People Development With Purpose



Growing the next generation of leaders.

Provide tools, strategies, and coaching that spark trust, confidence,

and balance within oneself to lead effectively.




Caroline Merrill
Implementation Manager, AccumTech

"I was experiencing communication roadblocks with a team member; I asked Stefanie for tools to help me overcome theses issues.  She spent an hour via virtual coaching session, and provided actionable strategies I could put into practice immediately.  I took her advice, and have been able to coordinate efficient, productive meetings with team members, while building trust and rapport at the same time.  I would highly recommend Stefanie's services to anyone looking to grow in leadership."



WNY People Development provides highly engaging and interactive experiences.  We are not "trainers"; we are facilitators of information that guide leaders through the development process utilizing adult learning theory, practical application, data, reflection, honest conversations, and tons of fun. 

We don't provide a "one size fits all" corporate training program, because we don't believe that leadership is "one size fits all".  We pride ourselves in being able to connect and inspire leaders and work teams through real and authentic dialogue, centered around the question "why not you?"



Individualized coaching provided for emerging leaders; review successes, challenges, goal setting, and personal expectations.  Each one hour session provides a safe space for leaders to be vulnerable, reflective, and creates an opportunity to partake in honest conversation regarding performance and growth.



Creating Positive Workspaces

  • ideas that motivate and build morale

  • overcoming challenges with cheer and forward focus

Learning to Lead

  • new leader development program focused on communication, processes, providing feedback, and accountability

  • leadership practices to motivate, engage and retain employees

Looking Inward:  Cultural Competence & Inclusion

  • strategies to build inclusive teams, and anti-racist work spaces

  • understand and assess biases; safe space for introspection

Managing the Multigenerational Workplace

  • learn and understand work styles of Boomers to Gen Z 

  • strategies to leverage and capitalize on multigenerational strengths and differences

Managing Up​ and Across

  • strategies to influence decision making at all levels

  • building "executive presence" 

Navigating Change

  • ​introduction to change management models

  • strategies to effectively lead through organizational change

Overcoming Conflict

  • identify the "what" and "why" of interpersonal conflict

  • strategies that lead to respectful and positive outcomes  

*WNY People Development training offerings extend far beyond this list; contact us at info@wnypeopledevelopment.com to design your organization's optimal development program today.


Topics including, but not limited to:

  • Tackling Adversity

  • Confidence

  • Goal Setting

  • Motivating Others

  • Work-Life Balance

  • Living Positively

Motivational Speaker


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Leader Lock In is a one day, complimentary outreach event, hosted by WNY People Development

aimed at problem solving, idea generation, perspective sharing, and networking for emerging women leaders.  

DATE:  May 25, 2022

TIME:  1pm-6pm

LOCATION:  Embassy Suites-Wilmington Riverside, Wilmington, NC

Are you facing a challenge or decision over the next few months that could potentially prevent you from achieving your professional goals?  Apply to participate in WNY People Development’s inaugural Leader Lock In. 

PRIOR TO LEADER LOCK IN EVENT:  Four women, facing unique leadership barriers in their professional journey, will be selected to receive a free training session, "Confident Leadership" facilitated by Chief Empowerment Officer, Stefanie Adams, to assist with preparation of Critical Issues presentation (see schedule below for more information). 

LEADER LOCK IN EVENT DAY:  We have recruited women leader mentors from a variety of industries, experience, and perspectives that are giving of their time and insights to support and build future women leaders, just like you, in our community and beyond.  All participants at Leader Lock In will have an opportunity to learn from, and network with, dynamic women leaders who have faced similar issues on their career journey.  During this 5 hour event, they will lock in on YOU, your critical issues and leadership growth needs; they will provide feedback and ideas.  

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED; thank you to all who applied! 


1:00 Welcome

1:15 Critical Issue Presentations 

Emerging Leader participants have 15 minutes each to present a critical issue to Leader Mentors

2:30 Lock In Circle Break Outs

Leader Mentors provide individualized insights and recommendations to Emerging Leaders (20 minute rotations) 

5:00 Networking Happy Hour

Informal networking and cocktails 


Claire Appling (E2Open), Maggie Blackham (Elevate Coworking), Melissa Bucci (Embassy Suites),

Natalie Buckley (Premier Digital Serivces), Chakema Clinton-Quintana (Live Oak Bank), 

Katherine Daniel (Montani Consulting), Meaghan Dennison (Cape Fear Collective), 

Natalie English (Wilmington Chamber of Commerce), Donna Esteves (Corning), Anne Gardner (Cape Fear Realtors), Lauren Henderson (Good Shepherd), Lyana Hunter (NHC Public Defender's Office), Kendall Hurt (Meadowlark),

Vicky Janowski (Wilmington Business Journal/WILMA), Hayley Jensen (Beer Barrio),

Steph Lancaster (NCino), Dr. Tiffany Lane (UNCW), Kelly Luckhaus (Edward Jones),

Angela McKinnon (Sound Partners), Victoria Velazco (VIDA Translations)

Contact info@wnypeopledevelopment.com for additional details or sponsorship opportunities.


We are constantly confronted with choices, and those choices take on a higher level of importance when we serve in leadership roles.  If we lack confidence, or don't truly understand our own motivators and goals, it can be difficult to make brave and necessary decisions that drive impactful change in organizations.

Inspirational leaders look inward; to build and lead strong teams, we must know ourselves.  We need to identify our strengths, recognize our weaknesses, understand how we give and build trust, and most importantly, highlight what makes us the very best version of ourselves to inspire, and bring out the best in others.

WNY People Development was created to help managers lead courageously and effectively; we specialize in training and coaching individuals who aspire to leadership, or are managing teams for the first time.  We don't consider ourselves executive consultants; our strength is working with emerging leaders, and building stronger teams.  We understand, connect with, and will challenge your diverse workforce.  

We are certified to provide and interpret Forte Institute communication assessments backed by 30 years of scientific research; this program is a complementary addition to our training and coaching services.

Our challenge, "Why Not You"?


Will Page Photography

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Terah Hoobler Photography

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Will Page Photography

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Stefanie Adams is a learning and development professional, educator, elected official, wife, and mother; for those who know her best, she is "Cheerleader Stef", which personifies 

her personality and leadership style.  She believes that all things are possible with a

positive attitude, gratitude, and collaboration.  She has over 15 years of experience leading and training in corporate, non-profit, and educational settings.  She earned her

M.Ed. in Multicultural Education in 2008.

In early 2020, with the support of family and friends, Stefanie stepped away from a corporate training manager position to launch WNY People Development.

Stefanie started her career in the School District of Philadelphia; she recognized that all people, regardless of circumstance, have promise and an ability to lead, however, many have difficulty seeing their own potential.  By teaching individuals to trust themselves, and empowering them to stretch their abilities past their point of comfort, they accomplished personal and professional success; with new found confidence, they were able to build dynamic teams, capable of greater innovation and collaboration.  Stefanie has applied this coaching technique as an educational consultant, corporate trainer, and leader coach across industries; she has challenged high school students to C-Suite executives to answer the question"why not me?" when confronted with leadership road blocks.  A simple question, partnered with coaching tools; this conversation continues to prove successful for building innovative and effective leaders, competent to make decisions and drive organizational change.

In her personal life, Stefanie has an incredible "team"; a supportive, and extremely patient husband, Scott, an energetic and creative son, Brayden, and an encouraging mom, Chris.  Days are fueled by coffee, chocolate, yoga, new challenges, and building relationships; her passions are developing others, serving the community, the beach, Philly sports, travel, 

managing the chaos that comes with life, and dancing like no one is watching.  


What is "People Development with Purpose"?

With experience working in the non-profit sector, we know funding is extremely limited for leadership training.  These organizations invest in the people and causes they support, but not their own growth, simply because money isn't available to do so; we believe that

"non-profit" does not equate to "not worthy" of development.

WNY People Development is committed to supporting those that support

our community through our "Give Back" model.  



10% of company revenue is retained and reinvested into

Wilmington, North Carolina non-profit organizations. 

With "give back" funds, WNY People Development provides free training, specifically designed for non-profits, to support the growth and sustainability of local organizations serving our community. 

Non-Profit Training Options:

Leadership, HR Basics, Communication, Volunteer Coordination, Marketing



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