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People Development With Purpose

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Growing the next generation of leaders.

Provide tools, strategies, and coaching that spark trust,

confidence, and balance within oneself to lead effectively.

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Anne Gardner
CEO, Cape Fear Realtors

"Stefanie’s approach to take inventory of our past challenges with staff development resulted in a genuinely customized approach, and it made for all the difference! 100% of staff asked for her to join us for a second session. As a result, our team’s sense of purpose and connection are truly exceptional."

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WNY People Development provides highly engaging, interactive, and fully customized 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 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?"




  • lessons for next generation leaders seeking to build collaborative, engaged, and inspired teams

  • utilizing cheer strategies to demonstrate value, reduce burnout, and support workforce development

  • improve recruitment and retention though strategies that build trust, resilience, and motivation

Coaching for High Performance

  • shift from "manager" to "coach" to drive greater employee growth, development, and success 

  •  strategies to improve active listening skills, providing impactful feedback, and facilitating effective one-on-one's

Creating Positive Workspaces

  • ideas that motivate and build morale

  • overcoming challenges with forward focus and positivity

Leading Across Generations

  • learn and understand work and communication styles of Boomers to Gen Z 

  • strategies to leverage and capitalize on multigenerational strengths and differences

Emerging Leaders

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

  • "leadership 101" strategies to grow skillsets of front line and first time managers

  • emphasis placed on successful peer to manager transition 

Looking Inward:  Cultural Competence & Inclusion

  • understand and assess biases; safe space for introspection

  • strategies to build inclusive teams

Navigating Change

  • ​introduction to change management models

  • strategies to effectively lead through organizational change

Women Lead

  • support the growth and development of women leaders

  • strategies to build confidence,  and executive presence  

*WNY People Development training offerings are fully customizable and extend beyond this list; contact us at to design your organization's optimal development program today.



  • CheerLEADERship:  connect, care, challenge, celebrate and inspire (pom poms included!)

  • Plan vs Reality:  overcoming adversity and uncertainty, failure is opportunity

  • The Juggle is Real: strategies for work-life integration

  • Why Not You?:  confidence, changing negative self talk, taking chances

  • Vulnerable Leadership:  leading with emotion, empathy, and heart

  • "You're an Incompetent Baboon":  lessons about resilience and letting go of what you can't control 



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.

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Stefanie Adams is an L&D professional, leader, adjunct university professor, former elected official, wife, and mother; for those who know her best, she is "Cheerleader Stef", which personifies her personality and leadership style.  She has 20 years of experience leading and training in corporate, non-profit, and educational settings.  She has worked as an organizational consultant for Johns Hopkins University School of Education (Baltimore, MD), providing training, coaching, and project management for school districts across the Southeast; served as Director of Customized Training at Cape Fear Community College (Wilmington, NC), identifying, and connecting appropriate training solutions to local corporations.  Most recently, she led the corporate training function for CastleBranch (Wilmington, NC), assessing company-wide development needs to support organizational culture and increased productivity, including design and facilitation of leadership training for front line management and emerging leaders. 

In early 2020, Stefanie founded WNY People Development.  She is the creator of CheerLEADERship, a leadership model to improve organizational culture and business impact; building reflective, empathetic, and effective leaders that create, support, and guide collaborative teams. 

She earned her M.Ed. in Multicultural Education in 2008, and is a certified Forte Communication Coach.

Stefanie serves on the Board for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern NC, and was nominated as a YWCA Woman of Achievement in 2022 during her time in elected office on the local Board of Education where she also served as Chair.  She is a graduate of the WILMA Leadership Institute, and is a current member of SHRM, the Lower Cape Fear Human Resource Association, Association Executives of NC, the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce,

and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Stefanie’s days are fueled by coffee, chocolate, yoga, new challenges, and building relationships; her passions are developing others, serving the community, Philly sports, travel, managing chaos, and kitchen dancing.  

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What is "People Development with Purpose"?

With experience working in the non-profit sector, we know funding can be extremely limited for leadership training.  These organizations invest in the people and causes they support, with little left over for their own growth.  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.  Since 2020, we have been able to provide free training for Feast Down East, the United Way of Cape Fear, the YWCA, and the Cape Fear Literacy Council to name a few. 

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10% of company revenue is retained and reinvested into Southeastern 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, Team Building, Marketing

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