Newest Advisor: James Howard



Jessi LaCosta – Instructor, Coach, Consultant

An expert facilitator, Jessi LaCosta focuses on professional development, organizational effectiveness and community building. She is passionate about integrating branding, transformational leadership, strategic communication for sustainable community organizational and individual growth. Educated in Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB), which is based in more than 13 scientific disciplines, including neuroscience, sociology and biology, has equipped LaCosta with a deepened insight into managing crisis and conflict along with developing people to their fullest potential.


Known for “laser-like focusing” on issues, always with a compassionate and creative approach, she is very skilled in helping others find clarity in their situations. She is a sought-after speaker on issues such as branding, strategic communications and motivation. Additionally, as an assault survivor, she is often invited to present and write on the topics of overcoming adversity, conflict resolution and empowerment. LaCosta works with a wide array of clients including but not limited to: scientists, healthcare professionals, nonprofit leaders, CEOS, government administrators, military veterans and small business owners.

While not a Military Veteran herself, she has friends in most branches. Her late uncle was a Vietnam Veteran, his still-living wife, her Aunt, was in the Army. She has an uncle who was in the Navy, her father-in-law was in the Army, and even has a distant, deceased relative who fought in the Civil War. From 2011 – 2014, she was a contract facilitator one week per month in a well-respected San Diego nonprofit  whose mission is to “…assist veterans in making a successful transition from military service to civilian life,” and is also their on-call career coach.

LaCosta holds a B.S. degree in Corporate Media, an M.A. degree in Communication Design and a certificate in Leadership, a Certificate of Completion in Interpersonal Neurobiology, Certificate of Completion in conflict resolution, is also a certified mediator, and a CCE-Board Certified Coach with special designations in Career and Corporate/Leadership Coaching, as well as Certified Mastermind Executive Coach.

As a Board Certified Coach with special designations in Corporate/Leadership and Career Coaching, she has provided in excess of 3000 hours of coaching to individuals and teams. She is approved to administer many feedback and 360 assessment tools including: Golden Personality Type Profiler, Page Workplace Behavior Inventory, VAL, InsightMirror 360 Leadership, Skill Scan Career Driver, Style Matters, TKI, the CareerLeader and many more.

LaCosta sat on the Board of Directors for GAINS (Global Association for Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies) for seven years, is the recipient of both the H. Mebane Turner Service and the Thomas J. Pullen Outstanding Young Alumna Awards from the University of Baltimore and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Duncan Hunter – Member of Congress, “​in recognition of your dedication to support our veterans and their families.” In 2013 she was chosen by San Diego Metro Magazine as one of 20 Women Who Impact San Diego. She is an Luminary and been featured in local and regional newspapers, magazines, and on local as well as national radio shows.


Jessi LaCosta, professional Leadership coach

“I just wanted to thank you for your speech. It was so appropriate. The material was relevant to the audience. I appreciated how you incorporated statistics with personal stories. I was moved by what you said..You were the perfect speaker to address our audience on Sept. 11th. Thank you for your time, energy and making our event extra special.” Lovedy Zie-Carroll, Pala Casino Spa Resort

James HowardJames (Jim) Howard, CVCD – became an independent Consultant in 2002, after an extensive career in corporate management. He specializes in Management Coaching, Outplacement, Veteran Transitions and in Training and Career Development. While consulting for Right Management and Associates, he obtained several certifications in Self-Assessments and Career Development Systems. He was involved in coaching high potential management employees for HP in the Americas Division. While consulting with CPS HR Consulting, Jim served as a key member of the Public Sector Workforce Planning team.  He earned certifications in coaching veterans and their dependents from BlueRio Strategies. He is a life member of the VFW and a former combat veteran.

Jim received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northeastern. He has taught career development programs at Cal State University, Sacramento School of Continuing Education. He is a certified coach in outplacement counseling, career development, diversity awareness, and management practices. Jim has over 10 years working as a coach, trainer and talent acquisition consultant.




Joseph Almond – Advisor

Joseph serves as an advisor to the Hawk Collaborative. He is an Army Veteran, author, speaker and consultant. He has 16 years expertise as a consultant specializing in the area of Diversity and Inclusion. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies in their planning and implementation of their Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives. These organizations have often exceeded their strategic goals. The results have yielded more inclusive work environments and improved hiring practices. Some of these organizations have been recognized as leaders in the area of Diversity and Inclusion.

Joseph has been praised for his ability to link people and productivity to company profitability. Joseph’s management and military background provides the foundation for his strength in Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion and Coaching. Joseph’s career has equipped him to consult with diverse organizations. These include corporate, government, military, restaurants, hospitals, telecommunications, energy, real estate, oil& gas, non-profit and community based organizations.

Joseph has developed and delivered curriculum in the areas of: Leadership and Diversity & Inclusion for his clients. He has a Bachelors Degree in Business Management and is earning his MA. He is a certified Mediator and a Certified Mastermind Executive Coach.

“I have known Mr. Almond for over eight years and have worked with him in various workshops as a co-facilitator during that period. I have personal experience of his talent, maturity, motivation, work ethic, ability to work with and motivate others and his adaptability in new in challenging situations.” – B. Kitchen



Debra Pearce-McCall, PhD, LP, LMFT – Advisor


Debra Pearce-McCall, PhD, LP, LMFT (Portland, OR) provides consultation, training, and psychotherapy to thought and change leaders, healthcare, education, and legal professionals, and high achievers in performance arts and sports. Currently, she serves as President of the Global Association for Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies and is the Co-Executive Editor of the GAINS Journal. She helped create and continues to teach in the Graduate Certificate Program in Interpersonal Neurobiology at Portland State University. She is a licensed psychologist, a licensed marriage and family therapist, an AAMFT approved supervisor, and has experience with executive and organizational coaching, and with many methodologies of change.

Debra’s work experiences range from clinics for underserved populations to partner in a renowned psychotherapy agency to executive director in a healthcare corporation. She has been studying human systems, the mind, relationships, and well-being since the 1970s, when she earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota and has taught at several universities. She brings her excitement about understanding our relating brains and minds into everything she does.

Her desire to see veterans assisted with respect, compassion, and expertise has been deeply informed by her love and admiration for her stepfather, a retired two-star general.