Our Talent

Laura Steck, M.A.

Laura Steck, M.A. ~ President & Executive Coach

laura-steck.jpgLaura, President, Executive Coach, and licensed clinician, has worked with the Growth & Leadership Center for over 17 years. She is an expert at teaching optimistic interactions during critical transitions in organizations. She provides team-building tools and consultation to senior executives on how to deal with business changes, succession planning and conflict resolution.

Laura is vigorous and persistent in pursuit of data and results. Her enthusiasm and strong analytical problem-solving skills make her especially effective in working with top-level executives. She is also experienced in public speaking in many different forums.

Over the last seventeen years as a business owner, coach and facilitator, she has developed a solid reputation for expert handling of in-the-moment conflict and business strategies. Her clients range from high tech companies like Symantec and HP.

As a co-author for the book, Same Game Different Rules (Mc Graw Hill), she also facilitates GLC’s Executive Women’s Coaching Group where she inspires leadership and change in women executive levels. Her latest book co-authored with Jean Hollands is called Approachability. The Key to Influencing Others. NBC news, People Magazine, New York Times and international media have all praised Laura as a stimulating messenger for leadership skills in the workplace.

“Laura Hollands-Steck will get you focused on your business blind spots right away and will not let you off the hook”

–COO Client of a major Silicon Valley Corporation

Email: lsteck@glcweb.com

Kent Kaufman, MS, M.S.E

Kent Kaufman, MS, M.S.E ~ Chief Executive Officer


Kent Kaufman brings Leadership and stellar business experience to Growth &Leadership Center. Kent’s work history covers the business gamut including senior levels of engineering, sales, marketing, operations and business development. Kent has excelled working with businesses of small, medium and large sized companies and has driven business with companies at all stages.

Prior to joining GLC in 2004, Kent led Dana Software through building business opportunities, mergers and acquisitions and strategic partnerships. In January 2002, Kent served as Executive Vice President of Business Development for MessageHero an Internet startup, which created an innovative unified messaging platform. Kent wore many hats during its startup phase ranging from business model creation to product development to raising capital.

Prior to that Kent was Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing for EDC, a leading data storage and industry equipment manufacturer. He was responsible for worldwide revenues, as well as strategic partnerships, joint ventures and special projects with international large-cap companies throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Kent was a key member of the management team that took Nashua’s Computer Products Division private, and then public through the IPO of Stormedia, where he oversaw all product and process development. Earlier in his career, Kent spent over 12 years at IBM, where he was groomed for leadership and high level management, while taking on technical roles for the computer storage and peripherals business. Kent graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science degree in Materials Science and from Stanford University with a Masters of Science degree in Engineering.<hr/>

Email: kkaufman@glcweb.com

JP McDermott, M.B.A.

James P. McDermott (JP), M.B.A. ~ VP Client Service


James P. McDermott (JP) had been an officer and leader in various senior roles throughout his career. JP has over 20 years experience in the communications industry and has proven executive leadership in sales, operations, customer care and general management. To add strengths and a variety of experiences in management roles, JP has gone from large to small sized companies and recently led the Customer Care operations team at iBEAM Broadcasting as Vice President to success.

Prior to that, he was Regional Vice President at SBC (now AT&T), leading a business unit comprised of sales, product management, marketing and database operations for E9-1-1, nearly doubling sales to $62M/year. As Executive Director JP created and led Pacific Bell’s Customer Support Organization for California’s business customers, managing a team of nearly 400. Before Pacific Bell, JP spent 14 years with AT&T in sales, operations, data networking and program management.

Prior Leadership trainings as an executive inspired the big move to creating his own Leadership Development firm, and eventually led to joining the Growth and Leadership Center in 2007. JP has a BA from the University of California, San Diego and an Executive MBA from St. Mary’s College of California. He is also on many boards including the Diablo Light Opera Company and the Art Commission for the Town of Danville. JP’s Executive Coaching style is both professional and casual while he excels at being strategic and highly collaborative.

Patricia Goss, Ph.D

Patricia Goss, Ph.D ~ Executive Coach & Trainer


Patricia has a strong background in both the business and academic worlds with 20 years of experience as a management consultant, senior manager of marketing / business development and human resources / training organizations in a Fortune 100 company. She is well known for her direct but tactful style of delivering feedback to senior management. In this environment she led and facilitated senior management teams developing strategic plans, partnering strategies and branding events. During this time Patricia also designed leadership programs incorporating the tools, feedback, strategy and skill sets necessary to meet the needs of rapidly a changing business environment.

Dr. Goss has extensive experience dealing with the federal government in Washington, D.C. including Congress, the executive branch and NASA. She has won many awards including the 1997 YWCA Tribute to Women in Industry and the 1997 Lockheed Martin President’s Leadership Award. Prior to her experience in business, Dr. Goss taught at two major universities and was the coach of a winning national debate team at UCLA. She is a strong mentor to women in business and has outstanding speaking and communication skills.

Pat Rice, Ph.D

Pat Rice, Ph.D ~ Executive Coach


Pat is a management coach and expert team trainer with extensive experience working in the international arena. Pat has consulted throughout the U.S., Ireland, Egypt, Israel, and Spain. He was co-director and staff consultant of a conflict resolution program in Northern Ireland and a feasibility study on conflict resolution between Egypt and Israel. Pat’s 25 years of coaching and consulting experience include working with Carl Rogers, the founder of Humanistic Psychology. His experience covers a spectrum of industries including nuclear power, health care, high tech, and insurance.

Pat’s passion is helping individuals and groups to increase their capacity to function effectively, productively, and happily through increased understanding of self and others and by the development of skills for positive self-management and interpersonal interaction. He is a specialist in teaching the skills of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and in administering and interpreting the Birkman Performance Profile for individuals and teams. He is a professional speaker, trainer, and executive coach.

Pat is a man with a rich background of experience and interests. He began flying airplanes when he was fourteen, and danced professionally when he was in college. He holds advanced degrees in Philosophy, Education, Psychology, and Theology, and has a Ph.D. in Psychology. He is a volunteer in the Cuddler program in the Intensive Care Unit at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

Chuck Erickson, B.S.E.E

Chuck Erickson, B.S.E.E ~ Executive Coach


With 15 years of international experience as CTO and CEO of a European computer manufacturer, Chuck exercises his expertise in CEO coaching, interim CEO/COO positioning, and project management consultation. More recently performing as President/CEO, CTO and COO of various entrepreneurial management teams in startup, turnaround and pre-IPO companies, Erickson has lived and breathed the incredible pace, pressures and mandates inherent in such environments.

Currently he is the managing director of a twenty-company software and Internet incubator in San Jose. Erickson is a seasoned executive with nearly 30 years of management and technical experience in innovative software and hardware development, joint international business ventures, and corporate marketing and manufacturing operations.

Chuck holds a B.S.E.E from Illinois Institute of Technology; he has taught at lIT, Penn State University and San Jose State. He currently holds positions as Council President, Executive VP and Area President of the Boy Scouts of America; he serves as Chairman of the Board for Eastfield Ming Quong, a child and family services non-profit agency.

Ron Steck, M.A.

Ron Steck, M.A. ~ EVP Coaching & Program Design

ron-steckRon has worked at the Growth and Leadership Center since 1992, and has taken on responsibility for the overall quality, structure, and process associated with all GLC Programs, including, Executive Coaching, Team Development, and Training.

He has worked extensively as a coach–from independent contributor, first and second level managers, to Directors, VPs and the C-Suite Executive. He also has experience with a broad spectrum of companies and industries, including Fortune 50 technology companies, Biotech and Medical (both startup and public), Construction, and Financial Services companies.

Ron is an expert at helping people understand and maximize their impact and influence on those around them-Direct Reports, Peers, Managers, and Key Partnerships outside of companies. He assists people in focusing on priorities, making transitions into executive roles,and building topnotch teams to support success. He is able to facilitate changes in how executives think about and approach their work roles and business relationships to effectively scale to the opportunity.

Email: rsteck@glcweb.com

Jean Hollands, M.S.

Jean Hollands, M.S. ~ Chairman of the Board, Executive Coach

jean-hollandsJean Hollands is the Founder of Growth and Leadership Center, a corporate training center since 1980. She has been a spokesperson for Silicon Valley business trends that impact the community and the work force of this area. She has consulted with over 200 companies and dozens of CEOs.
Along the way, Hollands has written five major books and has been featured in most national publications and television media. Her company, GLC, was featured in Business Week about tough love for techie souls and the rebooting of burned out and crashed executives.

Her third book, Red Ink Behaviors: How to Manage the Surprising High Cost of Problem Employees, 1997, received national acclaim from business schools throughout the United States. Her other publications include The Silicon Syndrome: How to Survive a High Tech Relationship, Optimistic Organizations: How to Get, Grow and Keep Positive Power in Your Company.

Same Game, Different Rules, has prompted appearances on Good Morning America and the Today Show. Jean has been a national keynote speaker whose topics transcend the trends and dilemmas of America’s workplace.

Her most recent book written with Laura Steck, is a winner, that gets at the fundamental and incredibly influential experience people have of each other.

Business Woman of the year in 1986, 1996, 2000 and 2001, she is actively involved in the Silicon Valley Community and serves as a board member on many profit and public benefit organizations. She was involved in the formation of the first professional women’s basketball league in the bay area.<hr/>

Email: jhollands@glcweb.com