"Love is the basis of our existence. If we're not doing what we love and loving what we do, we're following the path of least existence"
Did you have some big dreams as a kid? I sure did. And as big as my dreams were, life has had something bigger in store. Not in the way that you and I might typically define big. Rather, big in a way that forced me to step outside my narrow viewpoint of what big meant and what life was about. Along the way from there to here, there’ve been plenty of ups and downs, successes and failures, emotional highs and lows, and everything in between. Much like the weather.
In fact, my first love as a child was weather, my biggest fear as an adolescent was public speaking, my first degree as a young adult was a B.S. in meteorology from Penn State in ‘78, and my first career as an adult was as a TV meteorologist. There’s nothing like doing what you love to overcome what you fear.
My work in television took me to Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dallas, Texas, Austin, Texas, and Portland, Maine – all fantastic cities to live in, each with challenges unique to themselves. At the mid-point of a 20-year career as a TV meteorologist, personal, relational, and career challenges gave me an opportunity to do some serious soul-searching.
Counseling was an integral part of this process, so much so that I decided to go back to grad school to get an MS in counseling. After graduating from the University of Southern Maine in ’95, I became licensed as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC), became a certified mediator, and alongside my work in television, opened up a private psychotherapy practice in Portland Maine.
My practice included working with individuals, couples, families, small businesses, and employee assistance programs (EAP). My work focused on navigating through career and life transitions, depression, anxiety, addictions and substance abuse, interpersonal communication, mediation, spirituality, and personal growth and wellness. This was alongside my work in television, and for the next several years, I continued working in television “weather” and building a business in emotional “weather”. In 1998, as my counseling practice became full-time, I left the world of TV broadcasting for good.
Making a full-time commitment to my counseling practice was one of the best things I've ever done. I loved the work, the people I worked with, and everything that I was learning along the way. As part of this journey, I became involved with the Maine Clinical Counselors Association (MCCA), and served a number of leadership positions in the organization, including President, Vice-President, and Legislative Chair.
About 10 years into my business, I sensed something was missing, and needed help figuring this out. I hired a business coach, Barbara Wilson, in 2005. She was remarkable person to work with.
Right off the bat, two things happened. First, I loved being coached. I had never experienced anything quite like it - and this led to a paradigm shift in my thought process. Second, I had to have more of it, and decided to go back to school to the University of Southern Maine to get certified as a professional coach.
My work with Barbara led to the decision to fold up shop with my psychotherapy practice, create a completely new business model to work from, and in 2006, move with my family to Charlotte, North Carolina.
My business plan was ambitious and forced me far beyond my comfort zone. It encompassed a broad range of services ranging from life coaching to business coaching to public speaking training to leadership training and development. Along the way, I became a Certified WorkPlace BIgFive ProFile® Consultant, Certified ChangeWorks® Certifier (CCC), Certified ChangeWorks® Analyst (CCA), and Certified MasterStream® Practitioner (CMSP) to help with my professional development. I also became involved with International Coaches Federation, Charlotte Area Chapter (ICF-CAC).
I’m happy to say that everything I’d envisioned from the start has become a reality. It’s not to say that this has been easy, because it hasn’t. Rather, it’s been a labor of love, which at times has been more labor than love. The flip side is that the fruits of my labor have been absolutely delicious.
They say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. It seems that for most of my adult life, I’ve been the proverbial student, and life has been the teacher. And the more willing I’m open to what life has to offer, the more meaningful the lessons become. Being able to pay these lessons forward is just icing on the cake. I feel blessed - and absolutely love what I do.
Everyone has a story. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Each person's story is every bit as interesting as the next person's. Some folks say that the devil is in the details, and others say that you’ll find God there instead.
In reflecting on how my story has been unfolding, one thing has become abundantly clear. Life works in mysterious ways. If we are willing to remain open to the mystery, life will most definitely show us the way. Here's to your success!
President, Coaching Works
Dr. Elaine O’Reilly is a firm believer that if we’re open to the journey, life will provide us with invaluable lessons along the way. At the very top of her list of lessons learned is the importance of being able to ask for help as part of the journey. When the going gets tough, there is no need to go it alone.
Elaine is a passionate life long learner. She has an extensive background in personal growth and development, career guidance, academic advising, clinical psychology, teaching in higher education, leadership development, and program development. This has included helping thousands of individuals navigate through challenging personal, professional, and career transitions over the past 23 years.
Elaine’s specialty is in helping women navigate through life transitions – including personal growth, spirituality, relationships, career, and parenting – as well as in managing the stress and making the most out of opportunities that emerge during these transitions. As a single mother of a 19-year old daughter, her most recent transition has been into the world of becoming an empty nester.
On the business side of things, Elaine is as comfortable facilitating large groups as she is working one-on-one with individuals. She has designed and implemented numerous programs and trainings in personal wellness, interpersonal communications, public speaking, team-building, process improvement, and leadership development.
Those who know Elaine describe her as caring, creative, compassionate, articulate, intelligent, with a great sense of humor, and always willing to go the extra mile to get things done the right way. She values the importance of relationships, and has developed and maintained an ever-widening circle of meaningful friendships through the years.
She is also gifted in the art of interior design and Feng Shui – and is as at home creating flow internally as she is creating flow with her surroundings.
Originally from the Boston area, she grew up as a competitive figure skater in a family that loved sports. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Southern Maine, with a master’s degree in Counseling from Antioch University New England, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC).
Peter Popovich is an instructor, facilitator and “Coachsultant” who is dedicated to assisting others in identifying and attaining their goals. His mission is to “transform lives daily.” Training, coaching and inspiring others brings purpose and meaning to his life!
With over 40 years of sales, marketing, and management experience in corporate America and as a small business owner, Peter has a broad and deep understanding of personal and professional development. His approach to education is based on the principles of continuous learning, ‘wisdom in the room’, and engagement. He has the unique ability to empathize, connect and synergize with classroom participants and clients so that they are inspired to contribute, develop clarity around goals and then engage in participation, contribution and commitment to the self-selected action steps.
Peter has a rich and varied professional history. The first eleven years of his career were spent utilizing his Mechanical Engineering degree at Westinghouse Electric Corporation in domestic and international sales. After earning a Masters in Sports Administration, Peter served for four years as the Athletic Foundation Director at UNC Charlotte. For the past 25 years, Peter has built a successful career in Charlotte residential real estate. Currently, he is an instructor/facilitator with Extended Academic Program at UNC Charlotte, an executive coach with a focus on executive presence and presentation skills, owner of one of the Fastest Growing Franchises - Keller Williams Realty in Fort Mill, and an inspirational keynote speaker.
Having been born in Belgrade, Serbia (former Yugoslavia), and having lived in Caracas, Venezuela for 4 years, Peter is trilingual and appreciates the value of diversity of thoughts, experiences and approaches to life. He is an avid pickleball, racquetball and badminton player with National Senior Games Gold Medals in all three sports. He is a former state tennis champion and member of the Case Western Reserve University Athletic Hall of Fame. He loves to read, study and learn – continuously. He has been happily married for over 30 years to Virginia Popovich, 20-year veteran in residential real estate in Charlotte. They have a 27-year-old daughter, Natalie, an English teacher in Guilford County Schools. Their dog, Toohey, however, is the leader of the pack and perhaps the best teacher of all!