What Our Clients Say

Integrated Coaching Solutions, headed by M.J. Jiaras, has provided invaluable support to the ComEd senior management team. The electric utility industry is in a period of monumental change coupled with unprecedented economic upheaval, customer expectations, and financial challenges. Today, more so than in any time in our recent history, the ComEd senior management team must be collaborative, informed, creative and focused. Our ability to act as one, better understand our challenges and simply work together has been substantially enhance through the support and guidance of Integrated Coaching Solutions."
— Anne Pramaggiore, CEO
ComEd
MJ has allowed me the space to think about how best to work with my colleagues - Trustees, volunteers, staff - to better my institution. His ability to get me to focus on having the right team together to move Ravinia to new heights; to look strategically at areas that need help, that need to be strengthened, or perhaps need to be eliminated completely; and to celebrate successes to their maximum potential - MJ has put all of this together in such a way as to allow all of us connected to Ravinia to do our work better, and to enjoy that work as well. "
— Welz Kauffman, CEO
Ravinia Festival
I started working with Integrated Coaching Solutions and M.J. Jiaras at a critical point in my career and leadership trajectory. Having newly taken the reins of a large, complex organization and succeeding a 35-year leader, I needed to marshal a different set of leadership skills and view myself and my role differently. M.J.’s greatest value to me during my first two years was to help me achieve clarity about the biggest challenges I was facing and see the best ways forward. As I grew into the role, he adapted to meet me where I was. A straight shooter, M.J. can cut through mountains of information and noise to help executives see the core issues requiring their attention and action. He is easy to be with and has a special ability to connect with people. I could always count on him to be simultaneously in my corner, yet totally uncompromising in challenging me to take my leadership to the next level."
— Evelyn Diaz, President
Heartland Alliance
I have been working with MJ for the last 18 months in several different capacities. 1) Together we have been focused on aligning my organizations values and goals. We built a framework that defines who we are and how we should show up in our day jobs. 2) Workshops with key leadership talent that provided tools and frameworks for us all to better communicate and collaborate with. 3) Individual coaching with key leadership folks. 4) Exec level 1-1 coaching with myself. The culmination of all this work has led to a transformative turnaround across the business.   The advertising industry and marketing clients are challenged right now and MJ is helping us stay focused and execute our game plan. In a time of such complexity being grounded in simplicity and staying smart is what is setting us apart from our competition. On top of all this, MJ and I have grown into true friends…which makes all the hard work we do together all that more fun.  I highly recommend working with MJ and ICS.  "
— Richard McDonald, President
Epsilon Agency
As a first-time CEO, I experienced quickly how lonely it can be at the top. M.J. not only provided me with a sounding board, but his coaching enabled me to more confidently navigate this new role.  M.J. has a magical talent for getting to the essence of complex challenges, recognizing team dynamics that work and those that don’t work, and identifying strengths for maximum value.  Moreover, he helped me architect the type of leader that I wanted to be – and then put it into practice. M.J.’s truly unique talent to seamlessly weave developmental themes and opportunities with real-time business was invaluable.  "
— Caralynn Nowinski Collen, CEO
UI LABS
Integrated Coaching Solutions offers a uniquely philosophical, almost spiritual, approach that provides guidance and insights not included in other executive coaching programs. M.J.’s personal commitment and ability to connect with people creates trust and allows executives to open up and share their thoughts and feelings. Some benefits are better work planning and a more balanced approach between work and their personal life. "
— Frank Clark, Chairman of the Board
Chicago Public School
I can highly recommend M.J. as a facilitator for group discussions, whether in the boardroom or with a senior team.   He employs his own unique set of skills in helping people to listen to one another, to hear different perspectives, and to recognize their own biases.  He brings a positive attitude that assists a group in recognizing a common purpose and a shared commitment to improve their workplace and their organization."
— Pam Strobel, Board of Directors
University of Illinois
I decided to get an executive coach to help me more easily migrate into a Senior Executive role as Group President of a public company.  

Having never used an executive coach before, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. MJ was simply fantastic! 

He helped me work through what the new role would entail and helped me prepare for likely situations I was going to face.  MJ also gave me great ideas for how get our staff and clients prepared for my new role and responsibilities as well. Once in the position of Group President, MJ was right there to help me through new and difficult decisions and pressures that were facing me.  I found that having a confidant in MJ that I could be open and honest with to divulge the problems I was facing was so helpful. It was clear MJ was always in my court and I was able to lean on him to support me and think through ideas for how to deal with various scenarios. 

MJ also helped me realize there was so much more impact in the things I would say and do now that I was elevated to this role and how different people throughout our organization could perceive every action or statement I made. 

MJ was very flexible with me from session to session to really focus on the areas that I needed to discuss most. It was one of the best investments I've made in my career to hire MJ! "
— Lori Hardwick, President
Envestnet
After close to two decades as a private equity investment manager, the Board of Directors of Conergy appointed me as CEO in early 2015. They insisted that I have intense coaching as most transitions from finance world to running a real operating company fail. With the unparalleled support and insights from M.J., a year later I not only have the boards full support, but have thoroughly embraced the role. I could not have achieved this success without the regular support of M.J. to help me navigate the many challenges and opportunities in my first year as CEO. I highly recommend M.J. as a CEO/Executive coach, and he's a fun guy to be around too!"
— R. Andrew de Pass, CEO
Conergy
M.J. blends his remarkable gift of insight into human possibilities with consummate professional skills to provide great value for the continuous improvement of leadership. His talent is to deftly weave together the flow of executive experience to co-construct clarity of intention and strategies for powerful action. The result for the executive is new insight into the opportunities for effective leadership and deeper understanding of ways of being in this role."
— Terry Mazany, CEO
The Chicago Community Trust
I had been promoted quickly within the organization. Despite a wide variety of roles, I found there were common challenges. I realized I would benefit by putting more tools in my tool bag. MJ identified talents that had not become strengths because I had never intentionally practiced their use. Maybe it's because he played in a band, but he reads people and situations very well and quickly. He uses wide variety of tools. The best thing is the fun it's been working with MJ! I got much more out of this than I had hoped. I highly recommend working with him."
— Robert Sahadavan, VP Consumer Marketing & Data Analytics
Humana
I went into this coaching engagement searching for purpose in this phase of my career.  I wanted to understand if I should stay in my current position and make more of it or if it was time to move on.  MJ’s coaching was instrumental in helping me through this process.  In fact, just today, one of our senior leaders and someone I’ve come to respect, call me the “vision advocate”.  I told him that I would use that title, because whether others realized it or not, that suited me quite well.  It felt right.  That title fits perfectly with the road that MJ and I traveled through our work together.

I searched for words to describe MJ’s approach and what he brought out in me with his coaching style.  His approach was one of no excuses, tough yet empathetic, listening, and all about leveraging strengths.  He gave me tips and tricks for overcoming some of my nagging fears, but didn’t focus on fixing every weakness – only if they were going to derail me.  Instead, we really leaned hard into strengths and areas of passion.  As a result, what he brought out in me was courage, granting myself permission to be a stronger partner and leader, and insight into others. 

MJ doesn’t come into the coaching arena with a prescribed process, a “one size fits all” methodology.   Instead, you are coached as an individual.  I believe that’s what leaders are looking for.  He is respectful, energetic and engaging as a coach.  He draws lots of pictures and you walk away with a mantra for the month, sometimes longer.  For me, I will always remember to “get out of the kitchen”.  By approaching me and other leaders in this way, I believe that the coaching will stick for years to come.  I am very grateful for the time we spent together.  It has made me a stronger leader. "
— Lisa Flanary, VP, AF Marketing and Wholesaling
Allstate
Being an Ostrich

Sometimes it is that one observation that puts everything into perspective.  

M.J. Jiaras is an outstanding coach with preternatural intuition and keen intelligence that he uses to guide you through the process of transformational self-development.  I requested to work with M.J. six months ago to help me hone in on a somewhat vague feeling that was stopping me from realizing my potential.  My results were good and there was nothing specific, but I knew I could be doing better.  M.J. helped ferret out the issue with a process I can only describe as a deliberate meandering of questioning and listening that yields profound observations and insights.  For me, he pointed out that I was behaving like an “ostrich”, which was a huge surprise for someone who considers herself a vocal, direct and passionate leader who likes a challenge.  But, M.J. showed me how I wasn’t fully embracing my potential and in fact pretending it would disappear if I ignored it.  That one comment, the culmination of several months of coaching, changed my life.

M.J. is insightful, articulate, warm and very personable.  He does not tolerate personal self-deceptions, but rather encourages honesty and possibility.  I found working with him to be a transformational experience and I cannot recommend him highly enough."
— Shayna Schulz, VP, Customer Contact Center Operations
Allstate
What I learned in four short months will serve me for a lifetime. Our weekly sessions were not always easy for me, but they were always worthwhile. M.J. asked the tough questions and, more importantly, challenged me to answer them honestly. Working with him has been life changing."
— Roz Potts-Johnson, Regional Sales Manager
American Eagle Outfitters