Partnership & Process



  • Over 20 years of leadership and executive leadership experience  
  • Over 10 years of brain-based coaching, consulting, educating, and partnering toward what's next 


  • Neuroscience of Leadership, Middlesex University
  • Certified Hudson Institute of Coaching Executive, Leadership, Career and Transition Coach
  • Professional Certified Coach (PCC) - International Coaching Federation
  • B.A., Psychology, University of New Hampshire​

Advanced Training and Certification:  

  • Emotional Intelligence (EI)
  • Meyer Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) 
  • Renewing Teams in Changing Times
  • MBS Leadership Assessment - neuroscientist designed and validated for brain based look at leadership competencies

Previous Roles:  

  • Chief Operating Officer for a physician-owned multi-specialty group (also held Director of Marketing and Physician Recruitment)
  • Director, Brain Health Center of a hospital-based community brain health center
  • Executive Director of two non-profit agencies
  • Director of Innovation for a multi-service line behavioral health organization. 

Current Roles:  

  • Peer reviewer and past national conference presenter (and MetLife MindAlert Award Winner) with American Society on Aging

That Essential Spark is a partner for creating new and desired outcomes.  We work with people who are ready to chart their course, realize the possibilities they see, and achieve goals and aspirations in all areas of life.  

We are known for simplifying complexities into key areas of focus and creating active honest relationships in which to explore and address strengths, gaps, obstacles, opportunities.  

As President and Founder, I bring over 20 years of leadership experience in working with and through others to creatively find a path to the identified target. 

  • Certified in the neuroscience of leadership, I bring evidence based strategies, content expertise, a strengths-based approach, and real world application to each and every conversation and project.   

  • For over 12 years, I've Coached across many industries and on diverse topics related to personal and professional change, leadership development, getting unstuck, taking that next step, and gaining clarity around options and choice.   


I partner with people individuallly, in groups as well as with and within organizations in highly customized ways.  I collaborate with a small group of very skilled and like-minded coaches for projects that support a team of coaches. 

I bring a comprehensive understanding of how the brain works, in-depth training on people and change methodology through the Hudson Institute of Coaching, and over 20+ years of leadership experience to your agenda.  

I work in ways that leverage how the brain works, increase cognitive capacity, and shift the dynamics toward gathering what is needed to specify the exact and measurable goal, address the obstacles, evaluate the value, shift the mindset, and takes steps toward the desired outcome.    

People who work with me describe themselves as:

  • enjoying the insights,  tactical applications and evidence from the brain sciences; 
  • ready to do the work to think in new ways about self, others, collaboration, and leadership;
  • wanting to take new action toward different results in who and how they are in the world; 
  • seeking a collaborative pathfinder toward the future vision for self, teams, and work products.

Those who work with me are promised:

  • Undivided attention, presence, and listening; both to what you say and what's between the lines.
  • Unconditional regard for your agenda, your risks and rewards, your unique outlook, and your vulnerabilities.  
  • Creative, outcome-oriented, humor-filled, communications.
  • Proven methodologies and brain-friendly approaches to goal setting and closing the gaps between today and the desired tomorrow.
  • Tools and models to use in and out of work such that your experience builds your future toolkit.

Coaching is a methodology that:

  • uses conversation, questions, and discovery tools as a way to surface insights and information needed for what you want to achieve;
  • believes that most compelling answers and actions are generated from within and through a whole-person approach that includes the exploration of priorities, values,  life stage, goals, uncertainties, and challenges; 
  • allows for meaningful consideration, planning, idea generation, sound-boarding, learning, and path setting in a partnership designed singularly to uphold your agenda; and
  • ​can be likened to product development - where the product is you.


​​​​Debra Raybold, PCC