The Empathy Ambassadors

Our Empathy Ambassadors are part of our global network of people and organizations who choose empathy as a core value; and through their work and/or way of living contribute to bringing more empathy and compassion into the world.  

Empathy Ambassadors+

Minou Hexspoor – Co-Founder Functional Empathy – Life & Leadership Coach, Europe

Hi, and welcome to our Ambassadors page! My name is Minou, and together with my business partner Kathy, I’m the founder of Functional Empathy.

I partner with international professionals and leaders working in complex conditions dealing with high stress levels and overwhelm, who are looking to create a durable and effective work and life environment.

I have a background in psychology, pedagogy, social work, sociology and Middle Eastern studies combined with professional experiences within national country management, humanitarian emergency response and complex systems.

My life and work have always revolved around empathy, and I consider it my raison d’etre (reason for being) to contribute to a more empathic and compassionate world. Welcome!

Kathy Maichel – Co-Founder Functional Empathy – Performance Coach, Colombia

Hi, I’m Kathy and welcome to our Ambassadors page! Along with Minou we are the co-founders of Functional Empathy™.

I work with professionals around the world who want to perform optimally in work and life, and do so in a healthy way.

I have a background in music performance and a Master’s Degree in Psychology of Music from The University of Sheffield, UK. I focus on the science of performance anxiety and optimal functioning, and I’m an Acceptance and Commitment Theory (ACT) practitioner. I am the founder of KORAGE™, where I have worked with performers in the US Air Force, with leaders in International NGOs, orchestras, universities, and companies around the world.

My passion is to create a world with more acceptance – especially inwardly – what a better way than starting with empathy! Welcome!

Justin Shelley – Transformational Life Coach, United Kingdom

I wholeheartedly believe that to change the world we all need learn to lead with empathy, but in a healthy way.

I would describe myself as a Transformational Life Coach, with 20 years Financial Services experience. I partner with my clients on all aspects of their life, both personally & professionally, focusing on self-leadership, self-empowerment, Emotional Intelligence and building resilience.

Born a sensitive empath, I have developed my empathy into a tool, enabling me to focus it objectively with others, without neglecting my own needs. It is my passion and life purpose to nurture consciousness and healthy empathy one person at a time.

Annemarie van Zeijl-Rozema – Sustainability Scientist & Teacher, The Netherlands

Annemarie is a sustainability scientist and teacher. She works at a university and leads an educational programme that trains students to become bridge builders to help solve sustainability problems in the world. For her, one of the important competencies for any sustainability professional is empathy, next to a range of other skills such as systems thinking and future thinking.

The transformation required for a truly sustainable life at the individual, national and global level is enormous. Annemarie believes that without empathy for ourselves, each other and the world in which we live, this transformation is very difficult. For her, empathy is about listening, being open minded, and being willing to challenge one’s norms and values. It is about curiosity about what drives other people and acknowledging that. And above all, it is about making a difference together and helping each other.

Carmen Stevens-Levert – Coach, Trainer & Colour Analyst, Singapore

I am Carmen Stevens, a Dutchie, and I have been calling Singapore my home for a few years now. My work is a great joy for me, the combination of life coaching, teaching ‘The Life Compass course’ and colour analysis: helping people to feel and be fresh, wearing their best colours. The red thread for me is making positive impact for other people and myself. The concept of empathy fascinates me. My purpose is to make the world more human, and to do so with joy, compassion and some style. Practicing empathy is a very important ingredient here. To me, especially listening skills are key; to hear what the other person is really saying, even between the lines.

Marilyn Rose – Transitional Life | Leadership | Mentor Coach, United States

Hi, I am Marilyn, and I partner with leaders worldwide who have recommitted to bringing their hearts and higher visions to the forefront of their lives and work.

In supporting thousands of individuals during my career as a social worker, now a coach and Mentor, I’ve experienced and seen a common theme – individuals that deepen their love, awareness and acceptance of who they are, have a greater sense of joy, fulfillment, success, and sustainability in all areas of their lives. My commitment to deepening and understanding my unique empathic abilities, shadows, growth, learning, and mastery directly relates to my passion for supporting others in optimizing their truest essence and potential while becoming fully expressed and empowered in their everyday life and leadership.

I can be found connecting on Zoom, with family and friends, swimming in the oceans of New Jersey, or at a bookstore while drinking a perfectly brewed latte.

Melissa Shool – Designer, Colombia

Hi, I’m Melissa. I’m a designer with a focus on graphic and fashion design. I also love to draw and to make illustrations; I believe sometimes it’s easier for me to express myself this way.

I feel it’s important to treat other people as equals, and so in my career and in my business I try to build a business model in which all the people involved in it grow, instead of a pyramid model in which only the most powerful grows.

I want people around me to feel listened to, respected and appreciated. Not only professionally, but also in my personal life.

Emma Strachan – Career & Mindset Coach – Haarlem, The Netherlands

I’m Emma, my core values are connection, curiosity, vulnerability, empathy & fun (the one I need to work hard on!).

I’m a mother to two boys, a Brit in the Netherlands, a life long traveller & sudoku addict. My creative, sensitive, fast, ADHD mind has been both my Achilles heel & my superpower. I’m on a journey to champion my unique perspectives.

Professionally I partner with women to create the confidence to be visible in the workplace. I believe the first step towards creating the confidence to be visible is by demonstrating love. When we can accept & show compassion inward, we are no longer fuelled by validation or fear. Then our only choice is to be seen.

Empathy Ambassadors

Melissa Janse van Rensburg – Coach Supervisor and Mentor Coach – The Netherlands

Melissa is Coach Supervisor and ICF Mentor Coach who partners with coaches who want to overcome self doubt and build confidence, courage and competency as a professional coach.

She helps to raise their awareness of themselves in order to be more empathetic towards their clients, and themselves in their practice, so that they can create long lasting results with their clients.

Abir Baltagi – Artist & Art Therapist, Lebanon

Hi, my name is Abir, and I’m an artist, art instructor and art therapy practitioner. I’m the founder of 30×30 creative space in Beirut-Lebanon, an art academy and a healing space.

Starting from the belief that art is not a luxury but rather a necessity for mental wellness, as well as experiencing the impact of art in healing different mental distresses for different age groups,

I believe that art therapy practice is my gate to bring more empathy to the world, and my latest holistic artworks- designed for healing- are the most empathetic forms of art I’m giving in this life as an artist.

Jacob Mascarenhas – General & Operations Manager, Counselling, Operations & Human Resources, Quality Assurance, India

Hi, I’m Jacob, a God-fearing person with solid experience in successfully helping businesses with their activities. I’ve worked with businesses in Manufacturing, Logistics, Sales, Real Estate, Food Industry, Information technology, Security, Surveillance, Safety, ISO Audits, etc.

I love working with people of all levels, and solving problems and developing business processes. I have an appreciated ability to manage performance and motivate people on an individual and team level.

Other than that, I write blogs and do social work where I get to meet people from different walks of life. I love to listen to anyone’s problems and give advice. In the end, we are all in it together, Peace & Happiness is all I seek…

Victoria Canham – Business & Tech Coach and Accredited Mediator

In my coaching, I work with heart-centred businesses around the world to build a tech stack aligned to their business strategy, with the main aim being to remove the overwhelm of tech, allowing the business owner to focus on the craft that they love, not the tech that they don’t.

In my mediation services, I help organisations large and small resolve disputes and embed cultural change by practising empathy, actively listening and facilitating a resolution. Utilising empathy in conflict resolution always opens the participants up to the process.

I have a background in Change Management within Financial Services, where the aim was always to put the person first, because change can be scary and stressful and empathy for their situation and feelings, can really impact the way in which change lands.

I believe that the world is currently in real need of both love and empathy. I’m here for it.

Yuko Deneuville – Mindset Coach and Cross-cultural trainer

I am Yuko Deneuville, French and Japanese. As a “serial expat”, I have lived and worked in different countries: France, Japan, England, China and currently in the US with my family. I am a mom of two daughters (8 and 10) and married to a Vietnamese husband.

I have been working during 10 years in multinational companies as Project manager, Sales Manager and Bid Manager. My passion has always been to interact with coworkers, clients and partners from all around the world. To me, empathy leads to better relationships and it has no borders. No words are needed. It is something that can be felt.

I am the CEO and founder of YD Coaching. As a Cross-cultural trainer and Mindset Coach, my mission is to help people being in harmony within themselves and with others.

I currently help Expats in their transition of moving abroad and adjusting to a new environment while having compassion for themselves and feeling a sense of serenity and self confidence. Working spouses, accompanying spouses and children go through a major transition. By better adjusting to the new environment and culture, they are able to approach cultural differences without judgement and it leads to more empathy. By gaining clarity around their true desires and goals, they are more fulfilled. Children also need to develop empathy towards themselves, especially Third Culture kids who face more identity challenges. Self confident children become happier adults tomorrow.

Empathy starts from ourselves and will be spread!

Paula Hollis – Core/Energy Partner

Paula is a Transformational Speaker, Author, and Grief and Relationship Coach who partners with clients on mindset paradigms to raise awareness of their resonating energy levels and find clarity, and breakthroughs to achieve their goals.

Paula’s books are personally empowering. She co-authored Joy Comes In The Morning, a 90-day devotional to encourage those navigating grief and loss. She also co-authored Released: Stories of Freedom that will inspire you to fulfill your destiny. Her first solo book, Intentional Intimacy: Lessons in life, love, and relationships, was released in January 2023 as a memoir of her 30-year marriage to her husband before he passed away suddenly in November 2021. The book is a practical guide to developing and maintaining all healthy relationships. Her grief and life recovery stories are the foundation of her empathetic coaching programs designed to uplift, energize, and propel others to transform their lives.