Let’s say you decide to hire me as your coach. Who will you be getting? You will be working with a person who enjoys the variety of an eclectic practice, with clients who cross an array of disciplines and emanate from the corporate, start-up and not-for-profit sectors. You will be engaging a coach who draws readily on her successful 20-year experience as a corporate executive and is also informed by her governance leadership in the not-for-profit community. You will be in the caring hands of a certified executive coach who has the tools and techniques to guide intentional conversations and align your coaching engagement with your specific needs. Above all, you will have found a trusted partner…. someone who listens well and is fully committed to your success as an effective leader.


Contact Me

I Can Help You

I bring decades of professional experience and formal coaching certification to my eclectic practice across corporate and not-for-profit sectors. I typically work with clients who are:

  • high performing executives seeking improvement in targeted areas, and
  • emerging executives eager to advance their careers by developing their leadership capabilities.

There are multiple ways that coaching can be useful to you at many stages of your professional and personal development. Whether a millennial or baby boomer, in the corporate or not-for-profit sector, I will be your trusted confidante. I can help you:

  • Build your confidence
  • Become more self-aware
  • Conquer your inner critic
  • Address conflict
  • Define your career path
  • Raise your profile
  • Accelerate your leadership
  • Expand your network
  • Think through tough situations
  • Have greater influence
  • Manage overwhelm
  • Advance change
  • Master decision-making
  • Succeed in a new role
  • Promote the growth of your team
  • Plan your future
  • Fulfill your core needs
  • Shed limiting beliefs
  • Prepare for what’s next
  • Focus on priorities
  • Delegate successfully
  • Be your best self!

Coaching engagements are typically six months or longer to allow adequate time to complete the initial assessments, set and revise goals, and do the work required to shift your thinking and make meaningful change. If you have a very concise objective, we can structure a shorter arrangement that will take us through the phases of coaching more quickly. Critical results can be achieved in as few as 4 - 8 sessions. I will tailor the design to address your needs.

Coaching Framework

We will work through four phases:

  • Assess: typically with both Myers Briggs Type Instrument (MBTI) and a customized 360-degree assessment we will gather relevant personality and performance feedback
  • Plan: together set clear goals and measures
  • Implement: using active inquiry as a coaching technique and offering suggested approaches and leadership tools along the way, we will move toward stated goals
  • Conclude: end the engagement with both reflections and a continuous growth plan


When does coaching work best?

For coaching to work well, there needs to be positive chemistry between the client and coach. That’s something we try to figure out during our first meeting, before any commitments are made. It’s an intuitive thing, not unlike the way you assess any relationship. But equally important is whether a potential client is “coachable.” By that I mean, how open are you to change, to facing some tough challenges, to be willing to do the work. The best kind of client is committed to continuous learning and improvement, with high aspirations.

How long is a typical coaching engagement?

The standard executive coaching engagement is 6 months (or longer). This allows enough time to complete assessments, develop a plan with specific goals, and then do the work. After all, thought shifting takes time and practice. However, I also coach clients who are self-paying and not in a position to commit to that long a time frame. I will adjust to shorter term engagements depending on circumstance. In other words, there’s no hard and fast rule. Like everything else with coaching, all clients are unique and responding to my clients’ needs is primary.

What does a coaching session look like?

Coaching sessions usually last an hour and take place every other week. They are private, intentional conversations. With thoughtful guidance you will increase self-awareness, see new possibilities, shift behavior and design plans of action. At each session I will honor your agenda asking what you would like to discuss while also bringing forward issues that we ought to address as we work toward your goals. As your coach, I will support your progress by asking powerful questions, listening well, offering observations and targeted advice.

How much does it cost?

My fee structure is based fairly, using market comparisons and reflecting my greater than 25 years executive and coaching experience. I adjust my rate based on sector (not-for-profit clients typically pay less than corporate) and for self-pay individuals, depending on their means. This is something we will discuss at our first meeting, obviously before any commitment is made.

How do I decide you are the right coach for me?

Let’s talk and figure it out! After looking at the references and testimonials on this site, I’d also be happy to introduce you to some of my clients, so you can ask them direct questions about their experience.

What if I change my mind?

I usually ask clients to pay for half the engagement up front with the opportunity to cancel mid-way through. If there is a compelling reason to end before the mid-way point, we can discuss a refund.

Will you be giving me advice?

Yes, as appropriate. Informed by my experience and best practice, when I believe it will be useful, and certainly if asked, I will offer suggestions. I will validate your thinking. I will also make observations along the way as I listen carefully. Any advice will be tempered with knowing that coaching results are best achieved through self-discovery.

Is what I share confidential?

Absolutely! With corporate engagements, the sponsors (typically the HR business partner and/or your leader) often participate in an initial alignment session and are interested in your progress. I will share any reports with you that I am asked to provide before submitting them. Unless you reveal to me that you will harm yourself or others, or are doing something illegal, I am committed to holding what you share in our private conversations confidential.

Will I have assignments in between sessions?

Yes, though not every time. Often, during a coaching session, you may have an idea about something you want to do, perhaps keep a journal related to an issue we are discussing, and we’ll decide it would be a beneficial “assignment.” I might suggest readings that will be helpful and often have tools I recommend you use. It might not happen every time but will be an important part of our work toward your specific goals.


"Fredi is a terrific coach. Though not formally trained when we worked together, she was my informal coach for years and many of her colleagues relied on her the same way. She is smart, has terrific judgment, and great emotional intelligence. She’s had experience at the most senior levels of our company and a leadership role with our Board. If you’re looking for a coach, hire Fredi. It will be a great decision."
     - Bill Van Faasen, Former President and CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts

"Fredi excelled in the certification program that I led at the Center for Executive Coaching. With her past experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors I know she has the breadth and ability to be a star in this field. She's smart, decisive, and compassionate and has worked closely with all kinds of leaders at all levels including CEOs and Board Chairs. I was impressed by her high energy, ability to quickly get to the root of key challenges that leaders face, and her positive and enthusiastic style. If I were in the market for a coach, I'd hire her."
     - Andrew Neitlich, President and Founder, Center for Executive Coaching


"My leader recommended working with an Executive Coach because of some challenges in how I was perceived by my staff. As a result of my coaching time with Fredi, I am now certain that I come across as intended. I am much more self-aware and have strategies in place. I am sure that my recent promotion was directly impacted by Fredi’s coaching support. She is a skilled and effective coach who produces results. I feel fortunate to have her as a coach and advisor. What a blessing. Don’t think twice about hiring Fredi. I’m not letting her go!"
     - M.D., VP health care company

"As CEO of a start-up, it’s lonely at the top. After my first session with Fredi, I said, 'I guess I didn’t realize how much I needed this'. She quickly became a trusted partner who helped me sort through all kinds of challenges that came at this critical time in my company’s growth. With her support I confronted issues with consultants, staff, and the Board. We worked on defining roles, creating a culture of accountability, open communication, how to better deal with conflict, and my own sense of overwhelm. I was grateful to have the external support and, though it was often challenging to carve out the time, after each coaching session I walked away with renewed energy and grateful for the plan of action."
     - CEO, multi-service food company

"WOW! When I first started coaching with Fredi I was in turmoil, given some personal news that could have derailed my work world. With her calm, thoughtful guidance, I was able to shift my thinking and develop a terrific solution that addressed all my concerns and that of my company. Fredi was a thoughtful partner who guided me throughout our six months together. We set important goals at the beginning of the process and I achieved them all. I don’t think I’d be where I am today without her intervention. I’m tremendously grateful."
     - Senior Director, health hnsurance company

"I have worked with Fredi as my coach intermittently for more than a year. As Chair of a national not-for-profit board, I have welcomed the support. Her governance expertise has been a tremendous help, along with her sharp ability to listen and clarify what I am saying. The notes that she sends at the end of each session are enormously helpful, as a summary and reference. It’s been a challenging year, yet Fredi has been a tremendous source of encouragement and calm.
     - Board Chair, national professional leadership development organization

"Working with Fredi has been fantastic! It’s one of the best hours of my week. We’ve tackled board development, growth, team conflict, performance management, overwhelm and a host of other issues. With each, she guides my thinking that gets me to a point of decision-making. I am very grateful for the focused time on my calendar. I highly recommend working with Fredi; it will have a huge impact on you and your organization."
     - Founding Director, young adult homelessness not-for-profit

"Fredi has been an important trusted advisor to have in my corner. I have worked with her to understand what is expected of me as a leader in a matrixed organization. She is great at helping me bring structure and process to my thoughts. I often say she is my 'work therapist' because I can be open and honest, entirely trusting that she has my back and the skills to help me move forward and be successful."
     - VP, biotech start-up

"I am tremendously grateful for the time I spent with Fredi as my coach. The customized 360 assessment was especially informative. It 'gave me permission' to make many organizational changes that I thought were important yet afraid to set in motion. As a result of the coaching process, I have much clearer boundaries about the work I will and will not be able to do and a significantly greater distribution of responsibilities to our senior leadership members."
     - M.D., Founding Director, early childhood network

""Fredi has been such a life saver! As Board President I was leading a difficult transition and found her reassuring manner to be incredibly calming. With her coaching help I saw a clear path and the steps to take to get to a great outcome. Fredi also provided excellent facilitation of several Board meetings and offered her much-needed governance expertise. I can’t believe I found Fredi at just the right time. I’m not sure how I would have made it through this period without her."
     - President, technology Board

Fredi Shonkoff


  481 Harrison Avenue, Suite 5A Boston, MA 02118


Prior to starting her coaching practice, Fredi was a 20-year member of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) executive team, serving as Senior Vice-President of the Corporate Relations Division. In this external-facing role, she was the Corporate Secretary for the company’s Board of Directors and managed corporate governance for three CEOs and several Board Chairs. She also set the corporate citizenship strategy for the organization and was the company’s liaison to the BCBSMA Foundation, which she helped create. Most recently, Fredi was Senior Director at Daily Table, a not-for-profit community food market with a mission to improve health through access to affordable and nutritious food. Fredi served as a close strategic advisor to Daily Table’s Founder, the former President of Trader Joe’s, during its start-up phase. Community leadership has been a cornerstone of Fredi's portfolio, having served on more than a dozen not-for-profit boards and advisory boards.

Awards & Honors

Fredi has been the recipient of several awards including the Pinnacle Award for Achievement in Management, Private Sector from the Women’s Network of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce (2010), the Visionary Award from Room to Grow (2009) and the Rachel Carson Advocacy Award from Silent Spring Institute (2008).

In recognition of Fredi’s commitment to the community, upon her departure in 2012, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts created a “spirit” award in her honor.

Education & Certificates

Fredi earned a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a Master’s degree from New York University, and a Certificate of Advanced Study from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a certified practitioner of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator Step I and Step II instruments, a Results System™ Core Needs Specialist, and received her coaching certification through the Center for Executive Coaching.