After 16 years as a highly respected business owner and motivational speaker, Vanessa went on a journey to Egypt. It was that trip in 2007 when her heart and life were dramatically changed. She came to the personal realization that her world had become very small and self-focused. She walked away from the corporate world and began serving others full time. During that personal journey, Vanessa became increasingly aware that her purpose and call in life was not to grow companies, but to cultivate and grow people - her call was indeed to serve others. It was then that she closed her national real estate training and consulting firm and began leading teams on purposeful life missions.
During the first year, Vanessa mobilized over 3000 people to join in local communities and engaged them to participate in 147 community projects. Her focus was to organize, create, and deliver all the details of their serving experience in order for them to be meaningful and unique while using each individuals gifts and talents. She worked with partners in the community and also began taking teams across the globe. It was clear that all the previous years had taught Vanessa how to equip, inspire and mobilize individuals to bring out the best in themselves and put it to good service for those in need.
In 2009, Vanessa shared the vision of led2serve with Dr. Nancy H. Cummings. It was then that a link was made to offer life-changing Service Journeys to all ages, skill levels, backgrounds, religious beliefs or organizations along with Service Learning journeys specific to the college student. It became clear to both Vanessa and Nancy that their backgrounds combined brought coaching and team leadership together with a Service Learning component that would be vital to the organization.
Vanessa continues to actively coach and mentor individuals and teams. With an extensive background in business, she takes every opportunity to share techniques and ideas to support others in creating business plans that fit their personal calling in life.
Vanessa is the Executive Director of the organization and COO. She is also the Director of The Center for Global Service Learning.
Early in her life Nancy served beside her grandfather. He instilled in her a deep passion for serving others and the local community. Also, growing up and watching her father live his life as a true servant leader, she quickly learned what commitment to others was really about - helping people and having compassion for those around you. After leading several mission teams, she felt the call to be truly led2serve, like her grandfather and father. While leading a serve team, Nancy met Vanessa Puleo. They shared the same passion of “living a life of service”. With Vanessa’s strategic mind for organizing projects and her gift of motivating others, they took a leap of faith and co-founded led2serve in 2009.
Nancy consults with Universities and Colleges on curriculum transformation and innovation of unique majors and programs. As a Tenured Associate Professor, Nancy developed and taught the Movement and Performance curriculum for children with dyslexia in grades 1-6. Along with being Department Chair, her teaching assignments have included the applied sciences and research-related courses within both majors in the Department; Human Movement and Performance as well as the Physical Education Teacher Certification program.
She has vast experience researching, publishing and consulting in the areas of curriculum design, instructional strategies for enhanced learning, intergenerational service learning, and sports performance/rehabilitation-related research. For the past 25 years, Nancy has also been intimately involved with the Olympic Development Talent Identification Program, helping to create performance enhancement and injury prevention programs for identified athletes in several Olympic sports. She began providing medical coverage for our National teams in 1989. Since 1984, Nancy has owned and operated a private performance enhancement consulting firm specializing in the development of elite, National and Olympic-level athletes all around the world. Nancy received her Doctorate of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Central Florida.
Nancy truly enjoys mentoring others on how to create unique service learning opportunities within their own life settings; especially opportunities that allow multiple generations to serve alongside each other.
While she continues to speak into the organization and mentor its leaders, Nancy is the Provost/Executive Vice President at Kansas Wesleyan University.