Sarah Smyrk, RCC™, CLF®, CCMP®
Maximizing Your Leadership Potential
Sarah’s career is driven by her desire to understand and relate to people. Throughout her career she has worked in many roles to help business leaders drive product and program strategies that are rooted in strong relationships, made by data-driven decisions, and centered around the holistic customer experience. She is passionate about working closely with individuals to help them achieve top levels of success and take their business to the next level while providing an outstanding client experience. Using her leadership skills and experience as a Registered Corporate Coach™ (RCC), she has excelled at helping teams build and implement programs that help strengthen and reinforce goals and top priorities.
Sarah joined Northwestern Mutual in 2016 and has held several leadership roles across the organization. In her current role, Sarah is responsible for helping enterprise teams effectively execute on multi-year strategy initiatives and ensuring alignment on change readiness plans across business partners and the organization. Sarah currently holds several industry designations including FINRA Registrations Series 7, 63, 9, and 10 and her Chartered Leadership Fellow (CLF®) through the American College. She is certified through PROSCI as a Change Management Professional (CCMP®) and LaMarsh Global as a Certified Change Practitioner. In December (2023), Sarah will earn her Masters degree from The University of Alabama with a concentration in Organizational Leadership.
Previously, Sarah was with CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, WI, from 2007-2016, where she was responsible for leading the strategy and execution of training initiatives for CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI) and its financial advisors. In addition, she was responsible for training for CUNA Mutual Group’s Life, Annuity and Health Product Sales Teams. While at CUNA Mutual Group, she developed and led CBSI’s Women of Distinction program, a group of the company’s top female financial advisors. The group focused on mentoring advisors who were either new to organization or to the industry.
Sarah lives in Madison, WI with her husband Sam and dog Andy. She was recognized by Madison’s InBusiness Magazine as “40 Under 40”, is a competitive bodybuilder, enjoys working out, and always being active.
Communication & Delegation Skills
Jeff Russell, (MS, UW-Madison) co-director of Russell Consulting, Inc., specializes in helping organizations achieve their goals by successfully responding to the challenges of continuous change. With a focus on leadership, strategic thinking, leading change, and performance coaching, Jeff has guided organizations as diverse as Fortune 500 firms, social and public sector organizations, and small family businesses toward their goals. Jeff received his Masters Degree in Industrial Relations from the UW-Madison where he serves as an ad hoc faculty member for the Small Business Development Center. Jeff also is an adjunct faculty member at UW-Milwaukee, and UW–LaCrosse.
Jeff and his wife and business partner Linda have co-authored nine books. Recent publications include: Change Training, Strategic Planning Training, Change Basics, Strategic Planning 101, Ultimate Performance Management, and, most recently, Fearless Performance Reviews (McGraw-Hill, 2012). For more information on Jeff and his work, visit Russell Consulting, Inc.’s website at www.RussellConsultingInc.com.
Positive Power Plays: Skills for Conflict & Negotiation
Patricia Clason is a communicator of the highest skill. She has been a professional speaker, trainer, consultant and writer for thirty years, doing over 4,000 presentations internationally. As the Director of the Center for Creative Learning, her focus is on alternative methods of teaching and learning that produce high quality results. As adjunct faculty at three universities, she specializes in emotional intelligence, ethics, coaching, leadership and mediation/conflict resolution. Patricia’s latest book “Speaking of Success” co-authored with Stephen Covey, Jack Canfield and Ken Blanchard, is now available at her website: Center for Creative Learning.