Get Better Acquainted with
Maria van Hekken
Maria’s path to coaching is different. Her professional journey includes extensive hands-on experience in varied industries and roles. She has worn many hats as an executive, entrepreneur, board member, team leader, project manager, consultant and fundraiser. And she draws upon this unique, diverse background to advise clients to successfully navigate the challenges they face and achieve new levels of positive results.
Maria has spent over 25 years working in senior leadership roles with diverse organizations in the private, public and non-profit sectors. She has an established record of success in management positions developing programs, building partnerships, marketing institutions and serving organizations, individuals and communities. She clearly walks the talk.
Through determination and focus, Maria has consistently sought and achieved her dreams. In the early 90’s, Maria was Director of U.S. Programs for an organization and was managing a million dollar Kellogg Foundation grant. At the time, she had a newborn and plenty going on in her life. She decided to get focused and concentrate her energy on achieving the results she truly wanted. It worked for her time and time again. Based on her experiences, she took her success and passion for mentoring individuals and teams in the private and public sectors and founded Yes2Yes Leadership-for-Success Coaching.
Maria is a graduate of the Georgetown University Leadership Coaching Certificate Program. She is credentialed as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coach Federation and is Past President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the International Coach Federation.
Based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Maria has a rich life as professional coach, wife and mother to four children, one dog and four cats.
Her Philosophy on Life and Coaching
There is little difference between Maria’s work and her life. It all merges together in a comfortable synergy. “I have created my office environment where I can keep an eye on nature. I have my desk situated by a large window where I can enjoy the numerous bird feeders that I have placed outside,” Maria describes. “It brings joy to be an observer of the wonderful birds who appear -- and their beauty and daily patterns never fail to inspire my coaching.” Maria says that her best times come when she is having fun and being passionate. It’s no wonder that she also likes to talk about her favorite sport, basketball. She loves the NBA and never misses an opportunity to point out the leadership lessons within it. She faithfully brings passion, fun and humor to coaching and to her life.
Her Unique Coaching Style
Maria believes in the power of possibility… being positive… and having the ability to see the gift in any situation. She supports each person to be his or her most powerful and authentic self. Maria’s unique approach helps people see their vision and not the challenge. She guides others out of their bad habits of looking at what is wrong and helps them see the possibilities for achieving the results they want. With skill and intuition, she provides the safe and supportive space to make this happen while focusing on both joy and results.
“My clients say I hold their agenda better than they do,” explains Maria. “It’s because my own special gift is being able to identify the patterns and show the possibilities to change mindsets. I tell clients not to be attached to a specific outcome because what they want will come, but maybe not in the exact way they expect.”
Maria is often asked about the idea behind her company name and the meaning of her logo. She feels this is an important aspect of her mission and vision so she enjoys sharing this insight about her business.
Yes2Yes was inspired by Meg Wheatley’s powerful quote:
“True leaders visualize what they want and then keep going from one ‘yes’ to another ‘yes’.”
The icon of the Great Blue Heron featured in the Yes2Yes logo comes as no surprise to anyone who knows how much Maria loves birds. The Great Blue Heron is Maria’s favorite. Its graceful image in flight is significant to her leadership coaching practice. As she learned from Native American tradition, the Great Blue Heron brings a message of determination and self-reliance, and has the innate wisdom of being able to maneuver through life and co-create its own circumstances. Its long thin legs reflect that an individual doesn’t need massive pillars to remain stable, but must be able to stand on one’s own. And, most importantly, when the Great Blue Heron follows the promptings of its heart, it is most magnificent when it chooses to soar.