What We Do

At Second Act Coaches, we work with people in mid-life who are in the midst of a life transition. We help people intentionally transform their lives moving forward based on their values, strengths, and passions. Whether the transition is moving through a job change, a physical or emotional challenge, or the loss of a spouse or loved one, we help people discover how to effectively manage their day-to-day lives, create true fulfillment, and identify and live their dreams right now.

We use the Core Energy Coaching process to help people tap into their inner purpose and passion, and connect that with outer goals and tasks to bring about extraordinary and sustainable results.

Become an Ideal Leader
…and Unlock Your True Potential

The only constant is change. We all experience changes in needs, expectations, the environment, relationships, careers, economics, business, time demands, and more.  There is no one formula that will allow us to effectively manage change, and even less information about how not only to survive, but thrive, in the face of change.

Change affects us everywhere and in everything we live for.  Today, the security we seek from the various aspects of our lives is no longer guaranteed on any level.  To create an effective personal system for thriving in our ever-changing world, you will need to become an ideal leader. To assist you, we have created…Energy Leadership™.

Energy LeadershipTM is the process that develops a personally effective style of leadership that positively influences and changes not only yourself, but also those with whom you work and interact, as well as your organization as a whole.

Who are we?

Second Act Coaches, LLC provides adults in life and career transitions with the opportunity to envision a better future for themselves and facilitates the transformation process. Our company helps clients gain clarity, direction, and focus on moving through transitions with grace and a sense of purpose. We partner with the client to create a plan of action and hold the client accountable for implementing it. The result is that clients create positive changes in their personal and/or professional lives and are empowered to live out the second act of their lives with greater energy and the freedom of choice.

Mary Jo Rathgeb

Due to a career transition, I embarked on my Second Act as a life transition coach. Trained by IPEC, the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, I am a Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. In addition, I have an MS, Counseling in Grief and Loss from Pace University. Before becoming a coach, I worked for 25+ years experience in marketing and public relations in the media industry.

I have personally experienced major life and career transitions, particularly in the last 10 years. I became a widow at the age of 43, when my husband died while we were traveling in France. He had a chronic illness that precipitated his death, but it was a shock just the same. More so perhaps because I was in a foreign country, alone, when the curtain of my First Act fell without notice. After what I call my Intermission — the process of mourning and rebuilding my life, I decided I wanted to help other people who are experiencing life-changing losses and transitions.

Through my own journey, I discovered that although I cannot control the events of my life, I can and do control how I respond to them. I chose to grow from my experiences, and look to educate others that they too can choose how to respond to their experiences and to grow from them as well.

I come from a theater family, with parents who were Drama professors and ran an equity summer stock playhouse. With theater as a metaphor for life, and as Shakespeare penned, all the worlds a stage, and we are merely players. But the good news is that we are also the playwright and directors of our lives too. We have the choice in what roles we play and who we cast in our life drama. We can control how we act and react to life’s circumstances. My mission is to raise people’s awareness about their personal value and power, and to encourage everyone to share their gifts with the world.

Michael Thomas

I am a life transition coach that works with people to recognize the stereotypes and limiting beliefs that prevent them from living their life aligned with their core values. Through our work, clients are able to identify and move beyond the obstacles that are preventing them from achieving the change they desire.

My own life changed dramatically when it became necessary to remove my wife from the respirator after a multitude of surgeries over a 19-month period that rendered her no longer able to sustain life as you and I know it. Anyone who has experienced a loved one struggle and departs our world knows that no amount of time can prepare you for their final moments, and time certainly does not prepare you for what life can, and often does, become afterward. The pain and hardship of doing the deep work necessary to move forward after my loss inspired me to help others achieve the same freedom that I have found, and help them find the courage to live life on their own terms.

I have taken the old adage “what can make you laugh can make you cry” and have stood it on its ears so that instead the message is “what can make you cry can make you laugh and live.”

I know firsthand the experience of crying, laughing, and moving forward to live life on my own terms. I am dedicated to helping those who are experiencing life-changing losses and transitions attain the same inner peace that I have found.

Michael’s Bio:

Michael is an Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) certified professional coach, and is currently sitting for his Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner certification through iPEC. He has 20 years of experience in contract negotiations in the government, corporate, private and academic realm of the healthcare industry, including more than 10 years consulting at assisted living facilities in New York. Michael has a BA in Psychology from Marist College as well as a Juris Doctorate in Law from the City University of New York, where he specialized in Health Law. He has one year of study in Developmental Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University.

As an amateur photographer, Michael has spent time exploring the loud and bustling streets of NYC, the quiet and picturesque of New England, the cultural hubbub of Hong Kong, the wide open, sunny spaces of the Southeast, the treasures of California, and the space between the clouds at 37,000 feet above sea level. His travels and explorations have allowed Michael to view life differently and taught him that understanding multiple perspectives is essential to solving any problem. Fully utilizing what he has learned allows him to innovate and develop adaptive solutions to problems by looking outside, around, within, over, and through the box.

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