About Ruth Ann

Ruth Ann BinderRuth Ann

I am drawn to coaching because of the deep connection I have with my clients. I get to laugh with my clients as we consider unexpected ways of looking at the world, and cry during quiet moments of reflection. I delight in watching new dreams and perspectives light up my clients’ faces and take great joy in supporting them in their wildest dreams.

I discovered coaching when I was an executive director of a nonprofit organization in San Francisco and was seeking support in that role. I loved the work I was doing but it was also challenging and isolating. Managing a board of directors, staff and volunteers, finances, fundraising and so much more often left me drained. When I hired a coach, I learned the practical tools necessary to create change and also found in her a partner with whom I could dream. This support made it uniquely possible to become a more effective leader and have a greater impact in my community.

Swimming Towards Possibility

I have to make an effort everyday to achieve some sense of balance. I have two young kids and am constantly learning about how I do and don’t want to parent. I am fairly good at self-care and I love a good challenge. One example – a few summers ago I decided I was going to swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco – about a mile and a half. I am not a swimmer by training, and in fact I didn’t swim my first laps till college. But I wanted to say that at the age of 40, I could swim in big, cold, choppy water across the San Francisco Bay. I wanted to be able to glance out at the bay every time I crossed the Golden Gate and remember what I am capable of doing. The training was not always smooth (sea lions sometimes have their own agendas!) and on the day of the race there was talk of canceling because of four foot swells in the bay. But with the support of those around me, I did do it – swimming for a very long time – but getting to the shore at last. Swimming from Alcatraz was a big, crazy goal I first articulated with my own coach. She believed in me from the start and supported me every step of the way. I fill with pride each time I cross the city. I can now more forward with other dreams. That’s the power of coaching.

My experience and training include

  • Mother, spouse, dreamer, dear friend
  • Workshops at the Coaching Training Institute
  • Masters of Regional Planning
  • Certificate in Nonprofit Management
  • 15 years in the nonprofit sector, including serving as an executive director and board chair