life was living with a farm family in Bayeux, (Normandie) France as a teenager. I went there as an only child who spent her entire life growing up in Manhattan, and found myself surrounded by 8 siblings, 2 dogs, and about 30 cows for the summer. Speaking only intermediate French when I went over, there were lots of miscommunications, and I felt powerless with my inability to communicate complete thoughts, and frustrated at not being able to understand when I was spoken to. One night, I realized I could speak French if I just let go of trying to speak it perfectly. This helped me break through the language barrier. Once I got over my fear, I was unstoppable, and joined the family in laughter and began to engage in my surrounings. I milked my first cow, and even had one follow me around like a 2-ton puppy all summer. The deep joy and satisfaction of learning to communicate in another language, and embrace my surroundings led me to understand there is immense power in listening, understanding, and in finding a positive anchor in a challenging situation. This can often lead to a more positive perception, which in turn, leads to transitioning fear and negativity into joy and possibilities. Knowing that I can do this for myself makes me confident that I can bring this wonderful experience to others. You can read more about my time in France by clicking here.
After this experience, I became obsessed with living and traveling overseas. I spent a summer working in Zug, Switzerland, and for my Junior year of college, I lived in England, France, and Italy. After I graduated, I got a job working for France Telecom in Paris. Since I had so much international experience, I figured the transition would be extremely easy. I was in for a big shock. From the first week, where I faced French bureacracy in trying to rent an apartment, resulting in my carrying $3,000 cash in the metro, to the difficulty of making close friends throughout my stay, it was, at times, heartbreaking and depressing, and at other times, full of triumphs. One of the best things I ever did was to take Adult Continuing Education classes which exposed me to many people from different countries and helped me to make new friends.
All through my working career, I have been blessed with working with Expats and got to experience all their difficulties settling in to a new life, and trying to help make this easier for them.
I have received so much generosity from foreigners, that I feel a calling to help as many as I can in return, as well as to help others dealing with the difficulties that surface as a result of transitioning cultures.
"The biggest value I got from coaching with Heather was repeatedly going to mining depths I never knew existed...."
Steve Rozengauz, International Entrepreneur
"Heather's laser sharp inner vision helps her see right to the heart of any matter....."