The Your Clear Next Step Team is dedicated to making business better. We uphold our mission and are consistently looking for opportunities to better improve Your Clear Next Step and our clients. Take a second and get to know the wonderful people dedicated to helping you make work and life better.
Relentlessly positive trainer and coach committed to even better.
Passionate editor and publisher of The Even Better Podcast.
Communications connoisseur and
Amazing Intern and social media star.
Queen of QuickBooks and conference manager extraordinaire.
Sales intern superstar helping you have a better workday.
Calendar magician who makes the most of every minute.
Extraordinary enterer of data and keeper of the database.
Email whiz and materials marvel.
Our Coaches, Partners, & Key Contributors
After a successful career in Business Analysis at Mutual of Omaha, Judy has started to write her next chapter as a coach, speaker, trainer, and mentor. Judy is thrilled to launch The Human Aspect of the BA Toolkit, a virtual webinar coaching series for BAs as part of this next chapter. Judy is dedicated to helping BAs, from all industries and companies, accelerate their careers.
Kay’s career has focused on leading change. Her background includes project management, business analysis, training, website development, and marketing eCommerce applications for state and local governments. She has also dedicated her time and skills to coaching individuals through career changes for more than 20 years. Kay earned a BA degree in psychology from the University of Iowa and received an MBA with a concentration in marketing from Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Licensed IDI Administrator, Coach
Paula Bell is the CEO of Paula A Bell Consulting, LLC for 20 years. She is a coach, consultant, speaker, and author with expertise in the areas of: business analysis, project management, leadership, diversity, equity & Inclusion, career development and self development. Through her 5-tier consulting business model, Paula helps individuals find their passion, build their brand, and enhance their skill sets through consultations, coaching and customizable documentation to drive results. Her desire is to inspire, motivate and encourage others, through a structured journey of self reflection and awareness as a catalyst for unlimited success. Paula is a Certified Business Analyst, Certified Master Life Coach, Certified Life Purpose Coach, Certified Goal Success Coach, Certified Happiness Coach, Certified Career Development Coach, Certified Diversity & Inclusion Manager Coach, Licensed Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Administrator, and Forrester Customer Experience (CX) Champion.
Paula also possesses 21+ years of experience in corporate America in project roles to include business analyst, requirements manager, business initiatives manager, business process quality manager, technical writer, project manager, developer, test lead and implementation lead. Paula has experience in a variety of industries to include media, courts, manufacturing and financial. She has lead multiple highly-visible multi-million dollar technology and business projects to create solutions to transform businesses as either a consultant, senior business analyst or manager. Currently she is also a Business Support Manager for a major financial institution leading a team of business process consultants to identify processes and execute on continuous improvement opportunities.
Paula is originally from Brooklyn, NY. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Management Information Systems from Oral Roberts, University located in Tulsa, OK. Paula is currently married and resides in Iowa with her husband and teenage twins (boy/girl). Paula is extremely active in her community as she is the Past President of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Fund which provides scholarships to minorities attending Iowa institutions, as well as, volunteers for many different community events. Paula believes in mind, body and soul and to add to the health component, she studies, and trains, martial arts and achieved her 2nd degree black belt designation in August of 2018. She leverages martial arts concepts to bring forth personal and professional concepts, hence her brand of the BA Martial Artist, as well as, she is a Certified Xtreme Hip Hop™ Step Aerobics Instructor.
Dawn Ealy is the Founder of Peak Cadence LLC. Dawn loves working with small, growing companies to optimize their organizations, processes and teams around the natural ways they work. She helps leaders structure their teams and workflows to maximize clarity and efficiency, while increasing engagement. Dawn’s background in leadership, project management, HR, technology, operations, and documentation within companies ranging from three employees to 30,000 provides a unique perspective for organizations experiencing growth and change.
Photo credit: Ellario Photography
Coach and Trainer
Nancy Hanna has always been one to empower others to be the best that they can be with the best that they have. After 30+ years in the education world, she continues to inspire, challenge, motivate, and celebrate others. She is a certified Christian Life Coach, along with being a certified Laugh Instructor. Whether she is making you laugh or challenging you to meet goals, she will win you over with her zest for living and her love for learning. Nancy hasn’t met a stranger in her 60+ years and always enjoys connecting with those she meets. Nancy and her husband, Jeff, operate Happy Heart Resources, giving businesses and individuals alike the opportunity to find joy in living. Connect with Nancy if you are looking for the motivation and skills to continue to be a better you, or just wanting to laugh. She won’t disappoint.
Faye is a connector, an encourager and is intentional about positively impacting those around her. Faye has her master’s degree in Training and Development and has held multiple roles in training, curriculum design, customer service and marketing throughout her 20+ year career. The “Maximizer” in her comes out as she teaches and influences people to be a better version of themselves, motivating them to leave a positive, lasting impact on others. Faye is currently a Marketing Support Specialist at Pella Corporation where she ensures the Pella brand is represented consistently, accurately, and proudly across multiple business segments.
Barb Ranck, is an experienced Certified Life Coach and Facilitator. Barb is dedicated to educating, inspiring, and activating motivated individuals to live their authentic purpose and leave a positive, lasting impact. Barb is a working mom and wife and held a career at a Fortune 500 company while also serving and giving back to the community. She “had it all”, but still felt empty and unfulfilled. Her solution? “Put her head down” and keep pushing ahead. It took a toll on her health, relationships, and energy. So, she embarked on a journey down the path of self-discovery. Her biggest realization was that you don’t have to “work harder” or wait for something (or someone else) to make your life more fulfilling. When she gained this clarity, the emptiness left and the energy returned, and she saw an improvement in her health and relationships. The discovery was so impactful that Barb made it her life’s mission to help others create a fulfilled version of their lives so they can have it all, too.
Lynn Swanson is a tenured professional who leverages her vast experience as a career coach. Her coaching services are available to individuals at any place in their career with an emphasis on seasoned workers who are approaching retirement. Lynn holds BS and MBA degrees from the University of Iowa. Working both formally and informally with others to help them realize their potential led to a partnership with the YCNS team to reach more individuals seeking career support.
Blair Wagner is a business consultant and leadership coach with mastery in change management, leadership development and organizational development. With 20+ years of project management and leadership experience along with strong business acumen, Blair is a natural relationship-builder skilled in maximizing the strengths of both organizations and people.
Blair founded the International Coach Federation, Iowa Chapter and is a leader in the coaching community, volunteering her time to build the coaching profession and to educate and mentor junior coaches.
Blair supports leaders in gaining self-awareness, identifying blind spots and roadblocks, and adapting their leadership and communication style to meet the needs of specific situations.
Blair co-authored an award-winning curriculum on female bullying, which is being used in 43 states and five countries. She guides leaders to create a drama-free work environment in which their employees thrive.
Blair’s industry experience includes manufacturing, higher education, health care, educational assessment, retirement communities, technology solutions, finance, hospitality, non-profits, government agencies, chamber of commerce, and mental health professionals.
Coach and Trainer
Gary Walljasper brings more than 20 years of strategic human resources consulting experience to The Carlson Group, LLC and Your Clear Next Step. His professional career has included multiple management and leadership roles involving extensive advisory work and partnership with middle and senior management. Areas of focus have included leadership development/effectiveness, strategic talent management, human capital planning, individual and organization development, strategic recruitment/retention, team dynamics, career planning, M&A integration, work-life focus, and employee engagement. Known for his leadership development and coaching, Gary has presented at several conferences on a wide range of strategic initiatives, including talent and leadership development, human capital planning, and learning transfer. His diverse background of capabilities include: HR Executive, Corporate Trainer/Facilitator, Leadership Coach, and a Leader of People.
Founder, Owner, Trainer, and Coach
Sinikka Waugh, president and founder of Your Clear Next Step, spends her days helping people have better workdays. Trainer, coach, business leader, and difference maker, Sinikka is known for consistently helping people improve their emotional intelligence and find innovative ways to solve problems and get things done at work. Putting her 20+ year background in languages, literature, and project management to good use, Sinikka has provided compassionate leadership in transformation initiatives and helped over 44,000 people have better workdays since 2008.
Her clients value how her results-driven professionalism blends seamlessly with her down-to-earth, “try this now” approach and her relentless passion for helping others achieve even better.
Coach and Trainer
Melissa is an acknowledged catalyst in partnering with her clients for their growth, elevating identified skills and abilities, and supporting each client to achieve their desired outcomes and goals. As an entrepreneur, facilitator, coach, trainer and small business owner, Melissa is known as a driven, fast-paced go-getter, with a get-it-done attitude. Melissa holds an MBA from Capella University, is an ICF ACC Accredited Coach and BS from University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Melissa lives with her husband Alan and their two pups, Olive and Charley in Centerville, Iowa.
Coach and Trainer
Ann is an ACC – ICF Credentialed Coach and specializes in Leadership and Team Coaching. She is an Educator, Author, and Inspirational Speaker, who works with individuals and teams on creating the future they want. She supports people in developing their interpersonal skills so they can achieve their goals in life.
Ann earned her Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Business and Psychology and Masters of Art in Business Leadership degree through Upper Iowa University. She has over twenty-five years of experience in the areas of leadership, management, and training which provides her with unique insight to the challenges and rewards managers experience. Ann also provides one-on-one coaching, as well as, group and team coaching and training workshops. DiSC assessment profiles and vision boards are only a couple of many resources utilized for her workshops. She believes people are an organization’s most valuable asset.
She is a graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, lifelong member of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce and was named one of the ten outstanding Iowans by the Iowa Junior Chamber of Commerce. She is also a contributing author to the books, Rekindling the Human Spirit, Maintain Balance in an Unsteady World, and The Devil is Done Sinning (Modern Dickens Novel published in Iowa).