As a mother of three, speaker, author, professional coach, and training and development leader, Kashonna Holland imbues all aspects of her work and life with her personal guiding philosophy – to engage in “bold, fearless, and courageous living.”
Through her children’s experiences in the public school system, Holland was familiar with Howard Community College’s many degree offerings and opportunities for everyone from high schoolers to working adults, allowing them to advance in their education and careers. So when she found out about HCC’s professional coaching certificate program, she jumped at the chance.
“I was excited because I knew that it would take my business to the next level,” says Holland, who serves as president and CEO of Simply Kashonna, a business she founded to provide speaking, coaching, and training services. “I was already operating as a coach, but I believe there’s value in sharpening skills to become better.”
Through the program, Holland learned tools and techniques in areas like business leadership, creating a business plan, marketing, and effective communication while “dancing in the moment”— gaining practical experience to integrate into her work. While she previously worked in a variety of roles in corporate, nonprofit, and faith-based settings providing leadership training and guidance, Holland’s experience at HCC helped refine those skills and focus attention on strengthening her entrepreneurial endeavors.
“After graduating from the program, it did exactly what I anticipated,” she said. “There was intentionality coupled with strategy that yielded growth. The amazingly knowledgeable instructors and hands-on experience were incomparable. As a result of that, I have grown my coaching business clientele and revenue.”
As part of her work, Holland has keynoted several events, led workshops and trainings on topics including navigating conflict, emotional intelligence, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She also has hosted her own conferences focused on empowering and encouraging women to live to their fullest potential, and she has written a book, “7 Days to Simply Shift: A Daily Guide to Transforming your Mindset Personally, Professionally and Spiritually,” to share her life lessons more broadly.
Locally, she serves on Howard County’s Board to Promote Self-Sufficiency and the Commission for Women. And nationally, her work has gained attention and earned her spot on Forbes Coaches Council, an exclusive group for senior-level executives in the coaching industry.
“In all that I do, I’m dedicated to helping people walk through the ambiguity of their lives and on to defining their life’s purpose by discovering their authentic self,” Holland said. “This is more than my passion, it is my call.”
Completing the professional coaching certificate program at HCC was one way Holland demonstrated her own success in pursuing her purpose. With the support of faculty, staff, her family, and peers, Holland was especially proud that she was able to take all of her classes on campus, so close to home. She also found her experience reflected the college’s dedication to meeting the needs of its nontraditional students.
“As an adult, nontraditional student, with a very active family and working as a full-time entrepreneur, amongst other community involvement, it was important to find a program that would allow me to flourish and provide me with flexibility,” says the 2017 graduate. “HCC gave me that opportunity, and as a result, aided in my career growth, and its ripple effect touched people beyond my imagination.”