Michelle Valenzuela Wolf

Michelle Valenzuela Wolf — Principal and Founder

Michelle Valenzuela Wolf is founder and principal of Targeted Transitions, a coaching and personal branding agency which collaborates with individuals and companies, working one-one and in teams to reach their goals. She partners with her clients and motivates them to initiate change positioning them for optimal results in reaching for their dreams! Her motto is to turn “options into opportunities”. Michelle is an agent for change and aides in introducing and opening her clients to the discovery process aligning them with their true self and core values making for a successful transition.

She has proven highly effective at developing a trust and connection while helping her clients market themselves and build a strong networking community. In partnership with her clients, she develops a personalized strategy positioning them for success. Michelle is uniquely talented at motivating people to initiate change and driving them to meet their goals. Michelle strives to seek for solutions and understands life is a series of transitions and lifelong learning. Michelle helps others embrace change and see beyond their current situation.

Michelle combines a unique mix of 20 years of corporate marketing and coaching/training at global companies and institutions. She has honed her expertise across multiple industries from packaged goods at Mattel, Inc. to advertising at Dailey and Associates, entertainment with companies such as Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc., Disney Consumer Products Group, the University of Southern California’s — Marshall School of Business and the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Michelle acutely understands the challenges of work life balance and what is involved with making a significant career/life transition.

Michelle earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Southern California. She is a member of the International Coaching Federation and the Professional Coaches and Mentors Association. Michelle has guest lectured at the University of Southern California’s — Marshall School of Business and is an Alumni Career Coach at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. She is a certified co-active coach through Coaches Training Institute.

Michelle lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two precocious daughters, and lots of optimism.

Mary Albright-Smith

Mary Albright-Smith

Mary Albright-Smith is a career counselor in West Los Angeles, California. She spent the majority of her professional career working in the Parker MBA Career Management Center at the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management. During her nine year tenure with the MBA Career Management Center, Mary held the positions of Director, Associate Director, Employer Relations Coordinator and Career Counselor. In these roles she coached and counseled MBA students and alumni on all topics related to career development and job search strategy; worked closely with the School’s corporate constituents to determine MBA recruitment strategy; ran the campus recruiting program; and managed day to day operations, including vision and goal establishment, for the Center.

Previously, Mary worked for the non-profit organization Women At Work in Pasadena, where she was a career counselor to very low income single mothers and homeless women. She has created a Career Development Program for homeless women, and developed a career awareness program for elementary school children.

Prior to earning her Masters degree in Career Counseling, Mary worked for Weyerheauser Mortgage Company as a Recruiter for all of Weyerheauser’s southern California locations.

Mary holds a Masters of Science in Educational Psychology and Counseling — Career Counseling from California State University, Northridge and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Business from UCLA.

Kristine Gardener

Kristine Gardener

Kristine has been a fitness enthusiast her whole life. Her love of the outdoors, nature, and sports began while growing up in Northern California. She then went to the University of Colorado in Boulder where she majored in Communication and minored in skiing, hiking, biking, running and anything else to keep her active! To continue her love of fitness, she started personal training, group fitness, bootcamps, and her favorite Barre Method, which she has practiced and taught for 9 years.

Receiving an MA in Counseling Psychology gave Kristine further expertise in bringing together the mind and the body in her challenging outdoor workouts. She is passionate about not only fitness, but in helping each person find life balance through movement. She currently teaches at Revolution Fitness, Exhale Spa, and as a personal trainer.

Francie Brudner Kaplan

Francie Brudner Kaplan

Marketing genius and owner of Navigation Marketing, Francie Brudner Kaplan’s specializes in corporate marketing. Her experience includes 15 years in global marketing positions at Fortune 500 companies including Disney and Mattel. She has considerable expertise marketing to kids and young families across multiple product categories: Children’s products, entertainment, home video, licensing, music, publishing and toys. She holds a Bachelors Degree from the University of Michigan.

James Owens

James J. Owens

James Owens is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Management Communication at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. He is an expert in professional management communication, including oral, written, and interpersonal skills. James has extensive international business experience in England, France, Germany, Africa, and Saudi Arabia for companies, including Louis Vuitton, Coca-Cola, Agfa-Gevaert, and Bain Consulting.

He has authored more than 100 articles published in local, national and international magazines and newspapers. He has also appeared on CNN and NBC4, and as a Distinguished Guest and Mentor at Education Without Borders 2009 and The Festival of Thinkers 2009 in the UAE. James has interviewed more than 30 senior executives, including Fortune 500 CEOs and Chairpersons of companies such as Allergan, Cisco Systems, Lloyds of London, Northrop Grumman, Dell, Inc., Mattel, Inc, UPS, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., on issues such as communication, leadership, and strategies for success for his “Profiles in Business” column.

James also has extensive experience as a facilitator and trainer. He has designed and conducted management development workshops on issues ranging from strategic communication, leadership, teamwork, writing, presentations, and negotiation, to EQ and relationship management for domestic and international clients including: BDO Seidman, LLP, Cedars-Sinai, EastWest Bank , Guess?, NATPE, Northrop Grumman, Oakley, Inc., Pelican Products, Inc., Thailand Government Savings Bank, the Mayor’s Office of Los Angeles, and Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

James received a Bachelor of Arts from Bates College, a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University, and a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. He is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Education Program at USC.

James is also Founder and CEO of The World is Just a Book Away, a literacy assisting children in developing countries. In 2009, its first year, The World is Just a Book Away launched 22 libraries and a mobile library, reaching more than 10,000 children with more than 20,000 books at 50 schools. These children and their families have been displaced by the mudflow disaster in in Sidoarjo, Indonesia (

“Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it. For in action, there is magic, grace and power.” — Goethe