The Gold Standard in Coaching | ICF - Young Leaders Award
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Young Leader Award

The ICF Young Leader Award celebrates coach practitioners age 40 and under who are poised to lead ICF and the coaching profession into the future. Honorees embody the core values of ICF and represent a diverse community of emerging thought leaders.

2022 Young Leader Award Honorees

Congratulations to the newest ICF Young Leader Award winners:

  • Marina Jankovic, MCC (United Kingdom): Marina has had a positive impact through coaching in underprivileged communities. In 2021, she created a leadership coaching conference for the Microloan Foundation through which she raised funds to empower hundreds of women and children in Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Marina finds time to give back and work towards elevating the coaching profession. She empowers coaching communities to contribute to reducing environmental destruction through mentoring experienced and aspiring coaches. Marina has published the Amazon best-selling book, Your Time To Shine: Awaken Your Greatness to Change the World. Marina received recommendations from Zoran Todorovic, MCC, and Dennis Knight.
  • Ricardo Melo, PCC (Argentina): Ricardo is the creator of the first network and online portal for Spanish-speaking coaches. A pro-bono coach and collaborator of the First Virtual Marathon against Bullying, he provided training tools to help end bullying and improve self-esteem. In addition to training hundreds of people through his International ICF-accredited school, he trains fellow coaches in his program, “I Am a Coach and Now What?” Ricardo has been working for 10 years in an interruptive way to democratize coaching. Today, he leads the program, “Coaching in Slippers,” for NGOs in deprived neighborhoods. His motto is, “to leave coaching in a better place than we received it.” Ricardo received recommendations from Samuel Stamateas, ACC, and Lesio Andreggiani.
  • Shruti Sonthalia, PCC (India): Shruti is a deeply passionate coach educator. She has mentored and assessed coaches from around the world to receive their coaching credentials and played a pivotal role in establishing transformational coaching in India. She is also a thought leader in coaching for social impact. She has designed and delivered coaching for humanitarian organizations such as Peace Corps in places like Fiji and Madagascar. Passionate about building communities, she co-founded the Corona Quilt Project, an initiative to enable authentic expression, belonging, and connection, that culminated into public art installations across Indian cities. Shruti is committed to making the ICF network a more inclusive and expansive space, and she is a member of the ICF Foundation Council of Ambassadors. Shruti received recommendations from Dr. Uttara Pattanaik, PCC, and Vijayalakshmi Chari.

Read the full press release for these award winners.

2021 Honorees

  • Johana Alvarado, PCC (Costa Rica)

    Johana has led coaching efforts throughout all of Central America and has participated in press interviews to share updated information about the scope of the discipline of coaching, to enhance the industry’s credibility. She has conducted over 5,000 hours of direct coaching over the past 12 years, impacting individuals, groups and teams alike.

  • Ester Landa, MCC (Russia/USA)

    Ester has worked in several countries and has proven to be a role model for young coaches across the world. Her time has been dedicated to several pro bono coaching activities, aimed to enhance public good. Additionally, Ester has presented coaching, mentoring and supervision demo-sessions at many conferences in an effort to promote high professional standards and introduce colleagues to new methodologies, coaching trends and niches.

  • Tomas Pesek, ACC (Slovakia)

    Tomas runs a dedicated long-term training program to upskill youth workers in the coaching discipline to better support young people. Additionally, he has partnered with innovative teachers and mentors across Slovakia to help equip them with coaching skills and methods, while concurrently exploring the potential of integrating these principles in formal education. He also contributes to several other efforts for organizations including the European Union, Erasmus+, and more.

  • Lenka Zelingrova, PCC (Czech Republic

    Lenka is a founding member of the ICF Czech Chapter and has been representing the ICF core values for 15 years. She has developed a specialized coaching program for the blind and is the founder and CEO of Koucink Centrum in Prague, where she provides coaching for corporate clients, and founded the Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH) Coaching Training School.

Past Honorees

  • 2019

    • Gaurav Arora, MCC (India)
    • Jaya Bhateja, MCC (India)
    • Rey Castellanos, PCC (USA)
    • Samer Hassan, MCC (Egypt)
    • Dr. Zach Prosser, PCC (USA)
    • Ozlem Sarioglu, PCC (Turkey)
  • 2018

    • Rodrigo Acevedo, ACC (Uruguay)
    • Elena Chelokidi, PCC (Russia)
    • Shweta Handa-Gupta, MCC (India)
    • Dr. Paras, MCC (India)
    • Flame Schoeder, PCC (USA)
    • Mariya Staykova, PCC (Bulgaria)

Young Leader Award Program Contact

  • Stephanie Norris

    Awards Director

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