About Ilene Berns-Zare

Dr. Ilene Berns-Zare is an ICF Credentialed Coach (PCC), Speaker, and Author.

Ilene brings 25+ years of corporate, academic, wellness, and life experience to her work, helping clients tap into their strengths, purpose, and potential to flourish in their personal and professional lives. She has devoted much of her career to the personal and professional development and integrative well-being of others. As a personal and leadership coach, Ilene inspires people to find fresh perspectives and access their full potential as creative, resourceful, and whole persons. She has a passion for discovering what’s meaningful in life, and awakening greater balance, well-being, and success. Ilene’s model of coaching is based on positive psychology, building on strengths, and collaborative partnership that inspires people to maximize their potential.

Ilene holds four degrees, a BS, MS, MA, and PsyD. Upon earning a Bachelor of Science in education and natural science, Ilene began her career working in the pharmaceutical/medical supply field as a sales representative. Later, with a Master of Science in Human Resource Development, she led an innovative multi-community prevention program bringing public and private organizations together to proactively reduce youth substance abuse in seven suburban communities. In 1999, Ilene returned to graduate school, earning Masters and Doctoral (PsyD) degrees in Psychology.

Across her career, Ilene has provided group education and training in varied settings and on a wide range of topics. From 2003-2019, she led seminars for an employee wellness program serving companies across the U.S. Following her love of teaching, Ilene was a college instructor (Bachelors, Masters) for 9 years. And since 2022, Ilene has been adjunct faculty with Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership in Washington, DC.

Earlier in her career, she taught science for 11 years at the middle school level for students at a public school and was a multi-disciplinary team leader for teaching staff.

A few years ago, Ilene found herself examining her own life, asking herself questions such as: “What is my purpose in life?” “What is really important to me, and how can I engage in more of what is significant?” “What is my passion?” “What is happiness, and is it possible to have more of it?” As Ilene explored these powerful questions, accessing mind, body, heart, and spirit, she made significant changes in her life and transitioned toward professional coaching, training, and speaking.

Given Ilene’s experience and her own transformations, coaching is a natural fit for her professionally. Ilene is deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with so many people in ways that make a positive difference. She brings to her coaching – joy, energy, and authentic interest in helping others flourish and achieve success.

She sees coaching as a collaborative relationship through which clients can access their own answers, competencies, and choices. Ilene’s ability to listen deeply and intuitively, ask thought-provoking questions, and help people discover their own voices within the contexts of their lives are hallmarks of her work as a coach.

Ilene is a member of several professional organizations International Coach Federation, American Psychological Association, and Illinois Psychological Association. She is a blogger for Psychology Today and serves as a facilitator for the Wise Aging Project of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Ilene is a contributing writer and coach for the ABD (All But Dissertation) Survival Guide.

In addition to sharing cherished time with beloved family and friends, Ilene thrives on yoga, writing, gardening, spiritual pursuits and mindfulness practices. She enjoys singing and performs as a soloist and member in a local choir. Ilene has a certificate in Mindfulness Interventions for Children and Teens and with an interest in the subtle life force energies that infuse daily living, she has a Reiki Master certificate.

Ilene Welcomes Your Questions About Coaching!

Would you like to explore whether coaching is a good choice for you?

“At The Center Of Your Being You Have The Answer; You Know Who You Are And You Know What You Want.”

Lao Tzu

Ilene’s Qualifications:

Hear From Ilene’s Clients

“At year’s end, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your wonderful newsletters. Just now I listened to your podcast. From that 15 minutes, I have gained some motivation to review the notes from your seminar. In turn, that will give me an extra boost that I need right now. As you can see, your wisdom keeps extending itself to me! Thank you for all you have done for me. I am wishing you all the best!”


Northwest Suburban, IL

“Thank you so much for today – it was a wonderful webinar. Very insightful, very calming and reassuring. You always have so much to offer, and I’m truly grateful for your willingness to share your time and talent with us.”

Lynndah Easterwood Lahey, Wheeling Township

Arlington Heights, IL

“As a library program coordinator, I greatly appreciated Dr. Berns-Zare’s willingness and enthusiasm to try an online webinar format in response to our need to cancel in-person events at this time. She did an excellent job adjusting her presentation to this format and kept it engaging.

Our patrons also gave positive feedback, stating that they enjoyed the “Hitting Your Stride at Midlife and Beyond” program and felt they walked away with concrete suggestions for ways to enhance their lives, especially during this difficult time. I think so many of the topics that Dr. Berns-Zare speaks on are especially relevant right now and would recommend them to other program coordinators, whether in-person or virtual.”

Stavroula Harissis, Indian Trails Public Library

Wheeling, Illinois

“I’ll admit I had my doubts about coaching before working with Ilene. As a high-performing “Type A” personality, I had never thought of myself as someone who needed coaching. Wasn’t that just for people who weren’t cutting it? I knew my craft as a marketer and had plenty of job-specific training under my belt. How could a coach who has never worked in my field help?

I’m glad I took the plunge. You are in charge with Ilene. Her structured coaching process forced my thinking into new areas of opportunity, and helped me see key areas of my business that I was ignoring. Even though I was already making progress towards my goals, I feel even more certain that I am on the right path today. I highly recommend Ilene to anyone interested in maximizing the contribution they make to their business.”

Rich Delaney, Rich Delaney Marketing

Oak Park, IL

“I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Ilene Berns-Zare on a presentation that she gave for the Community Parent Network of Stevenson High School. Ilene was thorough and worked hard to understand what our committee was looking for, while also offering her own ideas. Her approach to the topic of mindfulness was flexible and she was willing to meet our community needs. Ilene was warmly received by the community while speaking in a knowledgeable and engaging manner. Everyone left the presentation feeling like they learned something valuable.”

Mara Heichman (CPC, ELI-MP)

“Our Deerfield Area branch of the American Association of University Women has had Ilene Berns-Zare speak to our chapter two years in a row. We agree that her presentations on “Navigating the Second Half of Life” are informative, motivational, and research-based. We hope to have her back again!”

Karen Dessent

Deerfield, IL

“Having Dr. Ilene Berns-Zare as a presenter for the Exclusive Professional Women’s Networking Group was a great decision! She handled the topic ‘Unstress for Success: Quick Tools for Shifting Stress into Power’ extremely well. She took the time to tailor her remarks to our audience and was engaging and inspiring, striking a relevant chord with our members! Her presentation was to the point, timely, concise, and expertly offered.”

Susan Raemer-Rodriguez, R&R Human Resources Solutions

Board of Directors

“Having attended more than one presentation of Ilene’s, I remain most impressed with her ability to incorporate relevant research to support her findings—which is done so both informatively and inspiringly.  Her style can be described as inviting and engaging. She easily delivers easy to grasp concepts which often elicit the curiosity of participants as seen by them asking deeper questions on the subject. Ilene is also interactive in her approach—both by encouraging the exchange of ideas between participants.  She also leaves room for individual discovery and validates group member’s experiences.”

Marla Goldberg

Evanston, IL

Contact Ilene Today to Inquire About Coaching


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