I have worked with Ilona in multiple capacities. She is an exceptional coach and consultant, with a sharp eye toward spotting subtle dynamics of operating in a corporate culture and a pragmatic sense of what kinds of interventions are likely to generate a positive impact. As a teacher/trainer she is a poised, dynamic presenter who effectively connects with audience, and as a project manager she possesses exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail. In short, she’s a star.
~Neil Stroul, Founding Faculty Georgetown University Leadership Coaching Certificate Program
Excerpt from Human Capital Management:
What Really Works in Government – Chapter 1
This chapter describes how new leadership at the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Transportation (DOT-OIG) achieved transformational change.
Ilona has provided outstanding executive coaching, leadership training, and human resources troubleshooting on a number of issues for our organization for more than five years. She has helped me, a number of our leaders, and our organization as a whole. When she first came to us, employee survey results showed that staff had a relatively low opinion of executive leaders and the way in which we worked together. As a direct result of her work and that of the team she put together, executive leadership is the area that has shown the greatest level of improvement over the past five years, and is now one of our highest rated categories. She is a highly valued resource and a person to which I am personally thankful both for what she’s done for our organization and what she has done for me.
~Senior Executive Federal Agency
I have worked with Ilona for over 10 years as both a colleague and client. I can’t recommend her highly enough for her creativity and ability to build relationships at all levels of an organization. She has been a fantastic partner for my organization, Federal Management Partners, and most importantly, she makes working with her FUN!
~Liana Grassi, Vice President Federal Management Partners, Inc.
I highly recommend Ilona Birenbaum for executive coaching, leadership and employee development, strategic planning, and other organization development work. Ilona’s proven ability to establish rapport with individuals at all levels of an organization, particularly C-suite executives, is one of her major strengths. She also has top-notch facilitation skills — she has been a role model for me as I’ve developed my own facilitation and platform instruction skills. I began working with Ilona at AMS 17 years ago and am thrilled to have been able to maintain not only an active professional relationship but also a personal friendship. Over the years, Ilona has been one of my trusted mentors, providing sound advice and counsel. She is easy to talk to and an impeccable listener, using humor and asking insightful questions to get to the root of whatever issues her client (or friend) is facing. I am confident that Ilona will make an impact in any engagement she takes on and am happy to provide a reference to anyone interested in working with Ilona.
~Lisa Sper, Vice President Federal Management Partners, Inc.
Ilona was the facilitator for one of our groups for a two-day off-site. The team was in trouble and in dire need of gathering a better understanding of their project needs, the company’s vision for this project, and of each other. She was able to work through a complicated project frame with a very diverse group. At the end of the sessions the group was better equipped in their communication skills regarding the project needs, its future, and to each other. Ilona was also very thorough in suggesting areas of improvement to the executive team. Her work brought in positive change to the company as a whole.
~Aline Mota Brito, Director of Operations & Board Director Pioneering Evolution, LLC
Ilona and the Wynhurst team provided exceptional insight and service in building a truly operationally focused leadership development program. Throughout the assessment, design, and evaluation processes, the Wynhurst team was extremely professional. They met timelines and produced high-quality deliverables that met the needs of AOL Member Services. Responses from participants who have taken the program have provided high marks, and have iterated how taking the program has helped their performance on the job! I appreciate the attentiveness that Ilona and team provided to us as a client, and it showed in the final product.
~Daniel Graf, Former Senior Manager, Leadership Development & Partner Training Support AOL Member Services
Working with The Wynhurst Group is like a breath of fresh air. Professional, experienced, and known for creative solutions, the leadership development expertise of this organization is top-notch. Ilona in particular is an outstanding executive coach and yields successful results for both her coachees and her client organizations.
~Meg Drago Head of Global HR
In my 20 years as a management consultant, I have had a wide range of training; some valuable, some not. The professional coaching that I have received from Ilona Birenbaum over the last eight months, however, has been the most helpful external support I have ever received. Ilona allowed me to set the agenda, ensuring that the issues we address are the ones most important to me and directly related to my ability to succeed. Ilona is very direct — she tells me things I need to hear; challenges me to consider ideas that might be uncomfortable. Yet she is understanding and compassionate; Ilona quickly earned my trust and respect, and has come to feel like a friend and confidante. Not only does Ilona provide pragmatic solutions, but also emotional support. After we talk, I feel less stressed and more energized, better prepared to tackle the challenges in front of me.
If you are looking for someone who will dig in deep, listen well, be honest, watch your back, and offer actionable advice, I highly recommend Ilona as an executive coach.
~Eric Marks Management Consulting Practice Leader
Ilona is simply amazing at what she does. As my executive coach, she has been my lifeline through the last two years of my leadership experience. She has taken my most complex leadership hurdles and helped me turn them into incremental, attainable goals to reach success. Ilona uses her true gifts of listening, questioning, analyzing, and guiding to help me tackle all of my leadership challenges. She is passionate, caring, and understanding. With Ilona as my coach, I have grown tremendously as a leader and I believe my recent promotion to an executive level position is a direct reflection of her work! I give Ilona the highest recommendation I could give to anyone for every area of her work — coaching, training, organizational development, etc. She truly puts her heart into everything she does.
~Terry L. Settle Senior Audit Executive
Ilona has been my coach for over four years and in that time she has helped me grow two levels up in organizational leadership positions. She is a great listener, and countless times we have debriefed on decisions I have made to identify any lessons learned. When I need an outside, objective perspective, I count on her to walk with me through the prospective decision-making process. Ilona took time to understand my industry, my organization, and me. With that knowledge and her experiences working with other leaders and organizations, she offers penetrating insights into the issues I face. Over the years I have also called upon Ilona to develop and facilitate various management and leadership training programs for my staff. Five-star recommendation!
~Senior Executive Federal Agency