People always ask me, “Why Firebird Summit?”

The shortest possible answer is, “I like symbolism.”

The real answer is that the Firebird (which comes from the Russian fairy tale) is a phoenix that re-creates itself; and a summit represents attaining goals. So the name is rooted in re-invention and accomplishment, with a nod to my Russian heritage.


Putting values on a website is always tricky business. At best, it often looks pretentious and over-analyzed. At worst, it looks cliche and disingenuous.

Unfortunately for those who think the former: coaches tend to be big on the importance of core values, and I am no exception.

On the other hand, for those who believe the latter: these were pretty hard-fought as I rebuilt my life in 2018, so they are definitely very sincere.


Showing up in all things as your true self. Never toning down, smoothing over or softening who you are simply to conform to other people’s expectations. Being respectful of boundaries — your own and other people’s — and being willing to stand up for yourself in the face of pushback. Oh, and in my case, it also means being ok with people who think cussing isn’t very ‘ladylike.’


Feeling free to make the decisions that are right for me and my life, and actively working to accomplish the things that make me feel gratefully free every day. The freedom to work, create and connect with people is one of the most important ways this value shows up in my daily life.


Being open and curious to the possibility that I can be inspired by people, opportunities and circumstances, and then finding a way to contribute my unique talents to the success of those ventures. Finding the wonder and magic in daily life, and feeling compelled to get involved in projects and organizations that fuel my passions and energy.


Human beings are hard-wired for connection. Focusing on cultivating connection is a gateway to building a life of gratitude, reflection, learning and opportunity, in which my life and the lives of those around me mutually contribute to each other. Plus, the people you feel the most connected to are usually the ones who make you laugh the hardest. (That’s very important!)


Creating something new — a piece of art, a business, a project — is all a messy, exciting, energizing and demanding process that fuels personal growth, development and innovation. The times in my life where I have forsaken creating something new are always when I have found myself feeling most starved and disconnected from the people around me. Actively cultivating creativity means deliberately focusing on finding ways to contribute, in a world that often feels focused on destruction.