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The President's Message

ICF South Florida Member Update



Bringing The GLF 2018 Recognition Award Home to Our South Florida Chapter...cont.

On This past March 16th 2018, current president Matthew Hoelscher, and VP president elect Angela De Sousa, had the honor of receiving and bringing home the award, from Vancouver, Canada where GLF 2018 was being held.

“We thank our past president Clare for leading us into a winner chapter, to our members for being the biggest part of our community and to all the great hard work our volunteer board keeps doing for us to be here today, Thanks!”


2017 has been an exciting year!

ICF SF 2017 Achievement Award!

Congratulations to the ICF South Florida Chapter for being among the elite!

The chapter was recognized for its outstanding membership activity in 2017. 

"It is so refreshing to see ICF Chapters innovate and create unrivaled value for their members and clients. The depth of creativity and the scope of ideas generated are quite awe-inspiring. What's most important is that the chapters and their leaders can learn from one another and leverage these successful approaches. I am truly impressed with all the winners and delighted to see what new ideas we will be celebrating next year," ICF CEO/Executive Director Magdalena N. Mook said.

Clare Merlo - Newsletter Fourth
ICF Global Event in Boca!
Matthew Hoelscher

End of Year Round Up!

My sincerest thanks to all of our 88 members of ICF South Florida for making 2017 a memorable year!

My tenure as President has been a wonderful and enriching experience.I have met so many new and experienced coaches from all over the world. As the VP of Marketing and Communication for two years prior, my entry into ICF Global Leadership began in 2016 at the Charlotte NC Global Leadership conference. I learned about the structure supporting each chapter, the network of knowledge and experience that I could tap into and was memorably introduced to Design Thinking and Human Centered Design by Kate Canales. 

The 2017 Global Leadership conference was equally exciting and filled with networking and learning. Our colleagues all over the world deal with the same issues of providing engaging content to our members for retention and value, and hearing about happiness and the future of city states run by women! (Urban Express by Kjell Nordstrom). Matt, as VP, President Elect and I were able to travel to Warsaw, Poland to experience this incredible event. 

To live vicariously, check out these videos :

Our chapter will be ably represented in March in Vancouver, Canada by Matt Hoelscher, President and Angela de Sousa, VP, President Elect in 2018! 

2017 brought a mix of business growth, core competency training and outreach to our community through the World Happiness Summit and our Coaching Week Ignite Partnership. 

Already our awesome programming team has scheduled . . . 
January 25 - Winning Corporate Clients and Contracts with Angelique Rewers, CEO

February 22, REAL Coaching Will Change the World and Thrive as a Professional Coach with Dave Buck, Master Certified Coach and the CEO of CoachVille – details coming soon!

Both North and South venues to reach the broadest audience, so please plan on attending! 

I want to thank my Board for all of your awesome contributions to our Chapter. Your generosity and collaborative work style made my job easy! Special thanks to Paula, who took control of our membership initiatives, Loubna and Angela, and early in the year Joe Cruz who brought us quality webinars and events, Bari who reconnected with her inner CFO and took over Treasury, Urs who drove our sponsorship, marketing and communication activities, Marcelo for bringing quality Spanish speaking events, Sarah for her sage advice – and last but not least Matt, who in addition to organizing our Coaching Week event, brought years of Board experience to our Chapter. 

Overall my dear Board members, I was most impressed during our big events when everyone on the Board jumped in and our volunteers got involved! Making each event a big, fun collaborative effort.  

I look forward to a wonderful coach-filled 2018! 

Out-going President.

Our new Board:

     President, Matthew Hoelscher, PCC
     Vice President, President Elect, Angela de Sousa, ACC
     VP of Programming North – Sivan Katz, ACC in progress
     VP of Membership, Paula Holland de Long, ACC
     VP of Programming South, Loubna Noureddin, PCC
     VP of Community Outreach & Board Advisor – Bari Schanerman, ACC
     VP of Marketing & Communication, Urs Brunner, ACC
     Secretary – Mesha-Gay Walker, ACC in progress
     Treasurer – Clare Merlo, PCC acting
     Past President, Clare Merlo, PCC
     Board Advisor, Marcelo Bianchi-Montana, PCC
     Board Advisor, Sarah Gillet Couto, PCC

August Updates

ICF South Florida continued to expand our community outreach through our participation in March at the World Happiness Summit in Miami - providing attendees with Continuing Education Hours and hosting a booth. Our booth received a lot of attention and we were able to make many new coaching friends. Member Valerie Freilich was our liaison and opened up the opportunity for us to work with the Summit and its founder Luis Gallardo - ICF SF continues to 'spread the word about coaching'!

For International Coaching Week in May, our partnership with Ignite was super exciting and we are planning a bigger event in 2018. Read all about it below International Coaching Week

As the only certified coach on a panel discussion – Does everyone need a coach? – on AM radio on July 2, 2017, I was able to speak about ICF, ICF South Florida, the benefits to members and our Find a Coach website feature for potential clients to find the best coach for their needs, in their native language 

Matt Hoelscher,VP of ICF SF, and I attended the Global Leadership Conference in Warsaw Poland in March. We were able to connect with ICF Chapter Leaders from around the world and share best practices. Next year's conference will be in Vancouver. Our new President and VP, President Elect will attend. Stay tuned for upcoming election news!

In addition to leading the chapter, I am working with one of our seasoned coaches, Barbara Perino, PCC, to bring a business building/mentoring program to Our Developing Coaches. Be on the lookout for a quick survey. We want your help in designing our program.

Continue to check out our website for more info about events and great content. 

Hope to see you soon!

President ICF South Florida


• Andrew Sercombe Webinar:  Never The Same Again
• Denise Hedges: SELLING without Hype or Manipulation: Using Core Competencies
• Chris Pearse Webinar: Coaching For Self-Awareness with Chris Pearse
• Mariano Vazquez, Master Certified Coach - MCC Camino a la Maestría por (Spanish Event) Thanks Marcelo, VP Latin American Programming for introducing us to Mariano, MCC who shared his wisdom
• Steve Panowyk, Coaching Leaders to Lead Culture Evolution
• Suzie Hise Webinar: Coaching Through the Harrison Assessment
• Ignite Miami Event:  
• Gregg Levoy:  Callings: The Power Of Passionate Work
• Sheri Boone and Jamee Tenzer:  Webinar: Mentor Coaching Mastery

Phew, and that was just the first half of the year! Thanks to Angela de Sousa, VP Programming North, Loubna Noureddin, VP Programming South, and Urs Brunner, our masterful communications and marketing VP!

More Communication, More Content 

Watch for our Monday morning and Weekend inspirational messages. Let us know what you think. 

More Meetup Opportunities

August 30, 2017, 3 simultaneous Coach Coffee meetups in Boca Raton, Aventura and Doral. Quite a few members want us to provide more community to our coaching community. Bring your ideas for a hot coaching topic or discuss a challenging client situation. (Of course, always ensuring client confidentiality – no names or distinguishing data). A Board member will sponsor to keep you up to date on ICF Global and Regional Initiatives.

• Summer Social: August 17, 2017

• October Surprise: October 17, 2017 Meet an ICF Global Board member – bring your questions and suggestions!

Holiday Social: Early December

More contact: Find out more about us and Find and Hire a Coach to engage in your own personal transformation –

Stay tuned for upcoming events and get on our mailing list


Are you a member of ICF Global, but not the ICF South Florida Chapter? If so, we would like to invite you to a coffee or a quick phone call to speak to you about our chapter. 

Our members are actively working together on projects and opportunities relevant to our local coaching community, such as The World Happiness Summit, International Coaching Week, and support for Developing Coaches. Chapter benefits include discounts on events, lots of great networking, and a variety of meeting options. 

Click the JOIN US tab at for more info, or email to start the process and begin experiencing the benefits.

International Coaching Week

Through the International Coaching Week, ICF South Florida wanted to engage the broader community, to let them hear from coaches about their powerful personal transformation. We partnered with Ignite, a fast-paced geek event whose by line is: Enlighten us, but make it quick – 20 slides, which automatically advance every 15 seconds. The result is a fast and fun presentation which lasts just 5 minutes. Alex de Carvalho was our guide, having put on many successful Ignite Miami events.

Ignite’s mission is “Everyone Speaks” based on the belief that public speaking builds confidence in individuals and that events like Ignite build community. Their goal is to make it possible for anyone, anywhere, to learn to present their ideas and their stories. Ignite is also about having fun, aims to stomp out “death by PowerPoint”.

A huge THANK YOU to our Speakers at the Joint ICF South Florida and Ignite event recognizing International Coaching Week – a global celebration of the profession of coaching. Each speaker shared their engaging and uplifting Personal Transformation stories – for one of the best received events from our ICF SF Chapter in 2017.

• Matthew W. Hoelscher, PCC - How to Make Love Last In Marriage .

• Paula Holland De Long, ACC - Should It Take Facing Death to Learn How to Live? Dare to Live What Matters Now.

• Sven Gade, ACC - I was a Sunshine Captain

• Bari Schanerman, ACC - Seriously, Where is my Happy Island?

• Zeina Darwich, pursuing ACC - Listen to Your Inner Voice to Find Your Passion!

• Shannon Egan - It's Not the Job. It's YOU!

• Virginia A Jimenez - How I Made Love After War

• Anne Molina - Finding Career Fulfillment

ICF Global:

Clare Merlo, President ICF South Florida presented a quick ICF ‘commercial’ by sharing a few facts and the benefits of being a part of our community! 

ICF started in 1995, now 30,000+ members! 

20,000+ Certified Coaches – Urs Brunner, VPMarketing & Communication for ICF South Florida makes it 20,001 having just received his ACC. At an average of 11 clients at any one time, coaches coach millions of people a year! Helping people reach their full potential. 

ICF gives us the infrastructure to support us as coaches – Coaching Competencies, Body of Knowledge, Ethics

ICF Certification shows the world that we are Professionals. As of the International Coaching Study of 2016, verage hourly rate for coaches in the world is $231

Join us to help spread the word about the power of coaching!

If you missed the Ignite event you can check out all the speaker videos here.   Feel free to share!

We will do this again next year and we want more speakers, more transformation, more coaches and more connection at the 2018 Ignite. If you want to be involved email

Paula Holland de Long’s Story

The Ignite South Florida event took me out of my comfort zone.

I’ll confess. Even though I speak a lot and love being on stage, the idea of having only 5 minutes and 20 slides to share my story about the personal transformation I experienced in the wake of breast cancer was a little scary. OK a lot scary. It felt risky. Like stretching out of my comfort zone. Like being encouraged to walk my talk. In short, it was just like what I challenge my clients to do. How could I not step up?

I am so glad that I did. It felt wonderful to be on the stage talking how finding life coaching changed my life, and seeing the heads of the audience nodding along.

It was also extremely powerful for me to hear the life-shaping experiences, passions, and unique perspectives of the other speakers (we had 8 total) and to learn how coaching had transformed them. We all got to see a new side of each other, and you could feel the buzz in the room after the performances ended.


Want to be a Roving photographer? or a reporter for ICF South Florida? or a   Content Creator? Contact for more details.



Priority Call for Speakers
Directed to ICF South Florida Members

Speak at Ignite May 17, 2017
Respond within next two days for priority consideration as a speaker!

Clare Merlo - Newsletter Third

ICF Coaching Week

For almost two decades, International Coaching Week (ICW) has served as an opportunity to spotlight the incredible contributions professional coaching has made throughout the world, celebrate another year of successes and look ahead to the future of coaching.

• Currently have: 131 chapters and charter chapters in more than 70 countries
• Compared to March, 2016: 125 chapters in 60 countriesICW also serves as an incredible opportunity to spotlight our members, who everyday promote the profession of coaching and, through a commitment to excellence, create a positive culture of coaching. The success of ICW is truly a partnership between our members, our chapters, our regions, and our global teams, and we hope you are as excited as we are about the opportunity to collaborate on a global celebration.

ICF South Florida – Ignite Partnership

The International Coaching Federation South Florida Chartered Chapter (ICFSF) has teamed up with Ignite Miami to co-sponsor an Ignite Event During Coaching Week, May 17th, 2017 at 7 PM at Art Serve in Fort Lauderdale.

Our Theme this year is “Personal Transformation”.

How did COACHING shape your Big Personal Transformation? What was your experience?

It’s the thing that excites you, fires you up, widens your eyes, makes you talk a little faster, and gives you that rush of empowerment. It is want leads many into the field of professional coaching.

What’s yours? We want to hear about it!

Ignite provides a platform to share these life-shaping experiences, passions, and unique perspectives. Whatever your topic is (as long as it’s PG-13 or lower and not a sales pitch), share it with us by applying to be a speaker.

Once submissions close, our team of judges will go through an in-depth process to select 8-12 speakers that will be featured at the event.

Presenter Requirements 

Each selected speaker will need to do the following:
  • Speak about your topic for five minutes in front of a crowd
  •Create a 20-slide presentation to support your talk
  • Attend a presenter webinar training session before the event
  • Arrive at the event 1 hour before show time
  • Avoid pitching or advertising for a product or business (including your own)
  • Allow your submission, presentation, and a video of your talk to be posted online (your email address and phone number will be kept private if you wish)
  • Agree to abide by our Privacy Policy


Submission Deadline: Saturday, April 22nd at 5 PM!

We know its not much time. It will only take 10 minutes to apply to speak. If chosen, you will have 2 weeks to get your deck of slides ready!



Presentations will be due by Saturday May 13th at 5 PM!

Ignite Miami Watch What Others Have Done!

Do these people inspire you? Do you have something to share? You can place your submission now for Ignite #19. Learn more about Ignite Miami

Clare Merlo, PCC, MBA
President, ICF-South Florida  

The President's Message


April… ICF is “Leading into the Future”

Reporting headlines from the Global Leaders Forum (March 23-26) in Warsaw, Poland

Clare Merlo - Newsletter Third

ICF Membership grows—
• 30,000 members from 140 countries
• Credential milestone last year: 20,000 ICF Credential-holders

Chapters are added — Arkansas-Oklahoma, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Jordan, North Florida, and Tunisia
• Currently have: 131 chapters and charter chapters in more than 70 countries
• Compared to March, 2016: 125 chapters in 60 countries

Regional Advisory Councils develop to—
• Bridge between ICF Chapters and Global (ICF-South Florida, Matthew Hoelscher, VP and Clare Merlo, President  met with the Southeast RAC in Warsaw)
• Work to create synergy in regions and offer guidance on how to best serve members in local communities

ICF Global Leaders Meet and Strategize—
• First year in 2016 in Charlotte, NC: 170 leaders from 56 countries
• This year in 2017 in Warsaw, Poland:  203 leaders from 68 countries

Strategic Plan to Expand the Scope and Influence of ICF by—
• Establishing a Thought Leadership Institute to capture what coaching is today and inform our decisions for the future
• Expanding activities of the ICF Foundation – Ignite - Partnering with the United Nations - 
• Creating offerings for organizations and corporations building coaching cultures - Prism

More details about these exciting headlines will be shared in our upcoming Program meetings, website and newsletter updates.  I invite you to help our chapter continue the journey of ICF to ‘lead into the future’ with Excellence, Relevance and a Strong global voice!

Speak up, volunteer and share your ideas with me at 
Clare Merlo, PCC, MBA
President, ICF-South Florida  

South Florida Charter Chapter Announces
2017 Membership Renewal Drive!

Members and Non-Members alike are welcome.


Continue to enjoy the credibility, community, and opportunities for continuous development that come with identifying yourself as a member of the world’s largest community of professionally trained coaches as and ICG Global member, plus enjoy local chapter benefits that include discounted or free admission to our networking and educational events; your profile in our Find a Coach directory; and Involvement in projects and opportunities relevant to our local coaching community.

To renew, watch your inbox for an email from the reminding you to renew, or login to your ICF South Florida Chapter account and follow the prompts. 

Not a Member Yet?

We would love to help you attain the fabulous benefits membership with ICF South Florida. You can easily learn how to join here. Once you submit your application, one of our board members will respond to you.    

Both Members and Non-Members

The South Florida Chapter membership is separate from the ICF Global membership, and has a separate discounted fee of $60.00.  

If you have any questions please reach out the ICF South Florida VP of Membership, Paula Holland De Long, at or 954-565-6894.

ICF South Florida Charter Chapter Call for Volunteers! 

THE WORLD HAPPINESS SUMMIT, March 17-19, 2017, Downtown Miami

Volunteers are needed to man the ICF booth during the World Happiness Summit event. Email Joe Cruz at for more info.


Volunteer  one hour in March and one hour in April to make phone calls to remind people to renew their membership. Email Paula Holland De Long at


Ignite Event (it’s like a mini TEDx). Details to come. 

Welcome 2017!
New Year, New Board, New Ideas . . .

Dear Chapter Members and Guests!

So excited to be a part of our ICF South Florida Board and leading our chapter in 2017. Providing value to our members through quality programming and furthering the exciting growth of coaching as a profession are key initiatives for 2017. ICF Global is worldwide with now over 30,000 members in 120 Chapters! And we are an integral part of this community!

Many thanks to the great group of folks who manned the operation of the ICF South Florida Chapter in 2016 making last year one of our best. Odile Carru, who was our President 2015 – 2016, and Sarah Gillet Couto, who took over the Presidency when Odile relocated her family and business to Montreal. Sarah will continue to be an active member of our Board as Past President, allowing for the all-important continuity of knowledge and energy! Deborah, moved to Jacksonville for a new business opportunity but continues as our virtual treasurer (Thanks Deborah!). . . Marcello who after 6 years in various roles, most recently as VP of Membership and Programming for our Latin community, will now be an Advisor to the Board. . . Marla Grant, as VP of Membership, and Thom Qafzezi and Zita Delvic as Board Advisors all contributed to our success in 2016 which is very much appreciated!

Our new Board:

     President, Clare Merlo, PCC
     Vice President, President Elect, Matt Hoelscher, PCC
     VP of Programming North – Joe Cruz, ACC
     VP of Membership, Paula Holland de Long, ACC
     VP of Programming South, Loubna Noureddin, PCC
     VP of Community Outreach & Board Advisor - vacant
     VP of Marketing & Communication, Urs Brunner, ACC
     Treasurer, Secretary, Deborah Eckhoff has graciously agreed to support us while we recruit for 2017
     Past President, Sarah Gillet Couto, ACC
Learn more about our Board of Directors here.

In addition to continuing our successful monthly webinar series introduced in 2016 by Joe Cruz, we will host live events, both content driven and social, with a regional focus. We know how hard it is to travel from Miami to Boca or vice versa, so we will do our best to bring that content closer to you! Loubna Noureddin has taken on the role of VP of Programming South, so her focus will be on organizing events in Miami! Joe will also continue seeking out  great speakers as the VP of Programming North

We are listening! At our holiday party we learned that many of you joined this ICF Chapter to be a part of the coaching community and to learn and share information. To that end we are introducing coffee meetups and coach sponsored dinners – details to follow! Thank you to our event and webinar attendees who have taken part in our post-event surveys, providing lots of ideas for future events that we are now reviewing.

New members can expect a call from Paula, VP of Membership, or her team, to speak with you about your membership needs as well as to engage you in becoming more active in the chapter. Urs Brunner, VP of Marketing and Communication will work to increase coaching awareness in the community through the expanded engagement with the media. He will also be hosting a few of our new Coffee Meetups in Miami to encourage greater community and sharing. Matt Hoelscher, as our VP, will spearhead programming for Coaching Week as well as create an eBook/Directory of our Credentialed Member Coaches that will be made available to the community. Matt brings his extensive experience as a former ICF Board Member.  Joe and Urs will also play a part in community outreach.

In addition to leading the chapter, I will work with our seasoned coaches to bring a business building/mentoring program to Our Developing Coaches. As the details of our year firm up, we will keep you posted, but please check out our website for more info about events and great content.

Hope to see you soon!


President ICF South Florida