Marilou zBova

Marilou Bova
Leadership Coach & Facilitator


“Focus on what matters to you, where you want to go, and what gives you energy, rather than on what you are trying to move away from.  This will reconnect you with your own path and purpose.”

Marilou is passionate about empowering leaders and organizations to embody their potential. She believes that when leaders are living in alignment with their purpose and values and are congruent in body, mind, and emotions, they are more effective at making choices and taking actions that positively influence those they lead.

Marilou’s approach to coaching has been cultivated over time from her long-term experience of coaching leaders at all levels in the federal government, non-profit, and private sectors. Her approach is highly values-based, holistic, and appreciative and provides a foundation that helps her clients gain agility and resilience in the face of complex leadership challenges. After working with Marilou, her clients note a greater ability to be:

  • Authentic Leaders – clarifying, leading, and living from their purpose, vision, and core values
  • Self-Aware Leaders – understanding and managing their emotions and mindsets that detract from or enhance their ability to achieve their vision and to inspire high performance in others
  • Appreciative-Action Leaders – creating synergistic solutions and sustainable results by appreciating and leveraging team members’ diverse perspectives, strengths, and values

Marilou often coaches clients on topics such as how to be authentic to who they are while being inside a bigger culture with its own norms; how to create positive work environments that lead to improved collaboration and communication; how to manage change and develop innovative, mission-driven strategies that align with their organization’s vision and values.

Marilou is known for both “going deep” with her clients and for being very practical, clear and results oriented. She also likes to have fun!  Her clients often describe her as being “easy to be real with”, direct and compassionate with her insightful feedback, and inspiring in the way she challenges them to go out of their comfort zone to achieve what they truly care about.  She enjoys working with leaders who are interested in being of service to something bigger than themselves and who want to make transformational changes in themselves, in those they lead, and in their organizations.


  • 37 years as owner and Principal of a leadership development company focused on helping clients “Awaken Authenticity and Ignite Purpose”
  • Has served as a leadership coach to over 1,000 leaders from federal, non-profit, and for-profit organizations.
  • 6 years as a Classroom Coach, Facilitator, and Executive Coach for American University’s Key Executive Leadership Programs for leaders in the Federal Government
  • 10 years as faculty on Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching Program, training and assessing new coaches to coach at an ICF PCC level
  • Prior to coaching, Marilou held leadership positions for 7 years with the American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society
  • Has apprenticed with leaders in the fields of consciousness work and body-mind sciences for over 40 years

Education, Training and Certifications

  • BS, Human Services, State University of New York, (SUNY at Plattsburgh)
  • Certified, Co-Active Professional Coach (CCPC), CTI, 2002
  • International Coach Federation (ICF) Professional Certified Coach (PCC), 2004
  • Certified Somatic Coach (CSC), Strozzi Institute, 2005
  • International Coach Federation Assessor’s Training, Georgetown University, 2015
  • Appreciative Inquiry Training for Facilitators, Charles and Edie Seashore, 2004
  • TetraMap™ Facilitator Certification, TetraMap™ International, 2004
  • Cultural Transformation Tools Certification, Barrett Values Centre, 2007
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Faculty Training, Georgetown University, 2021
  • The Power of Embodied Transformation, Coaches Rising, 2023
  • Navigating Polarities, Andiron, 2023
  • Assessment Certifications: Leadership Circle Profile; Emotional & Social Competency Inventory (ESCI); DISC and Everything DiSC; Team Conversation Norms Diagnostic; Professional Strengths, Values & Story Survey (SVSS) Assessment


  • Marilou lives on a horse farm in Charlottesville, VA, where she appreciates being in the beauty and bounty of nature
  • A world traveler and explorer at heart, she enjoys learning from and experiencing different cultures, traditions, foods, music, and art
  • Practices Qigong, Yoga, Pilates, and Meditation as ways to center and be present to all life’s gifts

Learn more about Nebo’s services.