Meet Us


Joan Starkowsky, MA, BCC

Joan Starkowsky is a Board Certified leadership and engagement coach, consultant, teacher and speaker.  She is a Certified PI Talent Optimization Partner and PI Certified Talent Optimization Consultant. She inspires people to maximize their potential and find passion, energy, performance and fulfillment in life and work.  Joan uses her extensive business, leadership and coaching experience to cultivate growth, expansion and engagement in others.

Joan has been captivating audiences with her unique and transforming message of becoming an authentic person and leader.  Her message is a catalyst for people to take charge of their lives, find their purpose and draw upon their gifts and talents to become their authentic self.

Joan is the former President and founder of Roadway Reverse Logistics, Inc., subsidiary of a Fortune 500 Company.  She is an entrepreneur and inventor who holds a patent for an innovative business process and web portal.  She has held multiple leadership positions in business organizations for over 30 years.  She has been in executive management, marketing, operations and sales management in transportation, logistics and retailing.

Joan's extensive coaching and mentoring proficiency began as a young sales manager in retailing, increased as a master's level rehabilitation counselor and became the signature of her leadership. Throughout her career, she has helped many people find direction, growth and success.

She holds an MA in Counseling and Special Services from Seton Hall University and a BA in English from Bloomfield College.  She has earned Certificates in Executive Leadership from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western University and Logistics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.  She is a graduate of the Newfield Network Coaching and Organizational Learning Program.  She is Certified as a Talent Optimization Partner and Consultant by Predictive Index, LLC. Joan attended the American Hypnosis Academy for Neuro-Linguistic Programming and is a certified practitioner. 

Joan is a Board Certified Coach credentialed through the Center for Credentialing & Education. She was certified in Equine Experiential Learning through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association.

Joan and her therapy dogs, Sonny and Kyrie, are Certified Therapy Dog and Handler Teams through Therapy Dogs International.  They are members of the Cleveland Clinic Caring Canine Program and make regular visits on the heart, vascular and heart/lung transplant floors.  Sonny has also earned two AKC titles for obedience and five in agility, currently placing him on the Excellent and Master's levels.

Joan has been quoted in many industry periodicals such as, The Journal of Commerce, Industry Week, Global Logistics & Supply Chain Management and InBound Logistics to name a few.


"Joan Starkowsky is a professional of excellence who has successfully carried the mantle of business leadership.  It is her proven excellence that allows her to know how to coach and consult to leaders who are looking to succeed in today's business environment."

Dorothy E. Siminovitch, Ph.D. MCC

Executive Coaching and Program Chairperson

International Gestalt Coaching Program

Gestalt Center for Organization Systems Development


Mary Ellen Garofalo, MSN, RN, CRRN, SPHR

Mary Ellen Garofalo has held leadership roles in health care and the business sector for over 30 years. She is a master’s level registered nurse, a human resource professional, a talent optimization consultant, entrepreneur, teacher, speaker and coach. She was the Director of the Transitional Care Program for a national home health care company. She led an engaged team of nurse managers in multiple states, transitioning catastrophically ill and complex patients home for nursing services through strong relationship building, sales and marketing. As the Director of Human Resources for health care and business enterprises, Mary Ellen worked as a generalist handling all aspects of the human resource role.

Mary Ellen has extensive nursing experience in rehabilitation, home health care, case management, complex patient management and insurance reimbursement. When human beings experience illness, trauma or stress, Mary Ellen’s passion is to help them live the best life possible. Through problem solving, her positive “can do” spirit, humor and respect, she motivates clients with life changing circumstances, illnesses and injuries to move forward in life.

As a speaker, Mary Ellen has her audiences laughing and crying as she weaves in her poignant stories about life transitions. She creates and presents continuing education programs to elevate the professionalism and knowledge of other health care providers, caregivers and leaders. She can teach the most boring subjects with humor or create enthusiasm and empower people to face their challenges with confidence. She is known for her dynamic meetings and retreats. Mary Ellen has been a speaker for Case Management Society of America, Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, well known insurance companies and hospitals, and the Society for Human Resource Professionals.   

Her educational background includes an MS in Nursing Leadership and Clinical Systems Management from Excelsior College, and a BA from Bloomfield College where she studied nursing and sociology. She holds an ASN from Regents College. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse, a PI Certified Talent Optimization Consultant, Senior Professional Human Resource Leader, and holds certification in Safety Management. She attended Multiple Sclerosis Advanced Nurses Training through the NY National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Management of Complex Medical Conditions and Catastrophic Injuries through Paradigm Health, and Strictly Business Immersion through Dale Carnegie. 

Mary Ellen is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, and the Society for Human Resource Management.  She has published articles for Nursing Spectrum, NY/NJ; Advance for Nurses, Northeast, and the Massachusetts Group Health Insurance Magazine.