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Carissa Gay 

CEO & Founder

Courageous Leaders

With 20 years in nonprofit, academic, and corporate leadership roles, Carissa's focus has always been coaching and training high-impact leaders. She's passionate about helping professionals identify and maximize their leadership brand. Carissa has developed programs for business, government and nonprofit organizations to create strong organizational cultures through effective communication.

After serving as a trainer for a national team of coaches, she founded Courageous Leaders, a coaching and training organization specializing in leadership, communication, and career development. She is the current President of ICF San Antonio and also serves as the Southwest Regional Representative for the Center for Coaching Excellence dedicated to training leaders in the conversational coaching skills that produce high-performing teams.

Carissa holds degrees in English and Christian Education and a Master’s in Counseling. She is a Master Certified Coach with the ICF and has certifications in emotional intelligence, career management, and neuroscience, all part of her mission to equip leaders of vision, courage, and significant impact. Outside of work, Carissa is a voracious reader and life-long learner. Some of her favorite books are Be Your Own Brand by McNally, The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner, and Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf. After living in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia, the world's coldest capital for a few years, Carissa now resides in San Antonio where she enjoys the sun as much as possible. 


Pursuing continuous growth and partnering with professionals

who want to be their leadership best


Embedding every conversation with sincere encouragement,

belief in your giftedness, and a heartfelt commitment to your success 


Committed to excellence and providing the highest quality tools, resources, and personalized service  


Developing sought-out leaders who make a significant impact

in their sphere of influence


Embracing a journey of joy and discovery in doing what we love

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