The Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Fredericksburg program is pleased to announce Cory McGookin has joined its professional faculty. Cory is CEO of Sapient Coaching, Consulting and Training, LLC. He is a leadership development and training professional, coach, educator, and consultant with a passion for those who serve the public. His education and experiences during a decade in the USAF as an Airborne Spanish Linguist and his distinguished two-decade career as a Special Agent in the FBI formed his values and his subject matter expertise.

Cory retired from the FBI in early 2022 where he ended his career as the chief of the world’s premier law enforcement education program, the FBI National Academy.  Prior to holding that position, Supervisory Special Agent McGookin held a senior leader position with oversight of all instruction for the National Academy and police leadership. Cory also spent 5 years as a master leadership instructor for the FBI where he taught graduate and undergraduate leadership and communication courses through the University of Virginia.

Before concentrating on leadership training and education toward the end of his FBI career, Cory served in several roles.  Notably, he was a case agent on several historic violent crime cases in the Chicago suburbs, he served on the Evidence Recovery Team (ERT) for several years, and he was the FBI’s congressional liaison for the House Homeland Security Subcommittee.

Cory holds a graduate degree in Leadership from Bellevue University and a Graduate certificate in adult education from Northeastern University.  He also holds certifications with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC), with Wiley as both a DiSC trainer, and the Five Behaviors.

Cory and his wife of 25+ years, Laura, live in Stafford County with their pets.  Laura is a special education teacher of the blind and visually impaired.  Their daughter is fashion influencer in New York City and their son is beginning his first year at Radford University.

About Leadership Fredericksburg– Leadership Fredericksburg is a nine-month leadership program hosted by the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce. Fellows are selected through a competitive application process for the September – May program annually. A class of approximately 30 Fellows meet at various business locations throughout the Fredericksburg Region. Each participant takes a personality assessment at the beginning of the program. Later, they will experience a 360 rating process that includes an executive coaching session with a faculty member. Fellows meet with business and community leaders each month while learning current leadership content. Each Fellow is matched with a mentor for the duration of the program. Fellows are divided into teams mid-year and they work on a project that supports a need for either a small business or a nonprofit organization. See below for information about the rest of the Leadership Fredericksburg faculty. We thank our 2023 Sponsors: Mary Washington Healthcare, Atlantic Builders, Atlantic Union Bank, Flatter, Inc., Germanna Community College, LifeCare Medical Transports, SimVentions, and Stafford County

L-R, bottom: J.R. Flatter, Susan Spears, David Corderman; top: Janel Donohue, Cory McGookin, and Kimberly Young

Lead Faculty

David S. Corderman, PhD, Senior Partner, Academy Leadership Associates, LLC

Dr. Corderman is an internationally recognized leadership training professional with extensive experience working with law enforcement executives.  His distinguished career includes four years as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and twenty-four in the FBI as a special agent.  During his law enforcement tenure, he served for eight and half years on the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, taught numerous law enforcement leaders, and retired as the Chief of the acclaimed Leadership Development Institute. In his last assignment, he was responsible for all the leadership training in the FBI to include the 30,000-member work force as well as all the outreach leadership programs for international, federal, state, and local law enforcement executives.

Dr. Corderman lectures frequently on a variety of leadership topics and holds several key leadership positions including being the Chairman of the Board of the Greater Fredericksburg Region Families of the Wounded Fund; is one of the Directors of the international Leadership in Counterterrorism Alumni Association; serves on the Executive Board of the FBI National Executive Institute Associates; and was chosen to be the first president of the Hostage Rescue Team Association where he currently serves in an emeritus status.  In 2011 David was the co-author of a book titled, Leading to Make a Difference––Ethical, Character Driven Law Enforcement, and has authored other publications on leadership and policing.

David served as a mentor eight times in the Leadership Fredericksburg Program and is currently a program co-facilitator. In 2016 the Chamber recognized him with the Joseph L. Argenzio award for his service “above and beyond the call of duty” to the Chamber.

Dr. Corderman holds a BA in Social Relations from Lehigh University, a MPA from Virginia
Commonwealth University, a MS from Virginia Polytechnic and State University (Virginia
Tech), and a PhD from Virginia Tech doing his dissertation research on using multi-rater
feedback to improve leadership performance in the FBI.  He is a certified Maxwell Leadership® Trainer.

John “J.R.” Flatter, PhD, Chairman, Chief Learning Officer, & President, Flatter Inc.

Dr. Flatter is a leadership practitioner, scholar, professor, coach, and consultant for government and commercial organizations across the globe. He focuses his academic and consulting engagements on developing leadership competencies through organizational leadership development programs – which create their unique value from the intersection of scholarship, methods, and experience.

As Flatter’s Chairman, J.R. leads their global operations from the front – visiting each program personally to ensure his teams are motivated and performing up to Flatter’s standards of excellence.  In addition to the Department of the Air Force, Flatter DoD customers during its 19 year tenure include but are not limited to the National Defense University; the Naval Criminal Investigative Service; Naval Sea Systems Command; Naval Air Systems Command ; Marine Corps Systems Command, Marine Corps Training & Education Command; the Air Force Chief of Staff, the Army War College, and the Defense Logistics Agency.

As an International Coaching Federation (ICF) Professional Certified Coach (PCC), J.R. has decades of experience coaching leaders – both as a leader within his organizations and as Flatter, Inc. customers.  Currently, he leads a team of ICF-certified coaches delivering world-class coaching with leaders from across government, academia, and industry.

Prior to founding Flatter, Inc., J.R. served 22 years of active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps – rising from Private to Staff Sergeant before receiving a Commission as a Second Lieutenant and eventually retiring as a Major.  His leadership positions during this career included serving as a Platoon Sergeant, Drill Instructor, Platoon Commander, and Company Commander.  His staff assignments include a tour at HQMC as a Manpower Planning Analyst, Manpower & Reserve Affairs Think Tank Fellow, and Chief of Naval Operations Anti-Terrorism / Force Protection Program Manager.  His overseas deployments included multiple assignments – to include service in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia – during which time he conducted both humanitarian relief and combat operations.

J.R. complements his leadership skills, business experience, and analytical acumen with a strong educational background that includes a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Washington – with a concentration in Organizational Design, a Master of Science in Management from the Naval Postgraduate School – with a concentration in Multi-Variate Regression Analysis, and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from The George Washington University – with a concentration in Leadership Development.

J.R. is happily married to the former Alicia Flores and they have four grown children and ten growing grandchildren!

Susan Garnett Spears, IOM, President & CEO, Fredericksburg Regional Chamber

Susan’s background includes more than 15 years in retail management. She joined the Chamber staff in 2004 and became President of the Chamber in 2010. Susan is Leadership Fredericksburg’s founding Executive Director (2008 – present).

Susan currently serves as Secretary on the Families of the Wounded Fund Board of Directors and the Rappahannock Goodwill Industries Board of Directors. She is Immediate Past President of the Virginia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (VACCE). Susan recently completed two terms on the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She serves on the US Chamber Foundation Institute for Organization Management Northeast Board of Regents and the University of Mary Washington Leadership Colloquium Advisory Board. She is a member of the Rappahannock-Fredericksburg Rotary Club and Shiloh Baptist Church (Old Site).

Susan is a former member of the City’s Planning Commission, Historic Preservation Task Force, Riverfront Task Force, and Memorials Advisory Committee. She founded MORE (Multicultural OutReach Effort), a nonprofit that served to improve race relations in Fredericksburg for 10 years.

Susan was recognized by the University of Mary Washington’s Leadership Colloquium with the 2016 Patricia Lacey Metzger Distinguished Achievement Award. Susan was voted 2014’s “Chamber Executive of the Year” by her VACCE peers. She received the Women Who Build Community Award from the Greater Fredericksburg Habitat for Humanity and the Environmental Citizenship Award from Marstel-Day in 2012.

Susan is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management certification program. She is a PLP graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia. The Citizens Planning Education Association of America certified Susan as a Planning Commissioner. She is a certified executive, leadership and mentoring Coach. She holds a B.M. in Music Composition from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Susan and her husband Richard live in downtown Fredericksburg with their two black Labradors, Theodore and Miss G.

 Janel Donohue, President, Rappahannock United Way

 Janel Donohue is the President of Rappahannock United Way.  She loves leading an organization that changes lives and improves community conditions. Janel graduated from Mary Washington College with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She has a Human Resource background and over 20 years of leadership and fundraising experience.  Janel leads a statewide effort to engage United Ways throughout the Commonwealth to collaboratively work together on the Virginia ALICE Project and produce the Virginia ALICE Report.  Her RUW team is working to bring systematic change to the way Virginia talks about poverty.

Janel’s passion for her community is evidenced by her community involvement.  Janel is a Board member for the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce where she is a graduate and faculty member for the Leadership Fredericksburg program. She recently joined the University of Mary Washington Foundation Board.  Janel is a Past President of the Fredericksburg Host Lions Club.  She serves on the Mary Washington Hospital Foundation Selection Committee.  She also works with the University of Mary Washington’s Community Engagement Center. Janel has received community awards such as the Laurie A. Wideman Enterprising Woman’s Award, and University of Mary Washington and the Leadership Colloquium’s Patricia Lacey Metzger Award.

 Janel and her husband live in Spotsylvania County and own Play It Again Sports.  They enjoy coaching and spending time with their two children, Alexis and Evan; volunteering with their church and in the community.

Kimberly Young, Associate Provost for Career & Workforce, University of Mary Washington

Kimberly Young is the Executive Director of Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Mary Washington. She is responsible for graduate, non-credit and degree completion programs.

Kimberly is a senior fellow at the Institute for Learning Innovation. She currently serves as chairwoman of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library Board of Trustees and is a council member for the Virginia State Region 6 Growth Opportunity Council. She serves on the board of the UMW Women’s Leadership Colloquium and she is a member of the Rappahannock VA Chapter of the Links, Incorporated. Kimberly is a graduate of Leadership Fredericksburg and serves on the program’s Leadership Advisory Committee. Before joining the LF faculty Kimberly served as a program mentor and speaker.

Kimberly has worked with leaders in classroom-based and experiential learning in the United States, Canada, China, and Malaysia. She was the founding director of the Bloch Executive Education Center at the University of Missouri—Kansas City where she oversaw the Executive MBA, international programs and customized corporate education.  She has more than 20 years of experience in leadership development and consulting.  Through her work with Ernst & Young and Aramark Corporation, her client list includes several recognizable companies such a\s Coca Cola Company, Garmin, Sprint, Eli Lily, and H&R Block, among others.

Kimberly earned her B.A. in Public Policy Studies from Duke University, and earned both an MBA and a Master of Management in Hospitality from Cornell University.  She believes in the phrase, “to who much is given, much is required” and is dedicated to service, mentorship, and creating connections that improve communities and the individuals who live in them.