Finding Your Way with the Institute for Professional Leadership

April 2016

Institute for Professional Leadership

Do you find yourself at a crossroads in your life?  Facing new challenges in your work, a new job or career change, or starting retirement?  The Institute for Professional Leadership can help you find your way through the changes in your life. The Institute offers training, coaching and consulting to individuals as well as to businesses and groups.
Maria Connolly and Nando Raynolds started the Institute in 2011. Between them, they have nearly 50 years of experience in counseling and coaching adults throughout the Rogue Valley.

“At first our trainings focused on personal development, then we incorporated the professional development piece through teaching Life Coaching and NLP,” Nando said.

They offer certification level trainings in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Life Coaching. NLP is an approach that teaches greater self-awareness and effective communication with the goal of changing patterns of behavior. Their upcoming training, “Spiritually Inspired Life Coaching,” offered at the end of April, incorporates NLP principles with spiritual wisdom.”

Maria and Nando have developed a program, “Life In Balance: The Seven Keys,” which is an integral part of their teachings and gives students concrete skills and tools for personal growth. “Our clients expect to get high value for their investment and to be able to apply the skills they learn in our trainings to challenges personally, at home, or at work,” Nando said.

“Our trainings give people the opportunity to develop skills that help them achieve higher levels of success personally and professionally,” added Maria, who moved to the Rogue Valley from northern Italy in 1993 with her husband, Robert Connolly. She began her counseling and coaching practice in 2005. 

Nando has lived in Ashland since 1988, when he moved here from the Bay area with his wife, Sharon Bolles.  “This has been a wonderful community to live and work in over the years,” he says. “We have raised our two children (as well as sheep and chickens) on our farm, while I have been in private practice, offering counseling for adults and couples, and teaching T’ai Chi classes.”
Both Maria and Nando believe in practicing what they teach.

“We are deeply committed to being complete human beings ourselves while helping others,” Maria said. “We also believe in the mind-body connection. We understand that our ideas, beliefs and thoughts about ourselves, others and the world are literally embodied in our physical form. The body is an important source of information about our worldview and a medium for profound transformation.  Often the best way to learn a new skill or perspective is to practice it in the body through movement.”

The Institute is located at 385 E. Main Street, Suite #1, in Ashland. For more info, call (541) 973-9673 or go to