COSIA RETREAT AND ANNUAL CONFERENCE PAST PRESENTERS



Robin Devonish
Robin DevonishRobin DevonishRobin Devonish is an author, lecturer and instructor who provides in-depth presentations on topics discussing the publishing industry, philanthropy and human services as well as business administration. As an entrepreneur, her services have been delivered in person during intensive boot camps and remotely during webinars and online classrooms. For more than two decades, Robin has worked with major organizations to secure over $2 million for literary projects that enhance writing and reading experiences. With her hands-on guidance, Robin has helped over a dozen writers become professional authors. Their published books have received rave reviews and sold thousands of paperback and digital copies.







Annette Johnson

Annette JohnsonAnnette JohnsonAnnette Johnson, The FLY Coach, is a motivational speaker, empowerment and leadership coach for women, and international radio show host. Annette has spent over 20 years in a fortune 500 company, traveling the world, helping leaders strengthen their skills. Today, Annette uses her corporate experience to help women unleash their leadership potential. Annette believes that every woman is a leader. She has a keen ability to connect with women using her authentic and humorous style. She believes that leadership does not end or begin with a title. Effective leadership requires an inside-out approach. Annette says, “If you want to see yourself more clearly, look inward.” She discovered that leadership is essential for empowered living and personal success. Annette uses personal development tools, life coaching principles, and strategic planning concepts to help clients create a vision, personal mission statement, and action plan. Learn more about Annette at www.theflycoach.com.

Her credentials include:

• BS, Organizational Leadership - Nyack School of Business and Leadership
• iPEC Graduate and Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner
• Over 20 years experience in leadership development for corporate and non-profit organizations
• Author of "FLY - Forgive and Love Yourself: A Path to Letting Go and Living with Inner Peace"
• Women’s empowerment radio show, FLY Conversation, which airs live every 1st & 3rd Sunday, at 7 - 8 pm, est. on BlogTalkRadio.com.
• Certified in Meditation, Conflict Dynamics, MBTI, and 360 Degree Feedback


Elizabeth Franceschi

Elizabeth FranceschiElizabeth FranceschiAfter serving 25 years at the New York City Fire Department, rising to the rank of Captain and surviving 911, Elizabeth Franceschi quickly learned the true essence of leadership. Based on her valuable lessons and leadership principles, she now teaches fellow leaders how to turn failures into successes. Her achievements include leading seven specialty units within FDNY which include, but are not limited to, FDNY HazTac Battalion, FDNY Fire Dignitary Protection, and FDNY Fire Department Operations Center.

Additionally, in the 2008, she contributed to Toastmaster International, a public speaking, non-profit organization by serving on the Toastmaster Advisory Board. Moreover in 2009, FDNY nominated her for the DCAS Leadership Institute, where she created and led and “FDNY/EMS Employee Retention Intiative”. And most recently, in 2013, Elizabeth led Dignity Universal’s Pioneers, a youth leadership group. Her continuous involvement in leadership sparked a deep passion for discussing and teaching leadership theories, concepts, and frameworks that has continued to develop even further.
As a result of her interest, in 2013, Elizabeth founded the Leadership Mastery Academy (LMA), a leadership academy where leaders meet to learn and develop their personal and professional leadership skills. Her personal mission is to bring out the leadership within each individual. Today, Elizabeth leads workshops with COSIA (New York Chapter), and the Hunter Business School, where she shares how she became the recipient of the 911 Rescuer Award and Hurricane Sandy Ribbon.


Meagan McLeod

Meagan McLeodMeagan McLeodMeagan McLeod is the Divine Natural Abilities, (D.N.A.) Coach. Meagan McLeod is a career expert who teaches people how to use their D.N.A., which is their talents and passion, to create the career of their dreams. The brilliant thing about any person’s D.N.A. is that you cannot lose it and no one can take it. Each person is born with it.

Meagan McLeod used her D.N.A to develop a 10-year career in the music business. She knew she wanted to be in the music business since she was a child and people tried to discourage her. But, as she will explain to anyone, music is in her D.N.A so she could not ignore it. After graduation, her career in music began at a radio station and then she worked for several record companies which her last position was as a Sales Promotions Representative with Warner Music Group working with everyone from T.I. to James Blunt.

Since leaving the music business, she started her own business, Meagan McLeod Communications. Meagan McLeod Communications has provided event presentations on key topics for over two years. Meagan McLeod is a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary with a Master’s degree in Arts and Religion and Bachelor’s degree from Temple in Speech Communication. She has motivated audiences as a keynote speaker at the Wealth Symposium, Philadelphia Success Fair and guest speakers at West Chester Teen Programs and The Philadelphia Artist United speaker series. Meagan has published an article in FunTimes African and Caribbean Magazine and the author of the book entitled “Hope – The Other Four Letter Word.”



Karen Baker Blum

Karen Baker BlumKaren Baker BlumStoryteller, muse, humorist and entrepreneur, Karen Baker Blum is truly larger than life. Dismissed from her 8th grade homeroom for being a “catalyst”, Karen chose to capitalize on her natural abilities to wake people up by selecting a career rooted in her love of people: speaking and training.

Karen has a genetic predisposition to sales, coming from a lineage of legendary fundraisers and salesmen. She chose to go the route of selling people on their own potential, engaging their imagination in creating their dreams and aspirations on the ground, in real time. She has lived her life this way and knows both experientially and intuitively that it works.

A mad scientist in her own right, Karen has experimented in life’s own laboratory of adventures, searching for the lifestyles and challenges that bear witness to her personal philosophy, “Life is one high after another.” Living overseas, creating businesses, marrying at 42 and giving birth at 45 are only a few of her dreams come true.

Karen’s life’s work is expanding peace and prosperity through a lighthearted, yet highly functional approach to building women business leaders for the home front and the world stage.

What Karen might not tell you about herself is that she loves to shock people and is a "lie-down” comedienne who finds herself funniest when she lies down in bed with her husband.


Lucinda Cross

Lucinda CrossLucinda CrossLucinda Cross is a powerful, inspirational, and thought-provoking speaker. Her wonderful sense of humor and no-nonsense approach empowers individuals to step into greatness.

As “Mom-entrepreneur” and “business midwife,” Lucinda Cross of Yonkers, New York, was motivated to start her own business while she was working frantically in the 9 to 5 corporate world and shuffling her children back and forth to daycare. The routine was not healthy for her or for her kids: 45 minutes of daily quality time with them was not enough! Cross was stressed, overworked, underpaid, and dissatisfied.

Fast forward to 2012, when Cross is a successful speaker, author, small-business start-up expert, and a mom who has achieved work/life balance. Cross has been featured on ABC, NBC, WLIB, the Al Sharpton Show, over 100 blog talk radio shows, and on several blogs such as Babble.com, Top 50, Mompreneurs, and others.

Cross’s first book, Corporate Mom Dropouts (2009), has helped start-up “mom-entrepreneurs” turn their dreams of owning a business into reality. The book is written in three sections to imitate the trimesters of pregnancy, from inception to a healthy, full-term business.

Cross’s life has been filled with wonderful and varied experiences. She has been a single mother, a “Mom-entrepreneur,” a marketing strategist, a mentor, and a writer. She now uses her wisdom and insight to motivate moms to create better lives, better communities, and better businesses. She hopes to release her second book, The Road to Redemption: Overcoming Life's Challenges, in 2012.


Tracey Laszloffy

Tracey LaszloffyTracey LaszloffyTracey A. Laszloffy, PhD, maintains a private practice in individual, couple, and family therapy in Norwich, Connecticut. Tracey received her master's and doctoral degrees in marriage and family therapy (MFT) from Syracuse University in New York. She has over 15 years of experience as a therapist and has been a professor of family therapy within accredited MFT graduate programs at Syracuse University, the University of Connecticut, Seton Hill University (Pennsylvania), and Alliant International University (San Diego, California). She also has served as the clinical training coordinator for the marriage and family therapy master's and doctoral programs at Northcentral University (Arizona).

In addition to being a prominent relationship therapist, Tracey has extensive experience as a trainer, consultant, faculty coach, and clinical supervisor, and she has presented family therapy workshops and seminars both nationally and internationally on healing the wounds of trauma and oppression, working with troubled adolescents and their families, and promoting culturally sensitive approaches to therapy. She also has published extensively in academic journals and has coauthored three books. Tracey is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) in Connecticut, Arizona, and Pennsylvania, and she is a Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor with the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).


Maggie Mistal

Maggie MistalMaggie MistalCNN dubbed Maggie Mistal, "one of the nation's best known career coaches." She is a certified life purpose and career coach and hosts "Making a Living with Maggie" every Friday at 4 p.m. EST on SIRIUS 112 and XM 157.

Maggie’s passion is her career consulting practice, working with people to “soul search, research, and job search” into their ideal careers. Top corporations such as PepsiCo also seek Maggie’s help in developing their employees and managers. Maggie has been quoted in articles in the New York Times and Washington Post, among other publications. She also writes articles for Whole Living magazine in print and on-line.

In her spare time, she sings cabaret, and her show is aptly titled “Follow Your Dreams." To find out more and join Maggie’s mailing list, visit her website where you can also read her weekly career advice blog.



Emrys Tetu

Emrys TetuEmrys TetuEmrys Tetu started studying yoga and meditation 18 years ago. While grounded in the Iyengar tradition, she has also studied Yin Yoga, Vinyassa, Forrest Yoga, and more. Her practice has developed both locally and abroad. In addition to her local teachers, she has spent time studying with Catherine de los Santos, Seane Corne, Anna Forrest, Josh Summers, Cora Wen, and others. While in Pune, India, she spent time at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, as well as at the Osho Meditation Resort.

Emrys is passionate about our whole relationships with ourselves and how we are in our bodies. She has been fascinated with food, wellness, and movement from a young age. In addition to yoga, her movement background includes ten years of studying modern dance, work as a fitness instructor, and time spent on her many outdoor pursuits. Emrys is also a Certified Holistic Health Counselor in private practice in Chester.


Hilary Ben-Ami

Hilary Ben-AmiHilary Ben-AmiHilary Ben-Ami is a certified life coach and a certified educator who brings leading edge communication tools to individuals and groups. She has produced events and seminars for organizations such as Cunard, YPO, and American Illustration. Her coaching clients include students, professionals and artists. Hilary has appeared on national radio, in Time and HealthyLife magazines and her student coaching was featured in the Danbury News-Times.

She invites you build your "ASK muscle." Her coaching develops a mindset and a skill set for learning, inquiry, achieving results and creating authentic relationships. The inner workings and peace of mind that come from making requests, and taking actions on those requests, become a way of life. Hilary has a master’s degree in education and coaching credentials from Coach U. She is a certified hypnotherapist, certified yoga instructor and exhibited photographer.