The YCNS Team

The YCNS Team is dedicated to making business better. We uphold our mission and are consistently looking for opportunities to better improve YCNS and our clients. Take a second and get to know the wonderful people that are dedicated to helping you make work and life better.

Our Founder, Sinikka Waugh



Sinikka Waugh

Sinikka is a recognized leader in understanding people and in adapting tools, techniques, and processes to meet the demands of the situation at hand. As a popular presenter and trainer, her energetic and engaging style drives home the art and science of making business better for individuals, teams, and organizations.

Since 1996, Sinikka has successfully applied analysis and leadership expertise to improve performance in a wide array of industries. As a project manager, business analyst, facilitator, trainer, and coach, Sinikka is known for consistently helping teams find innovative ways to solve problems and get things done. Since 2006, Sinikka has provided compassionate leadership in transformation initiatives. Her results-driven professionalism blends seamlessly with her down-to-earth, “try this now” approach and her passion for helping others reach their goals and interact more effectively with others.

Sinikka recenly served as the Vice President of Marketing & Communications for the Central Iowa PMI Chapter.

Sinikka holds a BA from Central College, an MA from the University of Iowa, and is a certified Project Management Professional through the Project Management Institute. Sinikka and her husband Spencer live in Indianola, Iowa with their two daughters.

Our Coaches, Partners, & Key Contributors

Judy Alter

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.

Judy Alter

Kay Arvidson

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 a MBA with a concentration in marketing from Georgia State University in Atlanta.


Tom Green

Tom is the owner of Gateways Pastoral Resources, a ministry that consults to pastors, parish staffs, diocesan staffs, as well as school and church leaders. Tom is a trained leadership coach, and he works closely with pastors and parish staff.  He is a professional mediator and facilitator of a unique peacemaking and reconciling ministry, and is a trained and practicing spiritual director and Stephen Minister. Tom is also the founder of Create Clean Hearts, a ministry dedicated to sharing the most helpful and transformative resource for those struggling with or impacted by pornography. He is an active member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Des Moines, Iowa.  Tom holds a BA degree from Loras College and a MA degree from Drake University.

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Nancy Hanna

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.

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Barb Ranck

Head Coach, 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.

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Joel Smith

Joel is a Franchisee and co-owner of eight Papa Murphy’s Pizza stores in central and eastern Iowa. He is a John Maxwell Certified Leadership Coach and Trainer and has a passion for helping business owners and leaders learn to work on their business and not just in it. As the Founder and Director of the Truth and Leadership Academy in Des Moines Iowa, he teaches principled based leadership to up and coming leaders. His passion is to help aspiring leaders discover their passion and move past the obstacles that keep them from advancing to their next level.

Lynn Swanson

Lynn has over 25 years of professional experience, as well as an MBA degree. Holding positions including internal consultant, trainer, business analyst, project manager and chief of staff (sales operations) have provided a solid background in discovering and leveraging strengths and skills. When a company downsize eliminated her position, Lynn drew upon her experience and skills to discover opportunities she had never anticipated. She is currently a co-founder of a tech start-up and on the side enjoys working with musicians in both short-term and long-term collaborations.


Gary Walljasper

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.

Gary Walljasper

Blair Wagner

Blair Wagner is an organizational consultant and leadership coach with mastery in change management and organizational development. With 20+ years of experience and strong business acumen, Blair is a natural relationship-builder skilled in maximizing the strengths of both organizations and people with mastery in collaboratively implementing change.


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Melissa Worrel

Over her 18-year career, Melissa Worrel has focused her efforts in leadership, talent development, and business strategy. Her diverse background includes entrepreneurial business start-ups as well as significant leadership roles in large corporations. Melissa started her career in franchising with two Curves for Women locations in Seattle, WA. While operating her franchise locations Melissa ventured into insurance. Being asked to move into a corporate role, she helped develop and mentor new agency owners in low market share states within the operating territory. This experience to recruit, train and develop new business owners where the brand was not widely known was incredible learning to share with business owners buying into new franchises and/or building their brand in any marketplace. After six years of working with new agents; Melissa transitioned to established agencies to assist them in growing their current market share, revamping their marketing systems, increasing profits, lowering expenses and improving client retention. Her final corporate role was VP Agencies for a mid-sized Midwest insurance company. Melissa believes we grow our businesses and profit through teamwork and people. People, purpose and passion will deliver profits. One of our biggest assets is how we lead our teams, develop our people and roll up our sleeves with people leadership.