Our History

About Center for Mentoring Excellence

The Center for Mentoring Excellence (CME), a division of Leadership Development Services LLC, provides mentoring expertise and thought leadership in mentoring for mentors, mentees and organizations. It was founded in 2005 by Dr. Lois J. Zachary, a renowned international mentoring expert and author. Lois developed a deep appreciation and respect for adult learning theory during her doctoral studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. After obtaining her degree, her career focused on applying her knowledge to elevate the standard of mentoring practice.

CME has established a rich and varied framework of resources, tools and best practices to enhance individual and organizational readiness for mentoring in decades of direct engagements throughout the world. It brings expertise to organizations, facilitates training, creates learning environments and offers a unique blend of coaching, consulting, training and facilitation to help organizations deliver more effective mentoring outcomes and better business results.

Lois’s daughter, Lisa Z. Fain, became the new CEO of CME and brings her expertise in coaching and cultural competency, and her passion for creating inclusive work environments with her to her new role. She hopes to honor her mother’s legacy by, assisting companies in creating more inclusive workplaces through mentoring. It is only by bridging differences that we connect to create a better world. And, that is what we are about. Better mentoring. More inclusion. Better world.

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Our Team

Lisa Fain

Lisa Fain is Center for Mentoring Excellence’s CEO and lead in diversity strategy and cross-cultural competencies.

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Jamie Crites

Jamie Crites is the Operations Lead at Center for Mentoring Excellence. She brings the team her enthusiasm for actualizing empirical research in the workplace. She is a current PhD student in the Seattle Pacific University Industrial-Organizational Psychology program. Her research has centered around mentoring, diversity and inclusion to better understand how mentoring can better serve minority populations.

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Dr. Lois Zachary

Dr. Lois Zachary is an internationally recognized expert in mentoring.

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Lory Fischler

Lory Fischler is a senior associate with Leadership Development Services, a Phoenix-based consulting firm that specializes in leadership and mentoring and the associate director of its Center for Mentoring Excellence.

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Coonoor Behal

Coonoor brings levity, adaptability, and composure to every experience and is an expert in using improv techniques to enhance collaboration and ideation. Her Innovation Facilitation sessions are experiential and engaging, using creative stimulus to help clients get more of the best ideas faster.

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Michelle Hancock

Michelle is President of MTB Business Services and brings us more than 17 years of experience in project administrative support, administrative coordination, and desktop publishing. 

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L. Patrice Bell

L. Patrice Bell is an associate at the Center for Mentoring Excellence and an engineer by trade.  She facilitated trainings of  the Pacific Institute’s Thought Patterns for High Performance  at Boeing, where she worked as an Integrated Planning/Business Operations Specialist at Boeing on the 777X aircraft.

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Our Clients

  • Aetna
  • Aflac
  • Allstate Insurance
  • ARI, Automotive Resources International
  • AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals
  • Bechtel Corporation
  • Boeing
  • Brown-Forman Corporation
  • Cemex
  • Charles Schwab
  • Cisco Systems
  • ConEdison
  • DTE Energy
  • Edward Jones
  • Family Dollar Stores
  • Federated Press
  • Freeman
  • Freescale Semiconductor
  • General Dynamics
  • The Guardian
  • Harrah’s Entertainment
  • IBM Corporation
  • IKEA
  • Lenox
  • Lilly USA
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Management Insight Technologies
  • Medtronic
  • Motorola
  • Mutual Force
  • Nordstrom
  • Nortel Networks
  • Outerwall
  • Pinnacle West Capital Corporation
  • Prositions
  • Salt River Project
  • Sorenson Communications
  • Soundview Executive Book Summaries
  • Sunland Asphalt
  • Synopsys, Inc.
  • The Tech Group
  • US WEST Communications
  • Watson Wyatt & Company
  • West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc
  • W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.
  • Zebra Technologies
  • Alliance for Children and Families
  • Alliance of Technology and Women
  • American Association of Adult and Continuing Educators
  • American Association of Museums
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • American Red Cross
  • Albright Knox Art Gallery
  • Arizona Organization Development Network
  • Arizona Small Business Association
  • Arizona State Bar Association
  • Arizona Women’s Leadership Forum
  • ASTD
  • Association of Fundraising Professionals
  • Association of Government Risk Pools
  • ASU Forum on Non Profit Effectiveness
  • Central New York Staff Development Consortium
  • Chicago Bar Association – Alliance for Women
  • Council of Jewish Federations
  • Covenant Foundation
  • Fresh Start Women’s Foundation
  • Forte Foundation
  • Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
  • The Halpin Companies
  • Healthcare Business Women’s Association
  • Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp)
  • International Coaching Federation
  • International Leadership Association
  • International Mentoring Association
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix
  • Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
  • Jewish Federation of North America
  • Joshua Venture
  • Make a Wish Foundation
  • National Judicial Institute
  • Nonprofit Management Institute
  • Professional Business Women of California
  • SHRM
  • SmartPower
  • Social Venture Partners
  • Society of Women Engineers — SWE
  • Special Olympics
  • St Luke’s Technical Assistance Partnership
  • Tri-State Professional Development Program
  • Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
  • United Nations, UN Women
  • United Way
  • Urban Strategies
  • Women in Technology International (WITI)
  • Women’s Forum of Colorado
  • Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO)


  • Arizona State University – W.P. Carey School of Business
  • Boston College
  • Bradley University
  • Broward College
  • California State University – Dominguez Hills
  • Canisius College
  • Clemson University
  • Columbia University, Teachers College
  • Cuyahoga Community College
  • Dallas County Community College District
  • Gateway Community College
  • Holy Cross
  • Indiana University
  • Ivy Tech Community College
  • Jewish Theological Seminary
  • Mansfield University
  • Maricopa Community College District
  • Mount Royal University
  • National University Research Institute
  • National-Louis University
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Phoenix College
  • Prescott College
  • South Mountain Community College
  • School of Business and Entrepreneurship – Nova University
  • Syracuse University Young Innovator’s Project
  • Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management
  • Truman State University
  • Union Institute & University
  • Union Theological Seminary
  • University of Alabama
  • University at Buffalo
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Louisville
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Phoenix
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Toronto Pharm.D. Program
    • Arizona Commission on Deaf & Hard of Hearing
    • Arizona Government University
    • Bureau of Land Management
    • Central Arizona Project
    • City of Mesa
    • City of Phoenix
    • Department of Defense
    • Department of Labor – Women’s Bureau
    • Defense Intelligence Agency
    • DOD/National Security Agency
    • Federal Government Mentoring Roundtable
    • General Services Administration (GSA)
    • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
    • Naval Surface Warfare Center
    • NAVSEA (US Navy)
    • National Cryptologic School
    • Social Security Administration
    • State of Texas
    • State of Arizona
    • TSIC, Take Stock in Children
    • United States Postal Service
    • Workforce Solutions Cameron
    • Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless
    • American Association of Colleges of Nursing
    • Arizona Asthma and Allergy Institute
    • Arizona Chapter, America Academy of Pediatrics
    • Arizona Kidney Disease & Hypertension Center
    • Arizona Physical Therapy Association
    • Banner Health
    • Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists
    • Children’s Hospital of Central California
    • Desert Center for Allergy & Chest Diseases
    • The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego
    • Loyola University Medical Center
    • MD Anderson
    • Myriad Genetic Laboratories
    • National Association of Medical Staff Services
    • North Scottsdale Pediatric Associates
    • Paradise Valley Hospital
    • Scottsdale HealthCare System
    • Scottsdale Weight Loss Center
    • Sister of St. Mary’s Healthcare
    • University of Colorado Medical School
    • University of Toronto – Department of Family and Community Medicine
    • West Valley Medical Center
    • Women in Healthcare
    • Yuma Regional Medical Center
    • American Council on Education
    • Best Practices Institute
    • British Columbia Teachers’ Federation
    • Central New York Coalition for Adult & Continuing Education
    • Chicago Public Schools
    • Council for Adult and Experiential Learning
    • Department of Education, State of South Dakota
    • Institute on Teaching and Mentoring
    • Lookstein Center
    • National Geographic Society (NEW)
    • National Institute for Leadership Development
    • New York City Department of Education
    • OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc
    • Ontario Principals’ Council
    • Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
    • Peel District School Board
    • Teacher Mentorship BC
    • Toronto District School Board
    • Union Theological Seminary
    • United Nations Women (NEW)
    • Workplace Learning Institute
    • Whidbey Institute
    • Wiley Learning Institute
    • Aprisa
    • Best & Co. Professional Imaging Consultants
    • FBS Data Systems
    • Jaburg & Wilk
    • Larry Cobin and Associates
    • Lavidge & Baymayr Advertising
    • M2M partners
    • Partner Works
    • Quma Learning
    • Sigma Contracting
    • Vistage