The Center for Character-based Leadership

Great results through great character

About Us

Our coaches have experience with many organizations: professional service firms; financial service; health care; science; technology and manufacturing. Along with a track record of serving family owned businesses, we know how to help rapidly growing companies navigate emerging transitions.

Our character-based coaching and curriculum focuses on the complexity of leading in the top two to three levels of organizations and the talent they are developing to step into that space. We attend to individual and team development at the same time we work with you to shape your organization’s culture to support collective success.

Pictures and short bios of staff follow:


Our consultants

  • Lila Lewey

    Lila Lewey, M.A., L.P., is a co-founder of the Center for Character-based Leadership and the architect of the Center’s character-based leadership curriculum. A licensed psychologist, she has been a pioneer in the executive coaching movement, designing nationally known coaching and leadership programs. Prior to founding the Center, she worked with an international leadership development firm, consulting both with Fortune 500 and mid-sized businesses.


  • Kateri Topitzhofer

    Kateri Topitzhofer, Ph.D., is a Minnesota licensed psychologist practicing as an executive coach. Before joining the Center, Kateri worked for twelve years in a Fortune 500 company as a leader herself, and as an internal coach and consultant. She works with senior leaders and their teams in a variety of industries, with significant experience in family-owned businesses, science and technology companies, manufacturing and professional service firms. She does some of her best work with leaders seeking to empower and develop their employees and teams, accelerate organizational change, improve relationships, and manage their lives and careers more intentionally. Her clients know her to be a careful listener, trustworthy sounding board and results-oriented coach.



  • Sue Boehlke


    Sue Boehlke has over 30 years of experience within the food industry, holding a variety of staff and line leadership roles. The last several years have been devoted exclusively to consulting in the field of executive development and organizational change. Clients include  McGladrey, SuperValu, Padgett, Stratemann & Company, Ameriprise and Capella University.

    Sue brings real-time, pragmatic solutions to leaders. Fully appreciative of the complexity leaders face, Sue is a valued partner in contributing to executives making significant shifts in their leadership capabilities.




  • Susan Lewis

    Susan Lewis, MBA, is currently directing business development for the Center. For the previous 14 years, she was a senior consultant working in all areas of leadership development. Prior to joining the Center, Susan was a principal at a major accounting and consulting firm, managing the family business and management development divisions. She also was their senior vice president of human resources before retiring and joining the Center for Character-based leadership. Her work experience includes working in advertising and marketing research. She also was a medical social worker and hospital administrator and planner.



  • Mike Delaney

    Mike Delaney, M.A. brings an extensive background in business to leadership consulting. Mike has 35 years experience as a senior human resource executive with expertise in leading organizations going through significant change, including structural, governance and strategic planning. As part of executive leadership teams, Mike has assessed and developed leadership teams and coached leaders to maximize their own personal and professional effectiveness. Mike’s experience crosses several industries, including financial services, professional services and manufacturing.

    Mike is a Certified Professional Integral Coach®. He holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Illinois, an M.A. in industrial relations/organization development from University of Minnesota and has continued his studies in change management and leadership development through Northwestern University. Mike leads the Center’s office in Chicago.


    Michael J. Delaney


  • Tammy Gifft

    Tammy Gifft, MA, LP, MBA, is a licensed psychologist and experienced organizational performance coach. She enjoys working with individuals, teams, and organizations as they navigate an ever-evolving world of change. She is passionate about coaching for resilience and optimal performance, helping leaders maintain their well-being in the process. Tammy has extensive experience coaching and consulting in Fortune 100 Companies working with leaders in the areas of sales, marketing, and operations.


  • Katy Mitchell

    Katy Mitchell, M.A. As a consultant, Katy specializes in leadership coaching, succession planning and team development with additional expertise in transitioning leadership and ownership in closely held businesses. She is passionate about empowering leaders to build skills and confidence to make valuable and positive contributions to their organizations.

    Katy holds a master’s in counseling psychology from the University of St. Thomas. She has completed a training program with the Coaches Training Institute, is a qualified administrator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Instrument, is certified in the California Psychological Inventory and completed the Empowerment Institute Certification Program for Empowerment in Organizations. She has previously served as the VP of Programs for Minnesota Professionals for Psychology Applied to Work.




  • Sandy Reeser

    Sandy Reeser, PCC, is an experienced business consultant and certified executive coach. She has over 25 years of global experience aligning people, plans and processes to achieve results, particularly in the areas of organization development, change management, culture change and leadership development. Before forming her own consulting firm, Sandy worked close to 10 years at Accenture in a variety of change management roles, including being responsible for large-scale culture initiatives across 23,000 employees spanning the US, Latin America and Canada. She is passionate about helping leaders connect, transform and succeed.





  • Pat Tabor

    Patrick Tabor, MBA is a leadership development, strategy and team building senior consultant with over 30 years of experience working with senior management of companies and professional service firms. Pat specializes in strategic applications, conflict management within senior teams and executive coaching. Pat served as executive vice president—international services and office managing partner of a major national CPA firm prior to joining the Center. In addition to his consulting work, Pat owns a group of outdoor recreation companies in northwest Montana.