TakeRoot exists to help people and teams to develop the skills, knowledge, and practice to become change-makers. 

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The rate of change in our world today is faster than it has ever been. Organizations have two options - to slow down the rate of change to provide stability and safety to their people, or to increase their people's capacity to adapt to (and lead) change. We propose both. Organizations that thrive are those that recognize what elements of their organization must be protected, what needs to be let go, and what needs to be innovated. TakeRoot is committed to providing custom leadership development to increase potential in individuals and teams. We anchor our approach in the beliefs that leaders must learn to adapt to a rapidly changing world, and that leadership can and should come from all levels of the organization. 

Judy Le


Judy has over 18 years of leadership development experience in the for-profit, non-profit, and higher education sectors. Before starting TakeRoot, she served as the director of Leadership Rice at Rice University. In this role, she created and facilitated classes, workshops, and programs in leadership and professionalism, and worked with organizations across the country to instill a culture of mentoring and talent development. She is currently an instructor for the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University where she teaches a course on the Art and Practice of Influencing Without Authority.

Judy started her career at Deloitte Consulting as a change leadership practitioner. She has also served as program director for Leadership Houston, a non-profit organization that brings together Houstonians to collaborate and engage in civic leadership. Judy is a lead facilitator for LeaderShape, a national leadership institute, and she serves on the board of Girls, Inc of Greater Houston. 

Judy is trained in leadership development through Harvard Kennedy School of Government's master class program, completed the Social Justice Institute's training program, and is an ICF Certified, Board Certified, and Team Performance Certified coach. She earned her master's degree at the University of Texas at Austin and her bachelor's degree at Rice University. 

Felicia Martin

Felicia has worked for over 19 years in leadership and professional development. She is particularly passionate about discovering what drives and motivates students, emerging professionals, and organizations toward action and social change. In addition to co-founding TakeRoot, Felicia is the Managing Director of Program Strategy for EMERGE Fellowship, a non-profit designed to empower under-served students to be the next generation of change agents in their communities.

Most recently, Felicia served as the Associate Director for the Center for Civic Leadership at Rice University where she supported the development and execution of leadership programs that challenged high-achieving undergraduates to lead self and others for positive change. Prior to her work at Rice University, Felicia was an Education Specialist for College Summit where she developed curriculum and facilitated training for several critical organizational initiatives across the country.  Felicia's training expertise is in the areas of decision-making, change management, and facilitative leadership. Felicia is certified by the Interaction Institute for Social Change on Pathways to Change. She holds an M.A. in Organizational Development from St. Edward's University and a B.A. from Rice University.

Jesse Hendrix

Jesse Hendrix, a graduate of Eastern Washington University and Columbia University, has a proven track record of high stakes leadership and talent development. He has led teams as an elite collegiate and professional athlete, as well as teams in the higher education sector. His diverse experience and background equips him with the real-world skills and knowledge to share with those he works with.

In addition to joining the TakeRoot team, Jesse serves as the Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs at Rice University. At Rice, Jesse advises cohorts of students in leadership, teaches leadership courses, and facilitates development workshops and programs around creating positive change. Jesse enjoys challenging students to achieve their highest professional aspirations, providing them with resources and opportunities to attain their goals.

Prior to working at Rice, Jesse was the Director of Enrichment Services and Student Development at Columbia University in New York City. While working to equip the next generation of professionals and leaders at Columbia, he was part of a research team that tested innovative methods of measuring educational quality across institutions and assessing student learning.    

Jesse contributes a uniquely valuable perspective to the TakeRoot team as a former captain of his division I football team, and across 3 different professional leagues (NFL, AFL, CFL), helping to lead both his AFL and CFL teams to the National Championship game. More importantly, this experience has endowed him with the understanding of navigating change, career transition, and how to discover, clarify, and align priorities for moving forward confidently. Jesse is an ICF certified and board certified coach. 

Jason Bargas


Jason is a veteran management consultant with over 20 years of serving customers.  He has learned one key tenet during that breadth of experience: projects most often fail due to lack of focus on Organization Change Management (OCM).  Jason’s passion is helping teams overcome the hurdles impeding their success.  He uses his experience consulting Fortune 500 companies to aid new clients in focusing on stakeholder engagement, constituent alignment, and enterprise communications.

Jason is fluent in executive facilitation and is a Certified Team Performance Coach™ through Team Coaching International.  He earned an M.S. in Management Information Systems and Internal Audit from from Louisiana State University (LSU) after having completed a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Theatre at LSU.  He is an alumnus of Leadership LSU.

Kate Abad

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E. Kate Abad is an ICF (International Coaching Federation) trained Coach and Gallup trained Strengthsquest facilitator. For over 17 years she has worked in higher education as a leadership educator, and she has spent the last nine years as a Director at Rice University.  Kate works closely with executives, staff, and students through her coaching practice to create the space for reflection, strategic thinking and goal achievement .  She has a passion for the coaching process that is reflected in her willingness to challenge and support clients as they work toward their goals.

Michelle Kaltenbach

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Michelle currently works at Rice University as the Associate Director for student development, specifically focused on coaching and team and leadership development. In her 10+ years in higher education, she has coached clients of all ages, led and developed numerous mentoring and coaching programs, and is a proud graduate of Coach Rice. Because of her experience working with executive coaches, peer coaches, and Coach Rice, Michelle found her love and passion for coaching others to help them work towards their personal and professional goals. She believes coaching is a partnership that inspires a creative process leading to insight and discovery which ultimately creates a path towards success. Michelle looks forward to an opportunity to coach and help you create awareness, opportunities, and take action to achieve what you desire.

Deanna Fuehne

Deanna Fuehne is an executive coach and leadership development expert. She has over 20 years of business experience, specializing in talent pipeline development for organizations.   She is the former Executive Director of the Jones Graduate School of Business Career Management Center.  As Adjunct Faculty she taught courses including Entrepreneurial Leadership and Talent Acquisition and Management.  She has worked for companies including Citi and Deloitte Consulting.   Additionally, Deanna has consulted for Houston Business Journal’s Fast Tech 50 companies.  She has presented talent acquisition and leadership topics for the Houston Women’s Conference and the MBA Career Services Council's national conference.  Deanna served on the board of the MBA Career Services Council and is the past President of the Houston Chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs.   She has been cited in Biz Education magazine, and Business Week for her analysis of hiring and talent trends.  Ms. Fuehne is a graduate of the Owen Graduate School of Business at Vanderbilt University and Valparaiso University.