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Circle of Distinction Award

The ICF Circle of Distinction program celebrates the best of the coaching profession and ICF. Circle of Distinction members are experienced coach practitioners who have made their mark on ICF and the coaching profession. Circle of Distinction members are chosen for their impact on and contributions to ICF, the coaching profession, and social change; thought leadership; as well as their mission, vision, and core values.

Newest Circle of Distinction Award Honorees

Congratulations to the newest individuals inducted into the ICF Circle of Distinction:

  • Elena Espinal, MCC, (Mexico): Elena is one of the first Master Certified Coaches (MCC) in Latin America. She is the founder of the Coaching Con Vision program, which was recently featured in Forbes. Elena’s contributions to the professional coaching world have consistently raised the bar in terms of innovation, commitment, and the highest standards in ethics and delivery. She has founded numerous coaching schools in Latin America since 1998, all of which have been accredited by ICF. Her dedication to integrating cultures from around the world has established new uses for coaching, including with governments as they strive to integrate the indigenous cultures of their countries. Elena was nominated by Laura Bicondoa, MCC; Diana Ajzen, MCC; and Susana Warman, MCC.
  • Fran Fisher, MCC (USA): Fran is one of the early thought leaders, trainers and pioneers of ICF. In the early 90s, Fran was on the first committee to establish standards for ICF credentialing and became one of the first MCCs. Those who know her claim that she is, without a doubt, one of the early influencers of coaching methodologies that will eventually result in positive social change worldwide. To her core, Fran embodies a Circle of Distinction honoree. Fran was nominated by Patrick Williams, MCC, EdD; Annie Gelfand, MCC; and Adria Trowhill, MCC.
  • Soren Holm, MCC (Sweden): Soren is one of the first coaches in the Nordic region. As a result, Soren dedicated considerable time into establishing public awareness of the coaching profession. He co-led the development of the ICF Nordic Chapter and served as its second president. He also played a key role in bringing together the European ICF chapter leaders to support ICF’s growth in Europe and served five years on the ICF global board. Perhaps his biggest contributions to the industry have been in his work with credentialing, ultimately leading the development of the PCC Markers, which earned the committee members the 2013 ICF Presidents’ Award. Soren was nominated by Lena Sobel, PCC; Richard Bentley, PCC; and Anja Lindberg, PCC.
  • Philippe Rosinski, MCC (Belgium): Philippe has pioneered a global approach to leadership and coaching that supports an increase in creativity, impact, fulfillment, and meaning. The Harvard Business School selected his first book, Coaching Across Cultures, as its featured book recommendation in the category of business leadership. Within ICF, Philippe co-founded the ICF Belgium Chapter. He is considered around the world to be the pioneer of intercultural and global coaching, making him an obvious choice for the Circle of Distinction. Philippe was nominated by Eva Benesova; Rose-Marie Fernandez, PCC; and Teruko Kagohashi, PCC. 

Read the full press release for these award winners.


2021 Inductees

  • Svetlana Chumakova, MCC (Russia)

    Svetlana was the first credentialed coach in Russia and founded the first native Russian coaching school in 1997. In addition, Svetlana organized the first coaching conferences in Moscow and St. Petersburg and has developed an independent Coaching Leaders Award in Russia.

  • Marilyn O’Hearne, MCC (USA):

    Marilyn is one of the pioneering advocates for a diverse, inclusive coaching profession as well as integrating coaching and cultural competencies. She wrote Breaking Free from Bias, (three) book chapters and has delivered 50 programs and interviews, many for ICF chapters globally, as well as developing her own Culturally Intelligent programs for coaches and leaders. Her service as a leader includes both ICF and ACTO boards, the ICF Advance Cultural Competency Advisory Team, and serving as an ICF Coaching Ambassador in Latin America and Asia Pacific.

Past Inductees

  • 2019

    • Wai K. Leong, MCC (Malaysia)
    • Patricia Mathews, MCC (USA)
    • Sue McMahon, PCC (USA)
    • Meryl Moritz, MCC (USA)
    • Marcia Reynolds, Psy.D., MCC (USA)
    • Dave Wondra, PCC (USA)
  • 2018

    • Teri-E Belf, MCC (USA)
    • Judy Feld, MCC (USA)
    • Damian Goldvarg, Ph.D., MCC (Argentina/USA)
    • Keiko Hirano, MCC (Japan)
    • Patrick Williams, Ed.D., MCC (USA)
    • Beverley Alridge Wright, PCC (USA)

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