About Coach Helene
Helene Van Manen is a Master Certified Coach and a member of the International Coaching Federation. Her training began at Coach University in 1998. Helene is a Professional Mentor Coach who works with new coaches in training. Helene also specializes in training people to lead retreats and is the Founder and Director of Retreat Coaches.
Helene’s practice is a tapestry of clients:
- business owners
- creative entrepreneurs
- Green Women seeking leadership skills
- women who are finding their voices
- coaches who wish to build strong sustainable practices
She describes her practice as creative and fun, profitable and smart! Helene leads a wide spectrum of retreats each year: for the professional woman, for leaders, organizations and individuals seeking to grow their businesses. Her retreats always include making a connection to the natural world, because Helene is a lover of Nature and knows that Nature is the perfect catalyst for a successful retreat.
Before coaching, Helene was a clinical music therapist working with psychiatric patients. Additionally, she performed internationally with her partner and husband, Dave Van Manen, as an environmental children’s storyteller and musician and recorded albums used by educators and families. Her work also included public speaking and workshop facilitation on the healing power of music.
The Van Manens’ delightful, catchy and award winning music for children and families can be found on their three albums, Barley Bread and Reindeer Milk, We Recycle and Other Songs for Earthkeepers and Healthy Planet Healthy People, all recorded in the 1980s and -90s. More recently, they released a CD entitled Earth Songs Earth Chants. This is a collection of songs, chants and melodies that will inspire you. Many of the album’s selections are of special interest to Coaches who lead retreats as it contains songs that are ideal for group singing!
Helene’s husband Dave Van Manen is a Green Leader in the field of non-profits and Nature Education. He is the founder of the Mountain Park Environmental Center, a not-for-profit environmental education and retreat center that created opportunities for adults and children to learn about and connect with the natural world. Along with creating and developing numerous award-winning Nature education programs, Dave is the co-founder of Earthkeeper Nature School, a Forest Preschool and Kindergarten where Nature is the classroom.
Helene and Dave raised their two children, Sierra and Sequoia, on a south facing mountainside in a solar-heated cabin where they home-schooled, public schooled and private-schooled their children during the course of their parenting experience.
They grow four seasons of vegetables in their geodesic GrowingSpaces.com greenhouse.
Our GrowingSpaces.com greenhouse allows us to grow greens and tomatoes every day of the year even in the deep cold of winter. This is what we call ” living our dream life.”The Van Manens traveled nationally as a family to performing engagements; in the early years, both children performed on stage with them on occasion. Helene became a young grandmother to Jude and Scarlett (both born at home) and assumes the title of “Grandmother Wolverine…best darn grandma you’ve ever seen.”
Helene offers a specialized training for men and women who wish to lead Nature-based retreats through their certification program — Certified Nature Retreat Leader. This comprehensive training inspires people to learn how to combine their love for Nature with strong business skills to run successful businesses leading Nature retreats.
Helene brings a wide range of experiences to her work as a Coach. Her background as a small business owner, entrepreneur, parent, music therapist and performing artist offers her clients a Coach who is flexible, compassionate, and professional.
Some of her personal interests include walking mountain paths outside her house, building community through local service work, slow food cooking, collecting songs, writing poetry and more.
Every couple that creates a family gets to decide how they want their home to be. They can choose to raise their kids according to the cultural norm or they can choose a lifestyle that fits their value.
Whatever they choose know this: it will carry on in their children. So choose carefully what you read to your kids, what they watch on TV, how you vacation, how you spend money, how you spend leisure time.
Everything gets passed on. ~J. Juno