Professional summary

Sara LaForest is a business growth adviser and a leadership coach. She focuses on helping:

• Organizational leaders build leadership effectiveness and team performance
• Executives and entrepreneurs build organizational capacity to grow their businesses
• Nagivate critical transitions and growth inflection points
• Individuals advance their careers and achieve work/ life balance, with a special interest in the advancement of women in business and leadership roles

Her strength is in providing executives, senior managers, and entrepreneurs of professional services companies with innovative approaches and tools to improve their business performance and accelerate their business and professional growth.

She is principal of LaForest

Engagement overview

Engagements are customized to the needs of the client.

Case Studies

A private equity firm introduced us to one of their portfolio companies, an emerging high growth healthcare consulting firm, and asked us to work with the consultant company’s executive team to frame and build its company culture.

This was important for two reasons: the company was growing fast and it was growing, in part, through acquisition. The Private Equity Company and the consulting compa... Read more

A consulting company that specializes in providing product strategy services to the pharmaceutical industry, was looking to grow their business. The company’s revenue was stable over the previous three years. The firm had recently completed its own strategic plan.

The three partners requested our help to validate their growth strategies and create an implementation plan that would support thei... Read more

Owner of a wealth management company needed help to re-energize the company for growth. His objective was to set a strategic direction and identify priorities that would generate growth, and then execute based on the priorities... Read more


Couple questions and suggestions for your consideration: Were you part of the succession planning for your role? (If not, you have a great opportunity (and I'd go as far to say - a responsibility) to engage in identifying and preparing potential successor(s). (If you moving forward is dependent on your successor - that is key must for you to focus on.)

The key to colleagues not perceiving you... Read more

First, employee performance appraisal goals must be tied to the (desired) company culture (the identified core values and behaviors that drive “the way work gets done around here”) and, the strategic goals and objectives of the company, so that what the employees are being measured on and pointed to is what you are working to create and what you are reinforcing through rewards and incentives. ... Read more

There are two critical components here in establishing your leadership value as you transition to the new culture: what you do to manage yourself and adjust to the new culture, and what you do to demonstrate to your team that you are committed, “fit in” and add value.

The former – self-management – has to do with monitoring your thoughts and reactions and adjusting or reframing them to ... Read more


Sara's executive coaching has helped me translate my values into a defined leadership approach and helped me to tactically apply that approach to managing team members, group dynamics, inter-departmental conflict, meeting facilitation, giving feedback, and strategic decision making.
The value to my company is a positively engaged sales team with momentum to reach and exceed our sales goals.
Sara's approach affirmed my good instincts and challenged my blind spots. As a result, my leadership effectiveness and contribution to our organization has grown significantly.

Jeff Bower, Vice President of Consulting TekTegrity, Inc. San Luis Obispo, CA

Our large non-profit organization recently received the National Community Action Partnership's Award for Excellence, making CAPSLO the 8th of over 1,000 Community Action Agencies to earn this award. Sara's assistance in helping us to achieve the award was invaluable. She has worked with us over the last several years, assisting our Board of Directors and management in identifying key areas of organizational strengths as well as challenges and areas for development, facilitating strategic planning, and conducting community advocacy and Board development. She is truly a member of our team.
Our large nonprofit agency worked with Sara during the development of our Strategic plan. She was adept at helping us to identify our strengths as well as challenges during this time of growth and cultural change within our organization. Sara greatly assisted us in developing structure and clarity around our plan, while also staying realistic. She kept us on track and focused – not an easy task for our group! I would highly recommend her.

Grace McIntosh, Deputy Director Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, CA

Sara LaForest and Tony Kubica have played a significant role in helping Santa Rosa Consulting establish a brand footprint in the Healthcare IT Consulting market. As a young company, we have strived to make our presence known in our market and to be an industry leader in both client and people satisfaction. Their direction and guidance has had measureable benefits. For four years in a row, Santa Rosa has received the highly coveted recognition as being one of Modern Healthcare's Top 100 Best Places to Work and ranked in the Top 25 Best Places to Work in Healthcare for 2013. Additionally, Santa Rosa achieved INC Top 500 in 2013.
Sara and Tony have helped create the cornerstone of our culture by working with us to establish our core values. These implemented core values have been validated over the years when they facilitate our Climate Survey to our employees. We deeply value the information retrieved by their processes. Their involvement in our people programs, we believe, has directly impacted the high degree of employee satisfaction we enjoy at Santa Rosa.
We believe the rigor, transparency, and the outcome driven approach that Kubica and LaForest deliver is best in class. We enjoy having them on our team and appreciate everything they have done to continue to move Santa Rosa Consulting to its next evolution. We look forward to working with them for many years to come!

Laura O'Toole, Executive Vice President & Chief People Officer Santa Rosa Consulting, Tennessee

As part of our growth strategy, Kubica and LaForest persuaded us to do a client survey to learn more about our brand perception and value. This was a right answer. It is more important what our clients think and feel about our services than what we feel about those same services. What we got back was valuable data to focus our decisions on improving client service and further brand distinction.

Peter A. Sullivan, President Arlen Corporation, Rhode Island

I have been in health care for many years as practitioner, teacher, administrator and board chair. As a result, I have met with a number of consultant/advisors. I believe the Kubica-LaForest team is as good, if not better, than any with whom I have worked. Their consulting, facilitating and analytical skills combined with their business acumen and team energy would put them among the best, if not the best of all. I recommend them without hesitation and with enthusiasm.

Edward A. Iannuccilli, M.D. & Executive Vice President University Patient Safety Organization, Rhode Island

Sara facilitated a strategic planning off-site for Anchorage's Municipal Commission for Military and Veterans' Affairs. The resulting vision, mission and action plan continue to be the foundation for how we operate as a commission today — relevant, responsible and action-oriented. Having been a part of many such efforts, I can say that Sara is one of the most objective and neutral process leaders with whom I have worked. Her tailored approach and natural sense of how to bring out the best in a group create the perfect environment for full engagement while ensuring plan ownership and action energy are clear takeaways for the client.

Donna Boltz, Commissioner & Owner Perceptive Leadership, Alaska

Our organization worked with Kubica LaForest Consulting on a corporate rebranding and web development project. They had a very strong ability to identify our corporate strengths, understand the market space that we work in and translate that information into a solid corporate brand strategy. It has been a real pleasure to work with a company that promises a high-quality deliverable on-time and within budget.

Bill Smith, RPH — President The PSO Advisory, Rhode Island

Our company was at a serious crossroads with both internal and external pressures contributing to a company-wide malaise that threatened our very existence. The time Sara and Tony spent with our management team has proven invaluable. Our first meeting was the best 3 hours our team has spent together in at least 5 years. Once taboo subjects were tackled and we have moved on together in a positive direction. Best of all what we learned has transferred into our dealings with our employees, resulting in a happier, more focused work force.

Patrick B. Mallon, Manager PCF Aviation, LLC, California

Your work with the Hogan Assessments provided a powerful structure by which we could safely and effectively explore our retrospective strengths and weaknesses. Unlike other personality tests we have taken (i.e., the MBTI and DISC) the Hogan focuses specifically on our tendencies and implications for the success of our partnership and our business. Tony and Sara's coaching and interpretive work was powerful, insightful and has created a new awareness for us.

Kelly M. Bowen and Melissa A. Jefferson, Founding Partners Inside Lead Counseling and Consulting,Colorado

Sara guided us to recognize where we are now and where we need to go if we are to grow into the organization we want to be. She took us from individuals rambling about in our vision and our goals and pointed us, as a group, in one direction — she helped us layout a roadmap. Sara was able to bring out the best in all of us and set us on an agreed-to course of action. I was amazed at how easily she maintained control and kept us focused.

David Brown, Membership Chairman for the Alaska Writers Guild

We have worked with several consulting/marketing firms and rank Kubica-LaForest as one of the most insightful and strategic teams with whom we have partnered. Sara LaForest and Tony Kubica effectively challenged our thinking and helped us to look at our business from outside of the box. During past experiences with branding and website development, we found that we were writing all of the content, proofing and re-proofing, and doing most of the design of our marketing collateral with little help from the contracted firm. They asked the right questions and probed for the specific information that they needed to provide us with outstanding results...and they understand what entrepreneurial leaders need to grow their businesses

David Piacitelli, President and Lynn Zarrella & Director of Operations Top Line Systems, Rhode Island

Your work in helping me to establish and market my unique company brand, and with client/business building strategies has been instrumental in the successful start-up and continued growth of my business.

Anne-Karin Konig, Owner PawTrotters Petcetera, California

There was a moment of clarity when it all came together and our Board grew by leaps and bounds. As we transition from a special interest board into a 501C3 charitable board your words and outlines will serve us well.

Jim Misko, Author, Realtor & President Alaska Writers Guild, Alaska

You were extremely helpful in moving our board to focus on our future goals... we now have a plan to guide us to future successes. Your enthusiasm and professionalism kept our board engaged the entire retreat.

Bonnie Quill, Executive Director Mat-Su Convention & Visitor Bureau, Alaska

Our meeting Wednesday went beautifully — it was fun watching Brian use the things he'd learned from our session right on the spot. Your time made what could have been an uncomfortable and unproductive mess a smashing success.

Quentin Algood, Owner ITS Alaska Computer Services Alaska

You do an outstanding job and really energize meetings. I feel like I can move forward and clearly see the vision that you helped us outline for the Chamber....

Erika M Bills, Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce President & AVP Business Development Officer Northrim Bank, Alaska

I sincerely enjoyed the GWCC Board Planning Retreat. The value and the process that you put us through was incredible. We walked away with a mission, vision, AIMS, and it was the best process I have ever experienced. We walked away a "team". You provided leadership when we were wandering, kept it interesting, easy to follow and we accomplished so much!

Susan Crowder, GWCC Board of Directors Matanuska Telephone Association, Alaska

Sara LaForest has provided consultation and organizational development services to our state network, including the state office and five Affiliate programs. Sara was also invited by the National Office of Communities In Schools to certify and serve as a Master Trainer for the national network. Ms. LaForest has demonstrated her ability in planning and coordination of board, committees and other groups, including agenda development, record keeping, report writing, budget development and oversight and evaluation activities. She has effectively and efficiently conducted event planning and coordination. She is a skilled and responsive trainer/facilitator whom ensures relevancy for her clients/customers. She is highly organized and committed in her service and able to work with diverse groups and people. Additionally, she offers us assistance with outreach, networking and marketing/messaging activities, and has worked to promote our resource development.
As the State Director, I have worked closely with Sara over the last several years. She is an experienced and dedicated professional for whom I hold high esteem. I am pleased to offer my highest recommendation and endorsement.

Tom Morgan, State Director Communities In Schools of Alaska, Inc.

When we initially sat down to discuss the parameters and mission of RISCPA's Leadership Program we were immediately impressed with your creative and comprehensive approach to our specific needs. Uniquely, through your involvement, we have developed a thorough program placing emphasis on the core competencies of leadership training; not only for our membership, but for up and coming individuals throughout the professional business community around us. Our program has gained significant recognition both here and nationally.
Suffice it to say, RISCPA is most fortunate to have embraced the winning Kubica-LaForest team supporting a critical component to our training mission.

R.A. Mancini, Executive Director Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants

The two courses you taught on resource development at the Communities In Schools National Conference would not have happened without you. The session would not have been as smart, practical and engaging without your enthusiasm and energy. Thank you for your extraordinary contribution.

Janella L Franklin, Vice President, Development National Office of Communities In Schools, Arlington, VA

You have been one of our most popular presenters. Your topic related to Self Sabotaging Behaviors, is one that is rarely addressed, yet we have all experienced clients and others who have participated in this behavior that usually results in the individual being asked to leave a position, or who choose to leave before being terminated. There was standing room only for you dynamic manner in getting to the heart of the matter, speaking clearly so that a diverse audience would understand and appreciate the points made, and an ease in answering probing questions. From comments written by the conference attendees, you were one of the few that were specifically cited to present again, on this and other topics. We also hope that tribes and others who heard your presentation will look into bringing you to their organizations for trainings in management, board relations, and a host of other topics.

Dallas-Lee Brower, Project Director Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope — Alaska

Sara LaForest provided a two-day workshop to our board of directors in board development, strategic planning and aligning our principles and values. Her presentation and leadership style provided an invaluable tool that energized and inspired all of us to focus and complete our task ahead of schedule and on budget. You did a great job... thanks for all your support!

Robert Brunett, Director Central Small Business Development Center, University of Alaska

The presentation you provided "Sabotaging Success" was right on the money... I face the behaviors discussed in the presentation on a daily basis... It helps to know that that this type of behavior is not restricted to our program. I really enjoyed the discussions and would recommend others attend to share and learn.

James Ballard Cherokee Nation Vocational Rehab,Oklahoma

Thank you so much for coming to do the Supervisory and Leadership Training. I had no idea how well this would work with so many levels of leadership.

J. Michael Thalhauser Kuskokwim Native Association Fisheries Division,Alaska

Sara provides a constructive approach to training in a holistic and practical manner. Her engaging and insightful methods of sharing a broad range of concepts and practices to a diverse audience are poignant as well as memorable. She is an inspiration to those she works with. Her leadership, compassion, and focus will truly serve as a brilliant guide for interpersonal, professional, and life development. For anyone seeking to build their organization professionally Ms. LaForest is an exceptional as well as personable instructor, teacher, and guide.

Richard Perry, Career Center Coordinator Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc.,Alaska