WHO WE ARE

Muddy Shoe Adventures is a carefully crafted collection of change agents, coaches, and consultants who share a passion for helping people, teams, and organizations transform their work through facilitated adventure experiences. Armed with terminal degrees (Ph.D.s, Ed.D.s, J.D.s, etc.) from some of the world's top universities, advanced coaching certifications, and decades of experience leading organizational change and transformation efforts, our Program Leaders can help your team ignite leadership skills, increase collaboration, enhance communication, and improve overall performance!


Michael Bennett, Ed.D. | Chief Adventure Officer

Michael is a traveler, coach, organizational consultant, and entrepreneur who has spent the past 20 years exploring the world: He has gone whitewater rafting in Costa Rica, hiked volcanoes in Guatemala, explored the Great Wall of China, and traveled extensively throughout Europe. Michael's desire to bring more passion, purpose, and meaning into his life and work led him on a personal journey of self-exploration and discovery, which ultimately inspired him to launch Muddy Shoe Adventures in 2011.

Prior to founding MSA, Michael's background included 5 years+ of experience in Higher Education Administration and 6+ years experience in the Organizational Development world, where he led personal & professional development coaching programs and leadership development programs in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. Michael earned his B.S. in Marketing from the University of Delaware, his Global MBA from Pepperdine, and his Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University. Michael's doctoral research explored the critical elements of an adventure travel experience that contribute to transformational learning in adults. 


Don Mankin, Ph.D. | Program Leader + Senior Organizational Development Consultant

Don has filled many roles in his professional life: Aerospace engineer, business consultant, psychologist, educator, and travel writer. After earning a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University and a Ph.D. in Psychology from The Johns Hopkins University, Don worked for over 40 years as an organization development consultant and university professor and dean. He has authored numerous articles and four books in management and organizational psychology, including Teams and Technology (Harvard Business School Press) and Business Without Boundaries (Jossey-Bass).

In recent years, Don has become an intrepid adventurer and has traveled to the far corners of the planet. In 2006, Don wrote his first travel book, Riding the Hulahula to the Arctic Ocean: A Guide to 50 Extraordinary Adventures for the Seasoned Traveler (National Geographic Press). The Wall Street Journal called Riding the Hulahula, one of the best travel books of 2008. Don’s travel articles appear regularly in the Huffington Post and in Active Over 50, a quarterly magazine for active seniors distributed in the San Francisco Bay area. He also writes about his travels and related topics on his “Adventure Geezer” blog, which can be found on his website, Adventure Transformations. Don has won several awards for his travel writing including first place in the 50+ Travelers category in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 in the annual competition sponsored by the North American Travel Journalists Association. Most recently, Don has merged his interests in adventure travel with his background in psychology to explore the “transformative power of adventure,” a topic that he addresses in his speaking, writing, and role as Senior Organizational Development Consultant for MSA.  


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Amy Brodsky, J.D. | Program Leader

Amy has over 25 years of experience in Executive Coaching,Team Dynamics and Human Resources Management across sectors. Amy has led client engagements ranging from large-scale mergers and acquisitions, organizational change, and cultural integrations. Her employers include: J.P. Morgan, Union Bank of Switzerland, PIMCO, U.S. Trust, and many venture backed and small to mid size companies as a consultant and coach. Amy currently Chairs CEO Peer Advisory Boards and coaches select executives.

Amy is an avid adventurer and has hiked all over the world, including Mt. Kilimanjaro and through Patagonia. She is a former participant on the TV show “America’s Toughest Jobs,” a story about normal people doing the most deadly jobs in the world. In fact, she drove an 18-wheeler on the deadliest roads in Alaska and was a crab fisherman in the Bering Sea. Amy holds a J.D. from New York Law School, a Coaching Certification from Columbia College, and a BA from University of New Hampshire.


Daphne DePorres, Ed.D. | Program Leader

Daphne has been at Colorado Technical University since 2010 in a number of roles in the Doctor of Management (DM) program. Her scholarly interests include: Action Research, Organization Development Practice, Application of Postmodern and Complexity theories in the social sciences, Self-As-Instrument professional and personal development, Learning Community Development, and Doctoral Research on continuous process improvement. Prior to her tenure at CTU, Daphne held several roles in which she practiced as a scholar-practitioner, including: An executive role in a large early childhood organization in the area Research, Evaluation and Organizational effectiveness, teaching and living for almost a decade in Mexico with the primary objective of redesigning the #1 rated Master's program in Organization Development in Latin America, and a decade of Organization Development Practice in the Upper Midwest consulting to a variety of local and international organizations in the area of Strategy Development and Inclusion.

Daphne launched her career as a Quality Assurance Manager and Certified Quality Engineer in a Fortune 500 Consumer Foods company which included implementing a Development Support Network (DSN) process of her design which led to a dramatic reduction in turnover in a subset of the corporate population. The DSN was also empirically examined for its feasibility as a tool to support the growth and development of adolescents, and is still in use today in a variety of settings. As a Bush Leadership Fellow, Daphne earned her Master of Science in Organization Development at Pepperdine University, and later completed her Doctor of Education in Organization Change at the same institution.  


Tracy Hutton, MS | Program Leader

Tracy has focused the last 10 years of her career exploring, experimenting with, and supporting the Strengths Revolution. She was a collaborator on Marcus Buckingham’s last two books, Find Your Strongest Life and Standout, and continues to support the work of The Marcus Buckingham Company as a strengths coach and program facilitator. Prior to joining Marcus, Tracy served as the Vice President of Employee Experience for Placemaking, the real estate development arm of Intrawest. Today, Tracy heads leadership development at lululemon athletica, where she’s focused on bringing a strengths-based perspective to people development.

Tracy is a certified professional co-active coach, positive psychology coach, and holds a certificate in Neuroleadership. She also has a Masters Degree in Leadership from Royal Roads University. Tracy completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India, in 2009. She’s currently earning her stripes as Mom to her son, her biggest challenge yet.


Kore Kourbourlis, J.D., PCC | Program Leader

Kore is a leadership consultant and coach dedicated to working with individuals and teams to help them find greater possibility within the organizational context. Her approach is geared toward guiding clients to a more enriching, sustainable, and potent experience of “career” by helping them discover and hone their authentic leadership style. She aims to do this by working with clients to access increased competence, a more creative vision, and a more powerful way of moving through the world. She brings over 18 years’ experience with top companies to her coaching practice, leveraging her track record of high-impact results resolving thorny issues and leading through far-reaching change.

Kore earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her B.A. from Washington State University. She is a certified integral coach from ICF-approved New Ventures West. Before coaching, Kore held several leadership roles, including an executive role at Microsoft, roles leading the design and implementation of worldwide information security programs, and as legal counsel to many of North America’s top companies. During her free time, Kore can be found snowshoeing, trail running, or kayaking; taking part in unique food and wine experiences in the PNW; or enjoying a good read by the fire.


Susan Nero, Ph.D. | Program Leader

Susan is Chair of the Management Department at Antioch University Los Angeles, where she oversees graduate degrees in organizational management and nonprofit management. She is a Organization Development professional who has facilitated workplace improvement projects such as team and leadership development, strategic planning, organization redesign, and dispute resolution. Her practice also includes personal and professional development activities and executive coaching.

Susan is trained mediator and has been a professional member of NTL (the National Training Laboratories). Susan has extensive experience both as an educator and as a consultant in using experiential learning tools--helping people learn directly from their experiences. Finally, she is a habituated world travel who prefers to stay off the beaten path and to explore both the natural and civilized worlds. Most recent trips include China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Spain, and Greece. Susan has a Ph.D. from the UCLA Graduate School of Management and a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She resides in Mar Vista, CA, where it is a short trip to hike in the Santa Monica Mountains.


Jeaneen Schmidt, PCC, CPCC | Program Leader