Each client at Briefcase Coach receives personalized attention from our founder, Sarah Johnston, who collaborates closely with a dedicated team of North American executive writers. Team members bring not only excellent communication skills, but best-in-class expertise and academic qualifications from renowned institutions such as Emory, Washington University, UNC Chapel Hill, and Columbia.

Those who hire us appreciate being able to tap the wealth of experience our writing, HR and career transition experts have gained during successful careers in fields including executive search, medicine, law, federal grant writing, and public relations. Current team members include:

Meet our Team of Experts

Sarah Johnston

Founder and CEO

Sarah Johnston, a former corporate recruiter and founder of Briefcase Coach, has globally empowered job seekers. Holding an A.B. in Communication Studies from the University of Georgia, she’s been celebrated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in the career sector.

Lisa Southorn

Senior Career Branding Strategist

Lisa Southorn, PHR, formerly leading corporate recruiting at Korn Ferry, now serves as the Senior Career Branding Strategist at Briefcase Coach. With a Boise State University degree, her extensive experience extends from empowering job seekers to pioneering inclusive hiring practices.

Lindsay Koons

Senior Career Branding Strategist

Lindsay Koons is a former Senior Vice President and Senior People Strategist within the Human Capital Strategy and Insights practice at Truist Financial Corporation. Lindsay has experience working across various industries and size companies ranging from small start-ups to Fortune 500s.

Christina Lee

Lead Executive Resume Writer and Instructor

Christina, a former teacher and editor with Pearson Education Canada, has a PhD in American Literature from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She now leverages her expertise and global experiences to guide clients in showcasing their stories during job searches.

Nicole Eshelbrenner

Lead Executive Resume Writer and Instructor

Nicole Eshelbrenner, a former NYC PR professional and Abbott Nutrition’s Public Affairs specialist, has been a key writer for Briefcase Coach since 2019. With a background in media and communications, she holds a degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

Steven Gaultney

Senior Executive Resume Writer

Steven Gaultney, a Senior Executive Resume Writer and acclaimed playwright, translates stories into standout resumes. With roles in The Theatre of Others and a background Off-Broadway, he’s an MFA graduate from Columbia and a Davidson College alum.

Jordan Stone

Senior Executive Resume Writer

Jordan holds a PhD in American Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Georgia. He has dedicated the past 15 years to teaching critical thinking and composition to both undergraduate and high school students. Currently, he resides in Charlotte, NC, with his loving family.

Susannah Baker Khayat

Senior Executive Resume Writer

Susannah Baker Khayat, an attorney with a passion for writing, is Briefcase Coach’s specialist for legal narratives. A Rutgers and Emory Law alum, she brings extensive legal experience and is an active Georgia bar member.

Rae Yan

Senior Executive Resume Writer

Rae Yan, a former university-awarded literature professor, uses ten years of research, mentoring, and teaching experience to define clients’ career narratives. She holds a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a Wellesley College alum.

Jenny Robbins

Senior Executive Resume Writer

Jenny Robbins, a former research scientist, has authored over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles and holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. As a senior executive writer, she enjoys connecting with people to create the best professional narrative highlighting career achievements.

Alicia Ryan

Client Manager

Alicia Ryan, Client Manager excels in project management, strategic marketing, and fostering impactful partnerships. She has a background in marketing and operations, with experience at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia Safe Routes to School Resource Center, and Gartner. A University of Georgia graduate, Alicia enjoys cooking, travel, and leading her daughter’s Girl Scout troop.

Katherine Bonner

Client Manager

Katherine Bonner, a Client Manager with over a decade of experience serving Fortune 100 companies, holds a BBA in Human Resources from Boise State University. Balancing her passion for optimizing business with a love for the outdoors and baking, she ensures each client interaction is marked by strategic dedication.

Sarah Pociask

Business Development & Operations Manager

Sarah leads business development, marketing, and operations at Briefcase Coach, with prior roles at notable institutions like Boston Children’s Hospital. A Georgia Tech alumna, she’s an active volunteer, currently serving as treasurer for Fernbank Elementary Foundation.

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