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Mary Lee has a unique perspective as a mindful leadership strategist: She went from welfare to CEO of organizations worth up to $26 million. She helps people step off the treadmill to nowhere with mindful confidence, connection and calm to have a higher six figure income, close high performance deals, create alliances that are prosperous for both parties, and connect with the people who matter while it still matters.


Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE

Mary Lee is an award-winning Executive Coach and expert on Mindful Leadership Influence. She is president of StartingOverNow.com, a consulting and mindful leadership development firm that helps you position your mindful leadership impact to enthuse transformation. Her purpose is to wake you up from autopilot (your business metrics, leadership, employee engagement, sales, productivity, organizational vision and purpose, doubt, innovation, executive presence, conflict resolution) to your unique leadership influence so that you can transform the world instead of just flying around it.

“I run a $24 million organization myself and know what it takes to show up at work in a way that genuinely inspires others to achieve both for themselves and the organization. I also know what it takes to leave work at the office and show up at home with complete availability to the people who matter most. And I know the mindful practices and mindset it takes to refuel your battery to sustain focus, high energy and happiness. This isn’t just success. It’s freedom.”
~ Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE

Certifications, Credentials, Recognition: Mary Lee is a Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation (ACC) – the highest ranking coaching association in the world, a Certified Professional Coach by Duquesne University, a Certified Association Executive, an alumnus of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Practices Program and the Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital Coaching in Medicine & Leadership Conference, a Leadership Pittsburgh XXV graduate, and author or two books: Reinvent You – From Welfare to CEO and Starting Over. Mary Lee was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Pittsburgh Society of Association Executives and the Women of Integrity Award by Pittsburgh Professional Women. Mary Lee is the “Mindful Leadership” columnist for Smart Business Magazine. She’s been featured in Money Magazine, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, Yahoo.com, U.S. News and World Report, msn.com, Forbes.com, CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com.

Facilitator of PPW Leadership Academy

Teaching “Effective Negotiation: Skills to Get What You Want” as part of PPW’s Leadership Academy.

Executive Experience: She has worked for 20 years as a president and chief executive officer of organizations with assets up to $26 million and within organizations with more than 60,000 employees. These organizations range from healthcare institutions, trade associations, to business. She’s created organizations from the ground up and executed several successful turnarounds. She’s served on executive management teams and built engagement programs. She recruits board leadership, builds board structure and governance, leads management teams, board retreats, seminars as well as develops programs on mindful  leadership, organizational excellence, conflict resolution, mindful communications, diversity and retention.

Mindful Training

Mary Lee presents Mindfulness Training “Executive Academy – Discovering the Innermost You” for the Women’s Small Business Association Conference. Google, Target and General Mills have similar Mindfulness Training Programs.

Author: Mary Lee is the author of Reinvent You – From Welfare to CEO and Starting Over.

Personal Turnaround: Her personal turnaround came as a stay-at-home mother with four children under seven-years-old who endured a divorce that took she and the children from the country club life to homelessness, welfare, food stamps, and medical assistance from where she reinvented her life with mindful strategies to support her family. She works with executives and their teams as well as individuals who are committed to breaking through to their unique leadership impact.

More About Mary Lee

Mary Lee Gannon, Leadership and Mindful TrainingThe practice of leadership development via coaching, training and presenting is a partnership whereby together the strategist and client work to gain alignment and clarity around the desired outcome.  Leadership is not what you do but who you are and how you do it no matter where you are seated at the table. Mary Lee helps you build that confidence by discovering self-awareness and self-regulation around your values, strengths, and character so that clarity evolves organically as opposed to you rigorously searching for direction with little resolution. Uncovering triggers to negative behavior is part of self-discovery. Mary Lee’s practice focuses not on how triggers evolved but on how you respond when the triggers arise – how quickly you are able to squeeze in between the moment when you feel an emotion and when you react to the emotion. The goal is for you to self-manage – even in a highly charged moment – into an empowered state before a more primitive emotional or fight-or-flight state of mind takes over. This self-regulation is crucial to moving away from being “stuck” or from being hostage to your limiting beliefs and onto confidence, executive presence and fulfillment.

Personal Reinvention and Vision Strategy: Mary Lee understands the paralysis of fear and counterproductive thought.  She knows the frustration of having the energy to do something new but not knowing exactly what to do.  She created a system that took her and now her clients from doubt to clarity – where progressive energy unfolds a world of opportunities and increased income. She presents regularly on mindful strategy and personal re-invention and as an adjunct professor for Community College of Allegheny County.

Executive Presence Training: A strong vision, measurable goals, key strategies, confidence, likability, finesse and accountability are critical to success. Mary Lee’s clients achieve these in their ascent. Mary Lee has served on several executive management teams in the C-Suite.  As an experienced CEO and a former model, Mary Lee advises on the style and image that a “C” level executive needs in order to be effective. Her clients refine executive level skills, are more confident and effective and move into higher executive positions. She demonstrated success as a change agent applying the principles of operational excellence. A recent capital campaign raised $12 million across four projects.


Strategic Direction / Board Retreats / Meeting Facilitation: Throughout her roles as CEO and leading boards of directors Mary Lee has facilitated hundreds of meetings, strategic planning sessions, management and board retreats, and team building sessions.  She builds consensus among staff and volunteer leadership as well as creates and executes strategic plans that advance organizations.

Webinars:  Mary Lee presents webinars for a number of industries, corporations and placement agencies on topics that range from “Time Management” to “Business Goal Setting and Strategy” to “Transferable Skills.”

Management and Healthcare Consulting: Mary Lee has served in the roles of president, executive director, and president and CEO of non-profit organizations with assets of up to $26 million and actively serves on the boards of directors of several non-profit organizations. She has served the for-profit and non-profit side of healthcare and other businesses since she began her career in the Houston Medical Center.  Her story on “Health Care Executives Deal with Stress” was a front page lead story for Hospital News of Western PA.  She worked as a journalist for major metropolitan newspapers.  She served as the public relations director for businesses and organizations that include medical services and device companies, service companies, non-profit organizations, medical offices, school districts, professional associations, and more, scripting executives on key issues and securing media attention.  As a Sandler trained sales professional selling to companies in the healthcare and other sectors she creates solutions that increase business and overcome obstacles.


Association Management: As the executive director of a trade association and earning the distinction of Certified Association Executive (CAE) she learned to build consensus and advance mission in order to increase trade show attendance by 150% and membership by 40%.  She is the past president of the Pittsburgh Society of Association Executives.

Leadership, Board Development and Community Service:  Throughout her career Mary Lee has led many teams, fundraising campaigns, programs and boards of directors both in a professional capacity and in a volunteer leadership role. Her leadership and dedication to volunteer service is evidenced by her tenure on dozens of non-profit board of directors, specifically in the role of president of Rotary Club of Fox Chapel Area, president of Pittsburgh Society of Association Executives, president of St. Lucy’s Auxiliary to the Blind, chairperson of The Medallion Ball, and chairperson of the Development Committee for Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh XV. She served as a trustee on the boards of Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council, Eastern Area Adult Services, Women’s Auxiliary of the American Cancer Society, and Community Organized Representatives for Education under the Association of Retarded Citizens. She has volunteered for POWER, Society of Children’s Book Writers, One Vision One Life, the editor of her church newsletter and as a Girl Scout Leader for several Brownie, Junior and Cadette troops.


Mary Lee is the recipient of the Woman of Integrity Award from Pittsburgh Professional Women, The Lifetime Achievement Award from Pittsburgh Society of Association Executives, and the Leading Lady distinction from Oakland Catholic.

Media Recognition:

She is a former newspaper reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and her column appears in the Pittsburgh Business Times. She presents regularly to national audiences on engagement, corporate culture, conflict resolution, coaching vs managing, entrepreneurship, leadership, stress relief, management, divorce, and career turnaround. She has been featured in Money Magazine as an expert coach, NPR, Yahoo.com, U. S. News and World Report, msn.com, Forbes.com, CareerBuilder.com.

Media Mention and Published Articles:

Mindful Executive Leadership Starts with Moment-to-Moment Awareness, Smart Business
Lifetime Achievement Award, Tribune-Review
Gender Intelligence – Men and Women in the Workplace,Tribune-Review
Five Things You Need to Know to Get a New Job Now, Philadelphia Inquirer’s Philly.com
Book Just Released by President of StartingOverNow.com Helps Create Your Personal and Career Plan for 2014, PR.com
Ten Workplace Wellness Initiatives, Pittsburgh Business Times
Polish Your Pitch and Power Network, Pittsburgh Business Times
Six Ways to Improve Your Work Culture, Pittsburgh Business Times
Healthcare Executives Deal with Stress, Healthcare News

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