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Our Vision

The Authentic Leadership Center’s vision is of a vibrant community of individuals expressing their greatness with joy, compassion and integrity. We pursue this vision by creating an environment for deep, transformative learning, change and growth.

Our Mission

The Authentic Leadership Center is joyously committed to helping people come to resolution with the parts of themselves that may get in the way of fully stepping into who they are. We do this through experiential trainings, support groups, seminars, consulting, and coaching, utilizing researched and proven modalities for both intra-personal and interpersonal healing and growth.




Maril Cardwell
I have had over 20 years experience working with individuals and groups in the areas of grief and co-dependency. I have been involved with 12 step work since 1985. I was staff coordinator for two separate coaching and counseling organizations, one working with women dealing with abuse issues, whether from childhood or in their current relationship, and the other organization in the area of transformation and personal growth.

In this 20-year process, I have learned and firmly believe that as humans we all have a part of us that is whole and unbroken. Somewhere along our path, there were defining moments that created core beliefs about who we are -- both positive and negative. Unfortunately, the negative sometimes will create a belief about who we are that is not true. I am committed to helping people uncover these core beliefs that are not true, and in doing so, make new choices about how to live their life.

I am in partnership in business with my life partner, my daughter and a friend. Together, the four of us operate Authentic Promotions.com, a successful promotional products company here in Sacramento. I am very proud and filled with joy over this accomplishment. I also had the rewarding experience of raising two very fine young men as well as my daughter.

As a military brat, I went to 17 schools in 12 years and from this defining experience, I learned about change. I bring this first-hand experience about life and change, as well as management and coaching skills to Authentic Leadership Center. I am extremely honored to be involved in this organization.


Chris Mathe, PhD, MBA
I am passionate about transformative, lasting change and how that can best be facilitated in groups and individuals. I have had many different opportunities to experience and create change over the past 30 years as a business owner, software executive, consultant, facilitator, trainer, and, more recently, executive coach and counselor.

I have been a perpetual student with BAs in Political Science and Economics, Masters in Business Administration and in Clinical Psychology, and another year towards a PhD in Change in Human Systems. I settled into psychology as my home and completed my PhD in Clinical Psychology in August 2010. I am also a coach and counselor with ALC.

The work my partners and I do at ALC is truly my life's work. I love my life. I can think of nothing more fulfilling than helping people fully realize their own magnificence in their personal and professional lives. I love my wife of more than 40 years and my two grown kids with all my heart and I look forward to each day.



"Change is a continuous process of widening our perspectives and allowing more possibilities into our lives. Yes, it's inevitable and everything is constantly changing, but we can choose to ride this wave with wonder and abundance or with fear and grasping. The choices we make determine how much joy and pain we feel in the process."
Chris Mathe

 Gayle Mathe
I experience the work we do at Authentic Leadership Center with great joy and awe. It's been more than 20 years since I began my own intentful journey to learn about myself and I've come to think of the trainings we do as safari into self. They are full of wonder and excitement and though we are often not surprised by what we encounter, sometimes we are. We are surrounded by love and support that creates enveloping safety, even in our uncertainty and fear. And so it is that I return to this work over and over again in my role on the team at ALC .

The blessings in my life extend beyond the walls of the ALC center, with a loving husband of more than forty years, two fine and beautiful children and a career in public health policy that keeps me engaged and fulfilled.


"When we do what we love, again and again, our life comes to hold the fragrance of that thing.”
Wayne Muller


Ayleen O'Connell
In 1983 my journey of self-discovery and deep healing began in the rooms of the 12 step program where I learned what it meant to be a co-dependent. Individual counseling and group processing of grief and co-dependency led me to an 8 day transformative workshop. As an analytic thinker and processor, this work has opened me to the discovery of my heart and spirit. This in turn has helped me acknowledge the authenticity in myself and others.

I am very passionate about helping others find the love that may have been lost along the way, love of self and those that mean the most to them. As a storyteller, I connect with others by being a deep listener of their stories. Together, we uncover and discover the truths of why they do what they do and then help guide them to new stories of empowerment and compassion. I have been involved with coaching this transformational process for over 20 years.

I am always in awe of the journey and have such gratitude for the courage, willingness and gifts that all of the participants bring into our room. I have been an entrepreneur and business owner for 20 years.

Several years ago, because of the culmination of my own personal journey, my son and I became my business partners. These years have become the most fulfilling and gratifying of my working history. I look forward to retirement in a few years and then doing some travel, play and relaxation with my partner, son and daughter-in-law.


Deborah Oudiz, Ph.D.
My belief is that life is lived from the inside out. Leadership is about how we choose to live our lives, and true leadership is an expression of our own internal landscape. I believe that all of us have the capacity to live a full, meaningful, and joyous lives when we are able to approach living from our own internal leadership.

I have over a decade of experience with group transformational processes, which has included staff administration and co-facilitation of personal growth intensive trainings. In the past I have worked with both adults and teens. I am a licensed spiritual counselor and life coach and I am dedicated to providing an environment where each individual experiences their best. I have strong interests in spirituality in the workplace.

“Your success and happiness lie in you.”
Helen Kelle

In addition, I have over 20 years experience in academia and government. Having received my doctorate in Environmental Toxicology in 1985, I currently hold a management position in the California Environmental Protection Agency. I have extensive experience in management, staff development, group dynamics, and leadership training, and I am involved with community outreach, education, and communication. With all three of our wonderful children grown, my husband and I now live in a home we built in Alaska. I believe that our opportunities and adventures never end.


Phil Stahr
I grew up in Berkeley, the son of a police officer. During this childhood, I learned a lot about life and faced many challenges. After working for a number of years in the electronics field, I realized my passion is in helping others, particularly teens. I went back to school and started a new career which is my life path. I am now a licenced Marriage Family Therapist. My work, my calling is with troubled teenage boys, the ones that many people have given up on or forgotten. Through my work with the California Boys Ranch and more recently through my own non-profit foundation, I live everyday seeing the best in these boys, so that hopefully they will also be able to see what is good and right about themselves. I continue this practice of seeing the best in people with everyone I meet. I bring this same love and commitment to all my work at ALC. I am grateful to be in the ALC community and to live my dream everyday of my life.


"My life commitments are to my family, my community, and the work that I love. I awake every morning grateful and excited. I look forward to my life.


Lou Zweier








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