Ruth Ann Harnisch, Institute Founder and Benefactor, is President of the Harnisch Foundation, funds innovations in Coaching, Journalism, and Philanthropy. Her thought leadership was essential to the creation of the Instittue as she first recognized the need for coaching to have a strong research base and voice. To make this happen she first created the Foundation of Coaching which offered coaching research grants. As this vision grew she invested in the Institute of Coaching in order to widen this vision and increase its impact. She then funded the Institute of Coaching, the annual International Coaching Research Forum, as well as The Coaching Commons, a worldwide forum for coaching news and commentary. She serves on the Board of the International Coach Federation Foundation, following service on the Board of the International Association of Coaching and The Thomas J. Leonard Foundation. Ms. Harnisch was the first recipient of the Vision of Excellence Award at the inaugural Harvard Coaching Conference in 2008. She is an IAC Certified Coach.
Ruth Ann Harnisch has given grants to hundreds of not-for-profit organizations since its founding in 1998. She is a proponent of creative philanthropy whose unusual charitable investments have landed her on Oprah and the Today show. Ruth Ann encourages people to discover the thrill of giving money, time, skills, ideas and other assets to the causes they care about, and shares their stories on www.thrillionaires.org.
Ruth Ann is a "recovering journalist." Starting out as a teen deejay in her native Buffalo, NY, she spent three decades in media work, including Emmy-nominated television reporting and anchoring at the CBSTV affiliate in Nashville, TN, a daily talk-radio program on WLAC-AM, and 17 years as a columnist for the Nashville Banner.
After retiring from her journalism career, she chaired the board of More Than Money, a national nonprofit assisting top wealth-holders to put their money where their values are. That organization's coaching program inspired Ruth Ann to learn about the emerging field of professional coaching. She joined the International Coach Federation and the International Association of Coaches. She served on the Board of Governors of the IAC as well as the board of the Thomas J. Leonard Foundation. She became a Co-Founder of The Foundation of Coaching in order to create the independent resource for coaching information she had sought nearly a decade ago. Ruth Ann served on the board of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the Society of Professional Journalists (of which she has been a member for over 30 years).
She is a member of the Women Donors Network, the International Women's Forum, Rachel's Network, the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences, the Radio and Television News Directors Association, American Women in Radio and Television, the Buffalo Broadcasters Association, and is a lifetime member of the Broadcasters Foundation.
Ruth Ann is an IAC certified professional coach. In her pro bono practice, Ruth Ann has been a thinking partner to authors, scientists, executives, performers, and other dynamic individuals. Ruth Ann says, "I work every day to apply my money and my moxie to the biggest problem in the world - untapped capacity. In my coaching, my grant-making, and my donor activities and organizations, I want to help people discover how much they've got and how to make the most of it for themselves and for others."
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