Who We Are

The Ashland Institute Board of Directors 

Burcu Yalman, 
Coach & Facilitator, Istanbul, Turkey


Burcu is an ICF certified professional coach (PCC), with over 2500 hours of coaching practice, working as executive coach, team coach, facilitator and trainer,  primarily on leadership development, diversity & inclusion and change & transition. She practices her profession under her company Coachzone. Her niche area is women leadership and empowerment. Also, she works as a faculty leader in Adler Turkey, an ICF accredited coach training institute.

Burcu holds a BA degree in Business Administration from Bogazici University and an MBA from George Washington University. She speaks Turkish and English fluently and has a good command of French. She enjoys music, reading and traveling. As a mother of two children, she likes to spend her spare time with her family in nature and at sea.

Vesselina Blagoeva, Facilitator, Sophia, Bulgaria

vessie.jpgVesselina works as a business lawyer and mediator. Her professional focus is to support communication and dialogue on various levels. In her practice of business she is a solution-finder, assisting and encouraging her clients to use different methods of alternative dispute resolutions and bringing together counter positions.
She is a development practitioner specializing in individual and organizational learning, women's leadership and personal growth. Her passion is to help people blossom and live their lives at the level of their true potential. Vesselina is a founder of AleKo Foundation, a social enterprise committed to supporting children and women through growth and change with programs for development, art and creativity. She is also a writer and artist. She lives in Sofia, Bulgaria. She has a daughter at 14, Bozhana. Vesselina speaks Bulgarian, English and Russian.

Laurie Shiparski, Facilitator, Colorado, US

Laurie Shiparski has dedicated her life to bringing hope and healing into the world to help people move through change. Laurie's’ leadership experiences span over 38 years in health care including; critical care RN, hospital management, and entrepreneur in public and private companies. She is currently a principal at Edgework Institute, a leadership and healthcare consulting company where she is a catalyst for personal and organizational change. She implements innovations in leadership & business development, finances, hospital operations and clinical quality.

Laurie is an international speaker, author of 5 books, and many articles. She has a blog: "Edgework: Navigating Challenging, Edgy Experiences in Life.”  She is also an artist who creates hope and healing pieces and teaches intuitive art experiences.  As a faculty member of "Coming Into Your Own", she leads women's leadership retreats in Denver, CO where she lives. Many have benefited from her leadership and healing presence.

Heidy Heffner, Coach & Facilitator, New Mexico, US

Heidy.jpgHeidy is a Certified Coach who supports individuals, managers and groups in their development of self-awareness and leadership, as well as team and personal transformation. She holds an MBA and has 20 years of experience leading global teams, developing strategies and managing operations for multinational companies including Chevron and Starbucks, in the Retail, Global Energy and Food & Beverage sectors. Heidy believes that nature, somatic work and living foods are key to help bring more harmony into our lives and incorporates them into her life and work. She has lived and worked in several countries and enjoys traveling as a way to build relationship bridges throughout the world.

Founding Board Members


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Barbara Cecil Peri Chickering Glennifer Gillespie
Coach & Facilitator Coach & Facilitator Organizational Development
Ashland, Oregon Hancock, New Hampshire Oregon/South Africa

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Dorian Baroni Beth Jandernoa Isabelle Pujol
Coach & Facilitator Organizational Consultant Coach & Facilitator  
Arizona/Europe Oregon/South Africa Brussels, Belgium
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Michael Cecil Andrew Shier Anne Dosher
Energy Practitioner Energy Practitioner Elder
Ashland, Oregon Hancock, New Hampshire California