Beth Offenbacker, PhD, CPCC, ACC
Founder and CEO

Executive/Leadership Coach and Consultant


A senior executive trailblazer, Beth Offenbacker, PhD, CPCC, ACC has more than 25 years of experience guiding scientific and technical leaders to elevate their impact by bridging the gap between business needs and market dynamics as they take on today's top sustainability challenges.  "I'm inspired every day by the executives and professionals I work with who see what's possible and who are passionate about building a clean energy future. And I am equally as inspired by the many professionals and organizations I work with who are deeply committed to protecting and conserving the natural world around us," she says.

Beth helps you achieve your professional and workplace objectives through one-on-one executive/leadership coaching, small group coaching & mentoring, workshops/learning programs, and customized organizational consulting. She provides individual coaching and workshops for professionals looking to move into or advance in a sustainability career. For organizations, she works on a project basis, as a fractional team member, or on retainer for firms that are committed to growing the skills and abilities of team members in order to advance their mission.

She's a trusted advisor to executive management and an ICF Certified Coach. Clients include organizations with an environmental focus, including land use (mixed use, entitlements), regional planning, parks, infrastructure, watersheds, sewers, stormwater, transit, transportation, clean tech, energy, utilities, conservation, forestry, and placemaking through sustainable tourism and cultural tourism.

Beth has corporate, nonprofit, and public agency experience, and her expansive portfolio includes local, state, regional, national, and international projects.  Her background includes staff positions with professional trade associations, an investor-owned utility company, the headquarters of a federal agency, a top-ranked research university, and a small marketing firm.  

In addition, her research is international in scope, using inclusive management as a framework for effectively engaging people.  She's a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops on green career management and green leadership development and workforce issues.

A strategic talent development leader, Beth served as Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) for Waterford, Inc. and as Chief Learning Officer (CLO) for PublicDecisions.  Beth co-designed and leads the Green Career Workshops for the global nonprofit Leaders in Energy, a 8,500+ member organization of clean energy and sustainability professionals in the U.S. and more than 100 countries.  She serves as in the volunteer Director of Training & Development for Leaders in Energy.

At Waterford, Beth works with entry-level, mid-career, and senior executives in achieving their personal and professional goals.  Her executive/leadership coaching clients have included firm founders, mid-level managers, and senior executives with sales and marketing responsibilities.  She also provides individual and small group career coaching for green professionals, in addition to career management consulting with individual senior executives through her work at MDL Partners.

As CHRO for Waterford, Inc., her responsibility included recruiting and retaining employees, and guiding succession planning.  She also led talent development, change management, performance management, training and development, and compensation for the company.  In addition, Beth is a former university administrative faculty member, with 7+ years of experience in higher education leadership and administration.  

At Virginia Tech, she directed recruiting efforts for the Washington Semester Program, leading to a 47% increase over the previous year’s application level and by 92% as compared to three year’s previously.  She guided School of Public and International Affairs graduate recruitment initiatives, including initiating a marketing plan, preparing segment messaging, co-developing marketing assets, representing the School at recruiting fairs and events, and managing and fostering connections between prospective students from initial interest to application.

Her experience also includes leading the B2B consulting practice for Waterford, Inc., in addition to managing client service.  She directs all client project activities, from initial contact through project completion, with $3.2 million in gross revenue from 1996 to present.  She trained and mentored team members in consulting skills, teaching them the steps for effectively working with clients that she designed for the company.  Beth draws on her deep skills and experience gained from leading 60+ client projects to date, valued from $500K-$1.2B, as a foundation for her training programs and 1:1 executive/leadership coaching with clients.  She also bring her lengthy expertise and experience in stakeholder engagement to each consulting project.

Beth has extensive learning and development credentials, leading in-person, online, and blended classes and workshops.  She has 10+ years of teaching experience, designing and delivering classroom instruction as an adjunct/visiting faculty member with the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs and as a professorial lecturer with the American University School of Communications.  She also served as Chief Learning Officer with the online training provider, PublicDecisions.

At PublicDecisions, Beth designed and delivered a comprehensive training/learning program that hosted 1,200 attendees from 16 countries at 46 programs using synchronous and asynchronous technologies. She co-led eight online conferences on health, climate change, international planning, deliberation, and engagement topics.  She also co-founded the World Town Planning Day Online Conference with the American Planning Association-International Division and eight sponsoring organizations, an award-winning initiative with international visibility.

Beth has designed and led workshops, sessions, and training seminars for community nonprofits, professional conferences, and stakeholder groups, from small groups to sessions with more than 100 participants.  She is fluent in delivering classes and programs via live streaming and in blended formats.  She also has experience using a range of asynchronous learning tools such as Blackboard and Canvas.

Education and Professional Service

Beth earned a bachelor's degree in communications at the State University of New York at Brockport and a master's degree in public communications at American University.  A graduate of Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy, her doctoral dissertation offers a framework for engagement using inclusive management as a lens, and it draws on research in 12 countries (Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, Cote d'Ivoire, Mexico, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, and the United States). 

She is past chair of the American Planning Association's International Division.  She participates in several "green" organizations or initiatives, including chairing the Sustainability Committee of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, and she is an Advisory Board Member for Women in Travel and Tourism International, among other environmental organizations.  In 2020, she served as a Sustainability Mentor for the clean tech accelerator, CleanTech Open - Northeast.

Beth is engaged with a number of human resources/workforce development initiatives  and organizations.  She is Co-Chair of the Communications Committee for the Virginia Energy Workforce Consortium and is a Northern Virginia Society of Human Resources member.  She also is an active Toastmaster, with successful experience serving in leadership roles at the individual Club and District levels.  Under her leadership, both the club she led (First Edition) and her Area (comprised of four individual TM clubs) received Toastmasters awards for significant member educational achievement, leadership/training completion, and recruiting and retention. 

She is an International Coaching Federation (ICF) Associate Accredited Coach and she also received her Coaching Certification from the Co-Active Training Institute.  In addition to being a Quantum Endeavors® Licensed Coach, she holds a number of certifications in emotional intelligence from Six Seconds.  Beth follows trends and practices in coaching and engagement through her membership in the International Coaching Federation and the International Association for Public Participation (Lifetime Member), and through scholarly and practitioner journals and conferences. 


Beth is a volunteer with the Tree Stewards of Arlington and Alexandria and she has an active life outside of work.  "With my husband Paul, we have four amazing kids, and I'm one of four daughters in my family," Beth says.  "I enjoy travel (especially to national parks), attending conscious dance events, and I play bass guitar. I'm also active in my faith community, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington."

Read more about Beth Offenbacker's specific project experience on her LinkedIn profile.

Paul J. Coelus
Vice President & CFO

Paul J. Coelus is Waterford's Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He joined the corporation in 2001. As CFO, Paul is responsible for the efficient management and fiscal responsibility of the corporation. He oversees Waterford's compliance with its contractual obligations and as general counsel, he is responsible for the corporation's legal affairs.


A talented and creative individual, Paul serves as day-to-day project manager for Waterford’s client activities and as such works closely with Beth Offenbacker.  He is particularly skilled at finding innovative and cost-effective solutions that respond to client needs.  His creative flair and artistic abilities have enhanced numerous Waterford client projects.


Clients tell us they appreciate Paul’s thoughtful approach to client work and the thorough nature of his project management skills.  Prior to joining Waterford, Paul served in the United States Air Force as a systems acquisition program manager and as a judge advocate ("JAG"). In 2005, Paul was certified as a Public Meeting Facilitator by the National Charrette Institute.  


Paul is a graduate of Cornell University (B.S., microbiology) and Boston University (J.D.).  He has also done graduate work in intellectual property law, environmental science, and biotechnology, and has instructed in the field of criminal justice. His bar memberships include the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the Court of Federal Claims, and the Virginia Supreme Court.  Paul formerly served on the board of the Cornell Club of Washington.  He resides in Arlington, Virginia.


Team Members

Waterford works with a network of associates who provide specialized knowledge and experience based on the needs of your particular project. 


These may include but are not limited to, individuals with complementary expertise and experience in human resources, change management, stakeholder engagement, or talent development, or other related focus areas.  Where possible, we seek to work with individuals with past experience in your particular field.


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