For more than 20 years, my career was spent entirely in the not-for-profit sector, 12 of them working as an Executive Director for two different agencies. I have diplomas in: Business Administration; the Administration of Volunteers; Radio and Television Broadcasting; Crisis and Suicide (Theory, Prevention and Intervention); and the Coach Training Alliance
I have received training certifications and have provided training sessions to volunteers, staff and trainers from: the YWCA of Canada; the International Laubach Literacy Organization; the United Way of Canada’s Volunteer Leadership Development Programs; The Ministry of Health’s National Strategic Planning Program for Health Agencies; Distress Centres of Durham Region and Ontario; and the Durham Community Bereavement Services, and since 2006, a CTA Trainer/ Mentor Coach. By the middle 2013, I taught my 50th Coach Certification Program, which means I have trained and mentored around 500 life coaches to become certified, and to build, launch and grow their coaching businesses.
I have facilitated workshops, seminars and planning sessions, and tele-classes/teleseries, and have been a frequent guest speaker/keynote speaker for conferences, Annual General Meetings and meetings of organizations in Canada and the United States.
“Effective Communication, Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention”; “Training the Trainers”; “Policies, Procedures, and Ethics” – A Manual funded by Distress Centre Durham and distributed throughout provincial Distress Centres in Ontario, Canada.
“The Impact of the Absence of an Administrator of Volunteers in Not-For-Profit Agencies” – co-researched and co-authored with Carolyn Smith – funded by PAVR-O (Provincial Administrators of Volunteer Resources of Ontario), published on-line and utilized as an advocacy resource by Volunteer Canada and American counterparts
“The Effective Management of Volunteer Programs” – funded through a combination provincial and federal government grant, published and distributed to adult literacy programs throughout Ontario
“Do It Yourself Relationship Repair Guide” – A book – how to find the “right” life partner and build solid, lasting relationships.
“Living A Purposeful Life and Leaving A Powerful Legacy” – a work-shop curriculum and Facilitator’s Guide
“A 5-Star Guide to Setting and Achieving 5-Star Goals” – ebook/ booklet
“Top 10 Strategies for Type-A Coaches to Overcome Perfection and/or Procrastination” – 40-page Workbook
“Ask Coach Nan” – Newspaper Column for 4 years – Metroland Durham
I strongly believe that our communities are greatly enhanced by the efforts and contributions of individuals who commit to donating their time, skills and resources for the benefit of others.
For more than 30 years, I have worked voluntarily on front lines with agencies’ clients, in the Boardrooms as Director and/or Officer, as trainer of agencies’ board members, as fundraising/events organizer, as advocate to various levels of government, as founding member of two organizations, and as rescuer of some ailing organizations.
Awards and Recognition (business and community):
Canadian Literacy Award, for contributions to adult literacy (from the Canadian government, in the International Year of Literacy)
Administrator of Volunteers of the Year, for excellence in management of volunteer resources (from the Association of Provincial Administrators of Volunteers – Ontario)
Special Recognition Award, for unique contributions to making the Volunteer Resource Centre for Durham Region a reality (from the VRC)
Integrity Award – in recognition of administrative excellence – Distress Centre of Durham Region
Nan Einarson Leadership Award – a community award, established in 2000, to be presented annually, to a staff member in the Durham Region, who has demonstrated excellence in leadership and strong support for volunteerism throughout the prior year
Toronto Sun Newspaper’s “Women on the Move” award
Two-time nominee for YWCA’s “Women of Distinction” award
ABOUT YOUR COACH – Nan - Personally Speaking...
When I talk about having goals, committing to them, and achieving real results, I know, from personal experience, that it works. My perfectionism made it exceptionally challenging, and I am proud to say that I am now a Recovering Perfectionist and former Procrastinator.
I did not have a very happy childhood, although no one outside my family knew that. I grew up with my parents and brother in what is known today as a very dysfunctional family. I will not embarrass my family members by providing details. Suffice it to say that, throughout my early teens thoughts of suicide and a fear of the future lived with me daily. I created the habit of presenting a face to the outside world that came out of the fantasy world of my imagination about what happiness would look like for me.
While living in a fantasy world has the potential to be dangerous, I never wanted to live there. I wanted my real life to be like my fantasies. I hated being so unhappy all the time. I knew I could not live that way forever, and vowed to change my attitudes and my life. I used my negative childhood experiences as a model for what I did NOT want in my future.
And then, at age 13, I met my soulmate, Paul. We shared similar family experiences, and became great friends. It was so good to have someone to talk to who understood how I felt. When we were 16, we dated and “went steady” for a year. We shared the same values and a vision of what a real family would like. We split up to date other people, and met randomly more than 3 years later. We began to date again, and got married in June 1970. We continue to be great friends and continue to be very happily married. I still wear my “going steady” ring (it was only off my hand for the three years we were apart). Paul has always supported whatever endeavour I set out to do, and we have overcome several obstacles together along the way.
At the time we met, I didn’t realize that I was employing a powerful tool for defining goals – if you can’t identify what you do want, then list all the things you don’t. I knew from that imaginary happy world what I did want in my real future. So, by combining the two, I was able to create the vision, goals and values that have guided me throughout the rest of my personal life. I committed myself to attaining those ideals. What I didn’t realize was that 2 different issues would throw up huge challenges for me, and make the journey very difficult.
I have managed, through the help of friends, professionals, self-improvement books and supporters, to reach my goals and achieve a happy, fulfilling, exciting lifestyle. By initiating honest, effective communication, I have also come to understand some reasons behind my childhood experiences and to forgive. Without that pain, I would never have learned the lessons that formed the “me” I am today. By letting go of all the hatred and anger I had felt for so long, the time that I spent with my father before his death was emotional, but precious, and I was thankful to have had it.
Since the mid-1980’s, I have learned how to live life with constant pain. I had a fall, which triggered several surgeries over a period of 5 years. It forced me to leave behind my career in Fitness, forever, and seek a new career path.
I was able to forge a new career in the not-for-profit sector, in the field of Adult Literacy. However, I was struggling with serious back pain which led me to have to stop working a second time, after 2 years, and spend 6 months of healing and therapy. The pain just never left. A physiotherapist diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia, but doctors at the time didn’t believe in it.
After that, I took on a new role in the not-for-profit sector and pushed through the pain for almost 10 years. I loved the work as an Executive Director and threw myself into it – eventually working 10-hour days, and some weekends. I taught active listening and effective listening. I was on call, 24/7 for suicide ideation and crisis calls on our hotline centre. I sat on several Boards of Directors. As always, I ignored the pain, and my doctor’s admonishments that I was going to kill myself.
Eventually, after surgery for 4 ulcers (one bleeding slightly), an emergency surgery one week later because of a ruptured stomach (which caused my left lung to collapse), and a third surgery a year later (resulting in removing a third of my stomach), my body was a mess. My husband and children were told, before the emergency surgery, that I might not survive, and to prepare for that end! I was appalled at myself. My perfectionism had led to me almost killing myself, and caused serious emotional trauma to the family that I had professed to put first on my priority list.
I walked away from that career and took a year to heal physically, and emotionally. I got a Diploma in Radio and Television Broadcasting, was picked up by an agent and spent a year doing auditions and radio & tv commercials, voice-overs, and even a couple of music videos. When it came time to renew my contract, I couldn’t. I had realized that I really needed to be working helping others, and I needed to find a way to do that without going back into the not-for-profit corporate world.
Then, I found coaching, and I knew that was my calling. I was certified by CTA in 2004, and began my role as CTA Trainer/Mentor Coach in 2006. To this day, I am so grateful to be able to combine the three things I really enjoy most – coaching, training, and helping people.
Today, in 2016, I am proud and happy to say that my husband and I have been happily, wonderfully married for over 45 years. We celebrated our 45th Anniversary in Paris and Rome! We have a loving, caring, honest, respectful, supportive, fun relationship. Our two adult children – 42-year old daughter and her husband, and 39-year old son and his wife are confident, successful adults, of whom we are very proud, and with whom we remain great friends. They are all happy and have successful careers. I was my daughter’s matron of honour at their wedding.
After my father died, my mom and I developed a very close, special relationship. We renovated our home just outside Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for her to live with us in her own apartment. We are a close family, and spend a lot of time together. I think it’s because we share mutual values. We encourage one another to take risks, expect that mistakes will happen and that we’ll take learning from things that go wrong. We do not judge one another, regardless of our personal feelings. When asked, we provide our thoughts, and we offer unconditional love and support as long as there is no danger to self or others.
Mom lived with us for 15 years before she died suddenly, unexpectedly, September 2012. She played with the boys (her great-grandsons) every day, and they adored their fun, funny great-grandmother. She is a great loss to our family and we all miss her terribly. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her.
Our daughter and son-in-law have two handsome, adorable boys – Nash, 10 and Dane, 8. And, our son and daughter-in-law have 2 beautiful, sweet little girls – Violet, 4, and Charlotte, 2. Being an active, involved grandmother is a huge joy for me. Paul and I are so lucky to see the boys every day after school, and we try to see the girls at least once a month.
We have a 1-year old Old English Sheepdog, Sammy, who is an absolute love. Paul and I have been very actively involved in organizing and running regional auto racing in Ontario. In winter, we ice raced. Between us, the kids and some of our friends, we had seven ice racing cars at one point. For 6 weekends, we raced on a track made of ice, with 8 – 10 feet snow banks. It was a great sport.
I was lucky to find a Rheumatologist who finally verified the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia for me. It is now a recognized illness, and new drugs have been developed to help control the symptoms. I am taking a combination of drugs that have, for the first time in over 30 years, allowed me to live without pain and do things I haven’t been able to do, physically, in all that time. It’s like a miracle for me.
One of our favourite things to do is to hop in our RV, and travel through the USA and Canada, watching racing, visiting old friends and making new ones. We love to travel, and have been to New Orleans, San Francisco, Reno, Arizona, Florida, Cuba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and eastern Canada. A few years ago, I had the incredible experience of spending 10 days in South Africa (camping for 4 nights and 3 days in the Kalahari Desert with the San Bushmen), and later, spent a week in France.
I’m proof positive that it is possible to “Make It So” and live the life of your dreams. Life is GREAT!