Kay Peterson | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University

Kay Peterson

Kay  Peterson, Weatherhead Coach

Kay’s passion is to inspire and empower people to transform their lives at any stage of their careers. She works with professionals and leaders to reach their highest potential.

Kay Peterson is an executive coach and organizational development consultant. Kay applies a foundation of learning and adult development to support professionals to transform at any stage of their careers. She has worked with leaders, owners, entrepreneurs and professionals in business, health care, law, service, finance, manufacturing, engineering, IT, education and non-profit settings. Her coaching engagements have spanned from Fortune 500 and Am Law 50 to privately held small businesses and individuals.

Kay lives as a lifelong learner and brings an approach of curiosity, creativity and inspiration to her coaching clients. Her previous career roles have included: clinical nurse specialist, sales manager, start-up entrepreneur, family-business owner, CEO, and president of a healthcare and library board. It was not until Kay "learned how to learn from experience" with Experiential Learning that the lights went on regarding how people change and develop. Now, Kay delivers a creative, holistic and direct approach to helping leaders and professionals reach their highest potential at any point in their careers. She applies the values and ideas of Experiential Learning with clients and in her own life.

Kay is the founder of the Institute for Experiential Learning where she promotes a Community of Practice and educational programs in Experiential Learning as a foundation for change, learning and development. Her research on learning flexibility is contributing to the already vast body of evidence about the power of learning to transform lives. Kay is also a founder of Harlan Peterson Partners where she designs and delivers leadership development and coaching programs to individuals, teams, organizations and professional service firms.

Kay is the co-author with David A. Kolb of How You Learn Is How You Live (Berrett-Koehler, 2017). In addition, she and David A. Kolb contributed to HBR Guide to Coaching Employees. She is currently studying lawyers at various points of their careers through a learning style lens.


  • MS in Positive Organization Development & Change, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University
  • MBA, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University
  • MN, (Clinical Nurse Specialist in Community Health) Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University
  • BS, Vanderbilt University

Professional Certifications

  • Gestalt Professional Coaching Certificate (GPCC), Board Certified Coach (BCC), Associate Certified Coach (ACC)
  • Certificate in Developing Leadership through Emotional Intelligence for Coaching and Sustainable Change
  • Hay Group Emotional and Social Competencies Inventory (ESCI)
  • Certificate in Experiential Learning Theory and Practice (including Kolb Learning Styles Inventory)
  • Certificate in Appreciative Inquiry Certificate in Positive Business and Society Change
  • The Leadership Circle
  • Polarity Thinking Mastery Program
  • Gestalt Training Program and Gestalt Physical Process Program
  • Center for Leadership Maturity Coaching for Adult Development

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