CoachRICE is taught by leading experts in the professional coaching field.
Juliana Lucci Ashley, PCC
Ms. Ashley is a certified leadership and executive coach and speaker. She is also a recovering attorney. She brings over 20 years of experience in law, the corporate world and television reporting to her coaching, workshops and speaking events. Ms. Ashley uses her experience in the professional world, plus her years as a Comedy Improvisation Performer to create dynamic and energetic presentations that are fun and informative and life-changing for her audience. In the corporate arena, Ms. Ashley helps C-suite executives and emerging leaders to develop executive presence and communicate effectively to engage their organization. She works with leaders, speakers and non-speakers to deliver a compelling message that engages and connects with the audience. Ms. Ashley has a bachelor's degree in international relations from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She earned her law degree from St. Mary's Law School and is a credential Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and Certified Leadership and Executive Coach (CLEC) through the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
Armin Pajand, Associate Director for Leader Development, Doerr Institute for New Leaders
Mr. Pajand oversees and manages all leader development and capacity building at the Doerr Institute. For more than a decade, Armin has worked with hundreds of inspiring leaders in the US, Asia and Europe in a multitude of industries, who are committed to taking themselves and their organizations to the next level of growth. Most recently Armin led top talent and executive development at Farmers Insurance Group, a Fortune 500 company with over 22,000 employees. Armin holds a graduate degree in organizational effectiveness from a joint program at Oxford University and HEC Paris and a bachelor's degree in history from UCLA.
Melanie Polk, MBA, PCC
Ms. Polk brings over 20 years of senior-level management and leadership experience to her coaching practice working with executives in diverse industries, most notably entertainment, toys, packaged goods, beverage, healthcare, high-tech, publishing, and retail. Melanie’s unique combination of strong practical business experience and knowledge with the coaching of senior and mid-level executives has helped individuals and internal teams make the shifts desired to realize their goals. Ms. Polk is known as an effective and insightful communicator. She is often described as “creative,” “energetic,” “articulate,” and “collaborative.” She believes successful coaching comes out of a partnership with clients to help them realize the change they are seeking.
Elitza Ranova, Ph.D., PCC
Dr. Ranova a vendor coach and a leadership development professional at Rice University's Doerr Institute for New Leaders. She also serves as an adjunct instructor and a mentor coach in the Health and Wellness Coaching Program of the Maryland University of Integrative Health. She earned a B.A. in cultural anthropology from the New College of Florida, and a Ph.D. in the same field from Rice University. Dr. Ranova holds a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach credential from the Coaches Training Institute and a Professional Certified Coach credential from the International Coach Federation. Dr. Ranova’s coaching specialties include: leader development, emotional intelligence, mindfulness and mindful living, coaching in the academy, creativity and coach mentoring. She facilitates leader development courses and is certified to administer the Emotional Intelligence EQi-2.0 Leadership and 360° Assessments.
Ruth Reitmeier, Assistant Director for Coaching at the Doerr Institute for New Leaders
Ms. Reitmeier oversees the hiring, training and managing of professional coaches who work directly with Rice students to increase their leadership capacity. She is an ICF-certified coach and received her coach training at Rice University through the Doerr Institute. She has 20+ years of experience in developing leaders and she is passionate about helping people grow and flourish by maximizing their potential. Ms. Reitmeier graduated magna cum laude from Rice University (Brown College, 1992) with a double major in cultural anthropology and Latin American Studies.