Meet The Team
Our exceptionally talented team of industry leaders look forward to helping you gain BIG momentum in your search!
Laura M. Labovich, Chief Executive Officer
With job search management expertise as an award-winning résumé writer, social media enthusiast, and master networker, as well as a decade of experience in HR leadership at Fortune 500 companies such as The Walt Disney Company and America Online, Laura M. Labovich is often affectionately called “a job seeker’s best friend.”
Chief Executive Officer of The Career Strategy Group, Laura’s contagious enthusiasm and powerful methodology make the perfect recipe for getting job seekers unstuck in their job search. Equal parts kick-butt trainer and nurturing cheerleader, Laura empowers job seekers to develop proactive, targeted job search marketing plans that increase momentum and achieve breakthrough results.
Laura is known for saying that she was “born and raised professionally at Disney” and has been told that she has pixie dust in her blood (and when you hear her speak, you will see why!). After receiving her first promotion out of the polyester, she recruited nationwide for the highly competitive Walt Disney World College Program, led the recreation recruiting and staffing efforts for both Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach water parks, and staffed up Disney’s Animal Kingdom for its inaugural launch. Later, at America Online, she developed and launched AOL’s college internship program, hiring more than 100 MBA interns in its first year, and coached hundreds of employees — from entry-level to executive — on how to fit in, stand out, and move up in the company and in their careers.
Laura’s easy-to-implement approach has garnered attention from such national news media as The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, and Monster.com, to name a few. And, as a former amateur nightclub singer, she certainly knows how to tackle, inspire, and entertain a tough crowd. Laura is the co-author of the book 100 Conversations for Career Success: Learn to Network, Cold-Call and Tweet Your Way to Your Dream Job (LearningExpress, 2012), a book about “what to say and how to say it” in your job search.
When Laura is not helping her job search clients land a job faster, she can be found laughing with her children, reading dark novels, spending time on water, or making food that is entirely inedible.
Dana Inerfeld, Senior Career Strategist
With more than 15 years of experience as a Career Coach and Human Resource Development Specialist, Dana has guided and coached hundreds of professionals, across varied industries, through highly effective job search strategies, enabling them to achieve their career goals! Dana is extremely passionate about how job seekers use social networking during their job search, since she, in fact, has landed jobs in the past via her skillful use of LinkedIn and Facebook.
Dana’s experience also includes designing and implementing employee development and team building programs within the technology, non-profit, and government sectors for such organizations as the United States Peace Corps, The Nature Conservancy, America Online, and Google. (Yes, you read that correctly: Google!)
Dana holds a Master of Arts in Human Resource Development from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University. She is certified to administer the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as well as the Birkman First Look Assessment.
Freddie Cheek, Senior Resume Strategist
Freddie Cheek, M.S. Ed. is a Certified Advanced Resume Writer (CARW), Credentialed Career Master (CCM), Master Career Director (MCD), Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), Certified Workforce Development Professional (CWDP), and Licensed NYS English Teacher.
Freddie’s interview and job search advice has been quoted in books, journals, and websites, and examples of her résumé writing have been published in more than 20 books! Freddie has presented dozens of workshops in the US and Canada on a variety of employment, resume writing, interviewing, and business topics. As an industry leader, Freddie has served as President of the Association of Job Search Trainers, Vice President of Career Directors International, and member of Career Masters Institute’s Advisory Board.
Freddie is insanely good at finding resume typos, and at transforming words and sentences from ordinary to extraordinary.
Lex Levin, Senior Federal Resume Strategist
With 10+ years of Federal Government work, 6+ years as a Certified Federal Resume Writer, and hands-on experience with hundreds of clients, Lex is an expert in the challenging and dynamic world of Federal resume writing and job applications. Using a personable, easy-going, and empathetic style, Lex works closely and effectively with every level of Federal job seeker, from entry-level to the Senior Executive Service, to create high-impact, keyword-based customized resumes, ECQ narratives, and cover letters that position his clients to get referred, interviewed, and hired. Lex is also a career coach to many of his clients who come back to him for advice and guidance on how to grow their Federal careers. Lex is especially effective at helping U.S. Military clients transition to Federal civilian employment, and has worked with clients of every rank up to and including Lt.-Colonels, Colonels, and General Officers.
Lex has presented seminars and workshops on Federal Resume writing and job applications across the Washington, DC-Baltimore area, and is an active member of several professional organizations, including the Maryland Career Development Association and the Society for Human Resource Management. A confident public speaker, he contributes to local panels for area jobseekers offered by the Professional Outplacement Assistance Center through the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s Division of Workforce Development.
Lex holds a B.A. in Political Science from Amherst College and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Oxford University, UK. When not working, Lex loves to read, ballroom dance with his fiancee, follow world news, and eat at diners. His latest project is training his two half-Chihuahua foster dogs not to bark at everything and everyone within range.
Val Olson, Senior Career Strategist
As our newest team member, Senior Career Strategist, Val Olson adds breadth and depth of experience to her role of coaching clients involved in career exploration, job search and entrepreneurial startup activities. Val is a career strategist and branding expert. She holds a master’s degree in human development and is licensed as a psychologist (emeritus) (State of Minnesota) and certified as a Professional Co-Active Coach (The Coaches Training Institute, San Rafael, California). Her career trajectory includes roles as a management development consultant, a healthcare manager, a professor, an entrepreneur, an executive coach, a business coach, an outplacement professional and a career consultant to executives, UCLA graduate students and creative industry professionals. Val has worked in a variety of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, higher education, corporate training and career management.
Known for her expertise in career exploration, social media, branding, professional image and job search strategy, Val is a trusted advisor and an inspiring coach who instills confidence by insisting clients follow through with activities and attitudes that lead to career and business success. She “gets” who clients are and helps them discover a path forward through any obstacles that might be in their way.
Val was one of the first career and life coaches to be certified in the United States by the Coaches Training Institute of San Rafael, California and is a graduate of their Co-Active Leadership Program. She is considered a pioneer in the coaching field, appearing in local and national media as a representative of the profession. Val is co-founder of the Minnesota Coaches Association (ICF Minnesota Charter Chapter) and a member of the National Career Development Association, the Minnesota Career Development Association, Career Directors International, and the Association of Image Consultants International.
Maggie Graham, Senior Career Strategist
Maggie Graham has helped hundreds of job seekers determine their focus for their next professional chapter, identify their brand, create their accomplishment statement, and land coveted positions. Maggie’s clients have been placed at high levels in corporate, nonprofit, and government/academic realms; in fact, many of her clients are now at such flagship tech companies such as Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, NetApp, and Otterbox. She has also worked with clients transitioning into, and out of, medical and pharmaceutical companies such as Medtronic and Covidien. Some clients have pursued and landed positions in start-ups as well as long-term consulting contracts with Fortune 500 companies.
An expert on LinkedIn, Maggie guides clients to leverage their time to increase engagement with targeted connections. Maggie has developed workshops and tools to guide clients in recognizing their strengths, accessing their passions and purpose, and focusing their searches to land positions that fit them specifically.
Maggie’s undergraduate degree is in English, and she has two masters degrees, one in Education and another in Counseling and Career Development. She is skilled in interpreting career assessments such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Strong Interest Inventory, and the StrengthsFinder. Maggie is a certified professional coach (CPCC) and a certified resume writer (ACRW).
Maggie is an enthusiastic but sporadic blogger, a beginner in yoga (despite having practiced for years), and a volunteer foster parent for her local humane society (with her family, she’s cared for >50 cats and kittens before they’ve gone up for adoption. (Lucky kitties!)
Mary Savoy-Lowrey, Senior Career Strategist
Mary comes to The Career Strategy Group with over 18 years as a Talent Acquisition Manager and Career Consultant. She has passion for working with people experiencing career transition and has successfully enhanced the lives of individuals by helping them realize their career goals through career coaching and placement. She has trained and developed teams of recruiters and has successfully hired talent for technology companies including Google, JDSU and Dell. Her expertise includes recruiting HR, Finance, Sales, Engineering and IT professionals. As a Career Management Consultant, she coaches clients experiencing career transition through all elements of their job search, both individually and in groups, utilizing strategic techniques that result in successful transitions.
Mary is a certified Myers Briggs practitioner and works extensively with the Strengths Quest to help clients discover and apply their strengths to their work and lives.
Mary holds a BA in Psychology and an MA in Counseling from Regis University and is a National Certified Counselor, NCC. She is an active member of the National Career Development Association, Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Honor Society and the New Jersey Career Development Association.
Michele Brant, Senior Career Strategist
Integrating her expertise in the areas of career, marketing, communications, leadership and work / life balance, Michele has worked with countless clients across diverse industries to achieve the optimal career that fits with their lifestyle. Her specialties include career coaching, interview training, resume development, career marketing plan development, onboarding/leadership development and career re-engineering.
She is known for her strategic approach in asking questions that help clients articulate their value and differentiate themselves with confidence in their target market. With more than 20 years of corporate and consulting experience that includes project management, training and development, online marketing, leadership, business and executive coaching, she creates a powerful partnership with her clients to obtain a thorough and complete assessment to choose and go after the best career path.
Her certifications include: Certified Professional Coach with the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI), MBTI, and EQ. In addition, she has a BS in Industrial Management, Business Marketing and Computer Science from Georgia Tech.
Michele is always adding to her tools and capabilities to ensure her clients get the expertise they need for their specific challenges. She is known for her heartfelt support of her clients’ goals, respect for their values, and dedication to their growth.
As the daughter of a West Point graduate, Michele has lived in many different states and countries throughout her life, which has required her to be flexible and a quick learner! Actually, one might call her a lifelong learner; her perpetual dilemma is “too many interests, so little time”! She currently lives with her husband and four adopted pets. (Long story!)