About Us

For over thirty years the Falling Awake team has been coaching hundreds of leaders and individuals, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, best-selling author Jack Canfield, and many others.

Dave Ellis

Author, Facilitator, and Coach

Dave Ellis is a world-class workshop facilitator and best-selling author who has written seven books, including Falling Awake, Life Coaching, Creating Your Future, and Becoming a Master Student, which was the best-selling college textbook in America for over two decades. He has taught all across North America and around the world.

He has coached national and international nonprofit leaders, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, an NBA coach, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

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Dave has developed a variety of powerful programs assisting people to realize their full potential. He and the thousands of teachers and coaches he has trained encourage people to think what they have never thought and to take actions they have never taken. Through the workshops, books, coaching, videos, and interactive online classes, Dave has helped over six million people create a more wonderful life.

Dave held the following positions at National American University:

  • President
  • Assistant Dean of Student Services
  • Member of the Administrative Board
  • Computer programming faculty
  • Designer and teacher of an innovative first-year experience course for students to discover ways to be successful in college

Education:

  • Honorary Ph.D., Naturopathic Philosophy
  • Work towards Ph.D. in Psychology
  • Master’s in Computer Sciences
  • Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Psychology

Dave started The Brande Foundation and has contributed millions of dollars to the work of his foundation and other organizations. He has four daughters and six grandchildren. His hobbies are running, singing, photography, and travel.

 

Bill Rentz

Vice President, Dave Ellis Leadership and Master Certified Coach

Bill Rentz is an executive coach and a Master Certified Coach from the International Coach Federation. He is Vice President of Dave Ellis Leadership, the organization that presents the Falling Awake Retreats and other workshops.

Bill is a self-taught generalist who has partnered with Dave Ellis for over 30 years. Bill has been responsible for the coaching team and coach training, and he manages most of the day-to-day operation of the Dave Ellis Leadership programs.

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He has worked one on one with the top executives of dozens of global organizations. Collectively, these organizations have directly influenced the lives of tens of millions of people by providing life-saving food, small business loans, education, and many other services designed to assist people to gain dignity and prosperity.

Bill has led workshops for superintendents creating solutions for public education, couples desiring to improve their relationships, and leadership teams building effective organizations.

Bill is a voracious learner with a keen interest in natural history, paleontology, the outdoors, and the social sciences. His pragmatic approach to working with people has proven to be very useful to hundreds of clients across a large spectrum of disciplines. Bill lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota and has been married for over 30 years.

 

JoAnne Bangs

Executive Coach

JoAnne Bangs has been coaching individuals, business owners, couples, and leaders of nonprofit organizations for over 35 years. She has worked with Dave Ellis for over 24 years. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and has two children.

JoAnne is a confidential thought-partner who assists you to think for yourself and manifest what you are seeking. She encourages you to be accountable for your own productivity and results while you are being responsible to those in your personal and professional live. Her specialty is to help you foster your best attributes and create the results you most want.

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Education, Experience, Credentials:

  • Professional coach, certified by the International Coach Federation
  • Coach and mentor for participants in the Falling Awake Coach Training  
  • Coach for participants in The Money Course
  • Executive coach

Areas of Expertise:

  • Communication and coaching skills
  • Deep development of self-efficacy and self-responsibility
  • Work-life balance
  • Inventing the best self from the future
  • Business development /management

 

So, Dave is not an advisor. He was not telling me what to do. He brought out my own capacity. Working with Dave, I became an explorer of myself.

- Muhammad Yunus

Nobel Peace Prize Winner (2006), Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009),
Founder, Grameen Bank, Bangladesh

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