Keynote Speakers

Marion Franklin, MS, MCC, BCC

When Marion Franklin was in the early stages of her coaching career nearly thirty years ago and introduced herself as a coach, people often responded by asking, “What sport?”

Now – thankfully! – awareness of the benefits of coaching abounds. Since Marion got her start in the early 1990s, the coaching profession has grown exponentially and deepened in sophistication, and countless coaches have flourished thanks in large part to her leadership and generosity. At the 2022 Capital Coaches Conference, Marion’s impact will extend further still, as she shares wisdom and insights through a keynote address. 

Marion’s path to and through coaching is admirable, yet still relatable. Through investment in her own self-development and personal growth, Marion learned a great deal about human behavior and our capacity to change. Inspired by one facilitator in particular, her eyes were opened to the possibility of helping others experience similar growth; she realized that he was serving as a coach – even if that term wasn’t in regular use yet – and that she could become one, too.

Marion became one of the first members of the fledgling International Coaching Federation after its founding in 1995, and went on to achieve PCC and MCC certifications while building and growing her coaching practice, Life Coaching Group. As she gained thousands of hours coaching clients and grew her family, Marion remained a student of life, collecting observations and identifying patterns in human behavior which enabled her to become more effective and efficient in her coaching. 

A former teacher, Marion was naturally inclined to share her systems and wisdom with other coaches, and her career evolved to include coach training, mentorship, and writing. Her book, The Heart of Laser-Focused Coaching, chronicles the method of coaching Marion established and gives coaches and helpers everywhere access to her simple and direct presentation of the complex concepts it includes. 

As Marion describes it, coaching is an opportunity to get closer, sooner, to what it is one really wants. Through her teaching and writing, she helps coaches of all levels do exactly that: to get closer, sooner, to more effective and efficient coaching. 

Marion looks forward to connecting and interacting in-person with members of the ICF Metro DC community in September, and we can’t wait to hear the wisdom she’ll impart. All conference attendees will receive a copy of Marion’s book, The Heart of Laser-Focused Coaching. In the meantime, be sure to check out her e-book/audio book that’s full of lessons on human behavior, Life’s Little Lessons: Improve Your Life One Lesson at a Time.

Please join us in saluting Marion for her immeasurable contributions to the coaching profession at the Capital Coaches Conference on September 23! 

Dr. Towanna Burrows, Ed.D., PCC

Every day over the past few years, more and more individuals and organizations have chosen
to embrace the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The groundwork has been laid for
them quietly and consistently over the past several decades by dedicated people who don’t see
this embrace as a choice, but rather embody it as a personal mission. Dr. Towanna Burrous is
among the most impactful of them, and she will join the Capital Coaches Conference as the
mid-day Keynote Speaker to impart her experience, wisdom, and foresight around the
intersection of diversity and coaching.

For nearly forty years, Dr. Burrous – a Professional Certified Coach and President of the
ICF-accredited Coach Diversity Institute – has essentially done (at least!) two jobs at once. Her
career on its own is astounding: Dr. Burrous has provided intelligence through science, math,
and leadership contributions as an employee of the CIA, pioneered essential early knowledge
about digital transmission systems (AKA cell phones and pagers) in the corporate world,
become the first woman and youngest person to gain ordination at her church, homeschooled
her daughter, and founded a nonprofit which empowers young women in Washington, D.C.
Simultaneously, and integrated within each of her official roles, she has blazed a trail for people
of color. Towanna stood up the first Employee Resource Group for Black federal agents which
became a model for all agencies, recruited BIPOC and LGBTQ professionals for leadership
roles, and performed countless actions aimed at dismantling systems that support
marginalization and injustices.

Towanna made it her mission to become the leader that she needed when she was younger.
Through the creation of the Coach Diversity Institute, she has integrated her professional
aptitudes and personal passions, and built a platform upon which her mission will continue to
flourish and grow exponentially.

Coach Diversity Institute is a highly-dynamic organization; it was created out of needs identified
by Towanna in her own coaching practice, and has evolved as she and her colleagues have
observed shifts in the workplace and American society at large. The more she coached BIPOC
clients, the more Dr. Burrous desired to create a community of coaches of color, and to educate
all coaches on how to get better at meeting the needs of diverse clients.

CDI fills a previous gap in providing accredited coach diversity training, and has graduated more
than 1,000 students who now coach in a more informed, fearless, and empowering way. At
CoachDiversity Institute, students learn how to listen, respect culture, and honor parts of clients’
identities which may be invisible or rarely seen. CDI team members conduct organizational
diversity services, and provide 1:1 executive coaching as well – all through a future-facing lens.
Dr. Burrous will undoubtedly look to the future during her keynote address, providing insights
she’s gained over a lifetime in her energizing and positive style. You’ll be invited to think
differently about diversity, and challenged to integrate it into your coaching and life, just as
Towanna has throughout hers.

Please join us in saluting Towanna for her immeasurable contributions to diversity and the
coaching profession at the Capital Coaches Conference on September 23!