It’s nice to meet you!


A proud workaholic, John Philbin has always known how important it is to love what you do, to wake up every morning and find joy, challenge, and passion in the work you do for the world. As the founder of Happy Spectacular, he wants to bring that enthusiasm for work to other people and stop talking about our work and our life like they are two separate things. When his ADD lands on work, he can be found coaching, writing and spreading the word about Happy Spectacular. Perhaps what is more relevant is that John has his Ph.D. in psychology from Loyola University, Chicago and has been working in management consulting and executive coaching at the last company he founded with some of the world’s most respected companies. 


Having worked in a variety of settings, Winn has learned that life’s so much better when you love your job! This insight, along with her own transformative experiences being coached, inspired her passion to become one herself. Winn has completed numerous coach training programs, including the Professional Coaching Course at New Ventures West, and is a Certified Integral Coach. Before launching a coaching practice, Winn devoted her energy to a 20+ year career in sales, marketing and account management at places as diverse as a Fortune 500 company, a financial services start-up, and the world’s largest CRM/direct marketing agency. Along the way she earned an MBA from the University of Minnesota and enjoyed stints in Miami, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Southern California. Winn left the big city and embraced small-town living with her fiancé in Paso Robles on California’s Central Coast. When not coaching she spends time traveling, tasting California Pinot Noir and searching for the perfect restaurant.


Among boardrooms, classrooms, and a martial arts dojo, Joe LaDuke draws on over twenty years of coaching, facilitative, and instructional experience to serve as his clients’ champion. Joe is really passionate about space, both the kind where he helps his clients thrive in their everyday lives, as well as the kind he can explore with his son and talk about planets and stars. Along his own cosmic journey, Joe picked up an M.Ed. from the University of Michigan and his CPCC and ACC coaching certifications from CTI and ICF. His coaching experience has covered a broad terrain of the interstellar landscape, including professional services, technology, education, and non-profit. His compass has always shown that aside from his affinity for martial arts, learning the ukulele, and restoring old furniture, he loves helping others bring a growth mindset and purposeful action into their lives, as he thinks cool things tend to happen when they do.


What Nora Philbin lacks in experience, she makes up in commitment, enthusiasm, and jokes. Nora, for most of her life, has followed the trial and error method to find out what makes her happy at work (and life), and landing on Happy Spectacular has been the best yet. She spends her days writing, brainstorming and getting distracted by funny articles on the internet (70:20:10). (Nora, who wrote what you just read about her, is too humble to admit that she does almost everything at Happy Spectacular and is rewriting the code on what it means to be a millennial in the workplace. She has been the employee of the month since she started in July 2016.)


Michelle loves sharing strategies to help others with their career. Her personal mission is to help individuals and organizations identify and reach their next-level goals. She has her most fun at work when she is innovating, learning, empowering others, improving the delivery of value, strategizing, collaborating, and facilitating the execution of enterprise-wide projects. Outside of work, Michelle has tapped back into her creative DNA. She enjoys interior decorating, painting and drawing, and learning to create digital art. She is also teaching herself to produce music for her voiceover projects. Michelle has a Masters in Learning and Organizational Change from Northwestern University, an MBA in Marketing from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and over 25 years of diverse work experience in corporate, government, academic, and non-profit organizations.


Becky Thalmann is focused on enabling people and companies to thrive. Throughout her 15 year career, she worked with the world’s largest brands in travel and CPG industries in various roles at Orbitz Worldwide and Google. Today, she plays an integral role within Google’s people enablement team for the Global Business Organization building a program for a critical group of Googlers to reach their full potential. Becky is a Certified Professional Coach through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching and Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. Becky earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and entrepreneurship from the University of Dayton. She is a proud wife of an entrepreneur and mom to 2 kids based in the Chicago area. Becky loves bringing people together, enjoying margaritas (occasionally), organizing virtually anything (anytime) and traveling near or far. She is a courageous cancer survivor on a mission to enable leaders to thrive beyond surviving – whatever that looks like for them.


As a certified coach, Jodi Wellman is probably the most qualified member of the Happy Spectacular core, but we don’t hold that against her. If she’s not answering your emails she’s probably baking, crafting or buying books from Amazon. Jodi is our grounding force, but even she can get off track for a good cat video. When she isn’t captaining our ship toward world domination, she’s coaching, writing and developing Happy Spectacular experiences to rock your socks. Jodi is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach with CTI and a Professional Certified Coach with the ICF, and previous to coaching, she was the Senior VP of Operations for a leading health and lifestyle organization and has over 17 years of corporate leadership experience. She’s happy if and when others are happy in life– especially through work that has the power to take one’s breath away (in a good way).


David’s “why” is to empower people to know themselves better so that they can accomplish their goals and live authentic lives. David received his coaching certification through Academic Life Coaching and has pursued additional coaching training through New Ventures West and the Wholebeing Institute. Prior to coaching, David worked for 20+ years in Chicago’s marketing and advertising industries. He’s a Cubs fan (Old Style man), proud NU Wildcat, and lover of Spinal Tap. His two kids laugh at his random Spotify playlist and his wife of 25 years tolerates his singing. His golden retriever—Hudson—thinks he’s great.

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