Our Leadership

Leadership Team and Regional Instructor Managers

Each one of our leaders has been with the company to see it grow over the years. They have all contributed in some way to making an impact on communities all across the United States. Learn more about them below and see who is working at the Leaders Institute to better the businesses in our great country.

Doug Staneart, President/CEO

Doug Staneart (Dallas) is the President and CEO of The Leaders Institute, LLC ® and has been a speaker, trainer, and keynote speaker since 1994. He is author of the best-selling books Fearless Presentations, Cultivating Customers, 28 Ways to Influence People, and his newest book, Mastering Presentations. Doug revolutionized team building when he created a way to combine team development with philanthropic service with the Build-A-Bike ® team building workshop. Under Doug’s direction, The Leaders Institute ® has become one of the largest, most popular, and fastest growing training companies in the world. His style and energy make him one of the most popular speakers in the world.

Amy Maybury, Sales Manager & Instructor

Amy Wilson Maybury (Dallas) spent over ten years in business management before becoming a professional facilitator with The Leaders Institute ®. Her natural ability to relate to people on a deeper level, extreme attention to detail, and high level of energy makes her an excellent candidate to deliver powerful performances with lasting memories. Amy’s clients rave about her relentless energy and how she can make any meeting fun!

Ellen Patnaude, Instructor

Ellen Patnaude (Detroit) has been training, motivating and coaching people to higher levels of success in a professional capacity since 1998. Her gift of insight allows her to often see what those with whom she is working are not able to see on their own – what is really getting in the way of their success. Ellen has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Biology and French. Her formal education is overshadowed by the education that she has received from life – living abroad in Paris, France; rural Nicaragua, where she became fluent in Spanish; and some of the US’s depressed urban areas. Ellen’s spark and charisma make her training sessions fun and memorable.

Bill Resh, Instructor

Bill Resh (Asheville, NC) started his career as a secondary school history teacher before taking over the family wholesale distribution business and building it up to a nice regional cornerstone in the industry. Bill retired and sold his business a decade ago and decided to return to his roots as an educator. His specialty is his ability to tailor and customize his programs and events for his customers by focusing on the details that make each client company unique. Bill started out teaching seminars for us, but has also become a favorite of customers leading the high-energy team building events as well. Bill has spoken to audiences from some of the largest companies in the world.

Abigail Walsh, Instructor

Abigail Walsh (Dallas) spent 20 years in corporate leadership and was a senior manager in the Baylor Hospital system before becoming a professional speaker. In each of her management roles, she built a reputation for being a turnaround specialist. At Baylor, Abbie took her department from an under 20% patient satisfaction score to over 97% within her first year. As a result, she was appointed to the Patient Satisfaction Improvement Team for the hospital and awarded the Rose Award for service and excellence. Abbie’s energy and humor makes her an audience favorite. Her experience as a coach has allowed her to be a mentor to the next generation of leaders in many different industries.

Laura Lewis-Barr, Instructor

Laura Lewis-Barr (Chicago) is founder and president of Training for Breakthroughs and is a noted speaker and trainer. Before moving into corporate training Laura taught college drama and worked as a theater director. She is also an award-winning playwright and recently completed a full length film. Laura utilizes her background in theatre and psychology to create high energy presentations that your audience will love. She has been teaching and training adults for over 13 years. Laura is currently publishing her “Emotional Intelligence Card Deck–52 Reflections for managers and their teams”.

Fiona Dawson, Instructor

Fiona Dawson (New York) is a passionate believer in the power of soft-skills. Since 2000 she has been facilitating a broad range of curriculum from energizing team building events, insightful team culture workshops to presentations skills classes. She is a sought-after keynote speaker and adept at customizing programs for diversity & inclusion awareness. Originally from the U.K., Fiona lived and worked in Bangladesh, Portugal and India before emigrating to the U.S. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and has several continuing education credentials.

Candace Cox, Instructor

Candace Cox (Las Vegas) has 15 years of on-air radio experience, mostly as a traffic and news reporter. Candace has also worked as an on-camera television host, emcee, actor and voice-over talent. Candace’s on-air experience makes her a favorite of audiences because of her humor and energy, and she has successfully transferred these talents to the business world to train other professionals.

Chris McNeany, Instructor

Chris McNeany (Los Angeles) has been teaching and coaching in the corporate world for over eight years. He graduated with a B.A. in English, and he started his career teaching English in Ecuador for several years. He also has a background in acting and improvisation through the Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles and has appeared in a number of commercials and movies. His enthusiasm and energy are contagious and his clients give him rave reviews. His diverse background allows him to connect quickly with his audience, and his humor always leaves the group wanting more.

Toby Martini, Instructor

Toby Martini (Tampa) Well, it’s no joke that straddling the two worlds of business and entertainment made Toby a highly sought after trainer and coach who teaches the skills and challenges of Improv Comedy to corporate CEOs, management and employees. The skills needed to be funny and entertaining are valuable in the business world, as Toby learned first hand while working at several Fortune 500 companies – and as hundreds of graduates of Toby’s workshops will attest.

Susan Schoenfeld, Instructor

Susan Schoenfeld (Milwaukee) has worked as a Professional Development Director at a large law firm, Training Manager in a healthcare organization, Curriculum Designer for a non-profit, and College Professor at several universities. She has been coaching clients, presenting workshops and speaking professionally for over 20 years.  With an MA in Communication and experience acting in professional theatre, Susan’s training sessions are dynamic, fun, informative and targeted to the needs of her customer! 

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Corporate Office:
The Leaders Institute ®
1804 Owen Ct, Suite 120
Mansfield, TX 76063
Phone: (800) 872-7830

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