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Charles Mansour, Director of Program Development, Center for Conscientious Leadership

Working with David has been a huge game changer for me! When we started our sessions together, I set very ambitious goals, expecting we might meet a couple of them. I hadn’t imagined that I’d be able to see real growth and practical changes in all areas I identified. 

Most profoundly, I learned that the questions I was asking were too narrow and limiting, and having an accountability partner with depth, compassion, and a tenacious desire for growth in his clients helped me deepen not just my own self-understanding but my confidence as well. I walked out of each of our sessions with deeper self-awareness, practical tools to apply to my daily life, habits to develop over a lifetime, and a vision for a future which I’m so excited to make real. 

David is as warm and kind as he is thoughtful and deep. He was able to pick up on nuances I had never been conscious of, and his probing questions helped me realize not only gaps in my thinking, but also opportunities for accelerated progress. And most importantly, he was unwilling to let me settle – he was as invested in our process as I was (even more sometimes!), and the outcomes were beyond what I could have anticipated.  

I started our sessions feeling “stuck” and uncertain, and by the end of our time together, I walked out confident and extremely optimistic for what I can accomplish in both my personal and professional life. I truly cannot recommend David enough!

Matthew O’Malley. Alternate Commissioner for the California Coastal Commission. Executive Director and Managing Attorney, San Diego Coast Keeper. Legal Committee Chair and Board Member of the California Coastkeeper Alliance.

“Before meeting David, I was somewhat hesitant to reach out to a coach, and remember thinking at first, I might not benefit from such a relationship. In retrospect I realize my doubts were misplaced, and I now know my engagement with David was incredibly meaningful and transformative of how I frame – and carry out – my career and life decisions.  

Perhaps the greatest benefit I received was through David helping me to understand the narratives driving my choices and behaviors in my leadership role, and his encouraging me to be open to exploring and transforming those narratives to yield greater benefits, cooperation, teamwork, empowerment, impact, and – ultimately – fulfillment in my work. He has tremendous insight and understanding of motivations, communication styles, and team building, as well as insights into how to manage and improve work-life relationships. Whatever the issue before me, David listened and helped to make sense of the problem or pursuit before me and helped me find the tools and framing to ensure I was well equipped to succeed and grow.

David is caring, insightful, personable, and brings a wealth of experience. I cannot speak highly enough of him and his contributions and what he’s meant to improving my approaches and outcomes.”


“I’ve changed dramatically for the better, thanks to you. Our performance and synergy as a team have improved drastically too!”

Adrienne F. CEO, In Good Company. San Diego, CA.

“David not only helped me get out of my own way, he helped me think bigger and aim higher.  I connected with him after leaving my university job of 14 years to start a climate action nonprofit.  Everything was going for me, and I felt buoyed by other nonprofit founders and entrepreneurial colleagues. My only drawback was severe imposter syndrome. Thoughts like “why do I think I can do this?”, “what makes me think I’m qualified?” kept me in doubt.

David not only heard my words but read my delivery and body language to help me dig into my discomfort and move through it.  The sessions were challenging, thoughtful, and results driven. I can’t recommend David highly enough.”

Teresa Stivers. CEO. Walden Family Services. San Diego, CA.

“Working with David has been life changing. My job satisfaction dramatically increased, I feel more confident in my ability to lead Walden through the pandemic and economic fallout so that we can continue to protect vulnerable children and youth when they need it the most. He brought clarity and focus to my communications style and guided me in motivating the Board and Leadership Team and helped me develop leadership techniques really help staff reach their professional goals.”

Nilesh Parikh. Executive and Leadership Coach.

“David is a wonderfully gifted coach! Calm, curious, and playful while being direct and holding me accountable! I learned and benefited from him being real with the situation, but always creating a forward moving energy and momentum. I took action on important tasks and new ways of being and doing.”

Sue L. Senior Sales Executive. Bloomberg NYC. 

“I am so much happier! David really “gets me”. In only a few weeks of working with David I had made some huge decisions and started bringing them to life.

I was struggling with the concept of “me time” and what came next in life. It’s been 15 years since my husband passed away, I’ve finished raising my boys and have a very successful career. I just didn’t know what came next. I was facing a great deal more freedom than I’ve ever had and had no idea with to do with it.

David helped me organize my thoughts, work through the next steps and understand that I could do more than I ever imagined. Now I have a plan and know how to get there.”

Jim Knight. Coach, Consultant. Ex CIO Chubb International. NYC

“David and I had a 6-month coaching arrangement. When we started, I was in transition into semi-retirement and unclear on what to do to make my life as fulfilling as possible.

Now, after working with David I now clearly know what will make me most fulfilled, have an actionable roadmap to get there and am well on my way.  Mission accomplished!! 

David’s collaborative style, life experience and coaching know-how enables you to bring clarity to your thoughts and enthusiastically go beyond your comfort zone.”

Kathryn Sikule. CEO Brownstone Creative, NY & CEO Fieldstones, NY

“Working with David for the past 2 years has been life changing. He has been instrumental in helping me become crystal clear on how I can take my two businesses to the next level. I’m more balanced now in both my professional and personal life.”

Jared Lundy. Consultant. NYC

“When I started with David I felt stuck, I knew I didn’t like what I was doing but wasn’t able to make that next step. He was able to push me to focus on what I want and more importantly help myself find the best path to get there. His enthusiasm and support was extremely motivating and has taken me to new levels in both my personal and professional life. He went above and beyond in terms of being always available for a quick chat or check in.

I couldn’t be happier that I reached out at the time I did and didn’t wait till later in my life.”


Being coached by David has been an opportunity of a lifetime. He challenged me to see things differently. It’s amazing how visualization, and action behind  my dreams, have turned my life toward the better. I have a better job, I have traveled to new locations, and I have checked things off of my bucket list. 

I’m an individual that likes a game plan. I didn’t get that – I got something better. I got conversations, I got means and methods, I got ideas, and I got bigger goals and dreams. All this helped me to be creative and think outside the box to achieve my objectives. 

Working with David has been an absolute pleasure!”

Oliver D. CEO, Cologne Germany.

“David is an amazing coach and a nice guy, very flexible with his style and very helpful. I am probably not a typical customer and in a very particular situation. Yet, David found just the right way to figure out what my needs are and how to approach them.

Definitely very recommendable when you are looking for a highly professional coach that delivered super fast results. He made me overall feel happier and confident that I am on the right path!”

Sharon L. Entrepreneur. NYC

“Working with David has been wonderfully life changing. I originally came to him because I needed urgent direction and clarity with my brand-new business.  Deep down though, I knew I had to desperately overcome some fears and/or act on them even while fearful. I was prepared for this to take months and months, possibly a year. And I’m in utter shock at how quickly we worked through this, making my fears all the more reasons to take action, now! It’s been such a transformational takeaway in who I’ve always dreamt of being and actually becoming. 

David has really pushed me past all my limits. (And I’ve had coaching before.)  He makes me dig deep, to the point of not being able to dig anymore, but then right when I can’t think anymore, or I just “don’t know”, there’s a breakthrough! Which is the most insightful and eye-opening experience. As demanding as they are, I look forward to my sessions with David week in and week out. 

David is next level with is service. He is such a nice person, wonderful to speak with and listen to. He really goes above and beyond to make sure I understand next steps and their reasons. Additionally, he’s always there when I need a major push in between our sessions. He picks up the phone and coaches me through a situation. And these moments have been forever life changing. 

I’m extremely grateful and highly recommend David to anyone seeking major clarity and really getting out of their head. He’ll go all in with you and make you delve to seek resolution and take action, right now. I’m only a couple of months into my work with David. I’m very excited for what’s to come.”


You have to be ready to face up to yourself in sessions with David. He is excellent a noticing what the client is saying they should do compared to what they are actually doing in real life. He is an immensely positive human.

David took time to really go deep into what my experience of the world is like. He listens with great care and notes down and reads back key things so I could hear them again. He never felt rushed or too quick to ‘fix’ the issue.

I noticed that while I intellectually understood I need to take better care of myself so I can take better care of others, I wasn’t taking the actions to support that, and we explored why that was so I could make a change.”

Svelte Slupinski. Co-Founder, OnPoint Hospitality Management, San Diego. 

“David is incredible! He helped me see clearly during a very difficult time and make our business thrive. 

My friend was raving about David, so I called him up. It was so easy to connect with him; I felt comfortable and confident right away. Within a few minutes, he was able to address a blockage that made me feel so stuck that I would have never thought of.

His questions are so precise that he was able to pull out all the answers from deep within me I was looking for. He helps me be so much more aware of how I approach challenges. He changed the way I work, act and think forever, after a few calls already. I have so much more clarity and confidence in what I do. I’m so incredibly grateful for you, David!”

Ryan Morris. V.P. Marketing. United Way of San Diego

“The best thing that David did was to listen to me. He took the time not only to learn about what I was struggling with at work but also to learn about me as a person. By doing that, he was able to go beyond just giving me standard tools and strategies to address the work issues we discussed.

David was able to understand, and help me understand, why I had the reactions and frustrations I was having to specific situations,  how best to manage them, and how to be proactive and head them off with tools and strategies he helped me develop.

His listening and understanding are what made it possible for me to implement techniques that were specific to my needs, feel more confident, have better communications with co-workers and the CEO, and have more agency over my work, my staff, and my career.”

Tina Dean. Director of Human Resources. US Western Region. Marriott International

“David came into my life at a time when I needed him most. I was living in Calgary, a wonderful city and working as a Director for a very prestigious hotel yet I was not happy. I felt trapped, powerless, overwhelmed and unable to make the decisions I needed to move forward in my professional and personal life. I thought I knew what I wanted and the changes I needed to make, but didn’t know how to bring them forward.

With David’s guidance I was able to step back and really think about what was best for me. He made me feel at ease, never tried to change my mind or put your thoughts into my head and truly guided me to be the best that I could be.  At times of doubt, he helped me see the value for me in what we were doing together. He patiently helped me understand that I could achieve much more than I thought possible. Every week I found more confidence and clarity, and found a way up and out of the hole I was in.

As a result of our work together I have now moved to Southern California, have better relationships with family and friends, and now work as a consultant in my industry, earning as much money as I did before but with more flexibility, more choice and less hours. I learned to have more joy and fun in my life, and to find a sense of peace, balance and personal empowerment. David truly cared about my success. His intuition, experience, and warm heart make him a wonderful coach. I could not have had a better.”

Sean Leahy. Lawyer. Boston, MA.

“Working with David has been a life changing experience (that’s kind of the point, right?). I found David when I was looking for a coach to help with my move from Boston to New York City. After my first conversation with David I realized that not only could I get the career help I was looking for, but that he would also be able to help me sort out the other areas of my life. 

He is very easy to talk with and has helped me look inward to find my true ambitions and goals in life. He provides an outsider’s perspective and makes suggestions based on my past experiences and present circumstances to help me shape a plan to get me to where I see myself in the future.

David has helped me change my way of thinking and how I look at myself. He is professional, funny, compassionate and ready to give you that kick in the ass when you need some extra motivation. When you start working with him, you quickly find out he is dedicated to you and your success. It’s truly an enjoyable experience.”


No one person has ever been able to steer me as quickly or effectively in the right direction as David. He is spectacular at helping me get extremely clear on my intentions for our sessions and asking me the exact questions I need to help me arrive at the solutions my inner self desires the most. His impartiality is full proof, which allows me to work with my own feelings and thoughts instead of having to worry about his. If you want to live your best life, David is your man.”

Mike Rheaume. COO & Founder, Snapknot. San Diego, CA.

“Working with David has been an eye-opening experience. I was a bit hesitant for our talk as I had never used a coach before, but after just a few minutes David put me at ease. Right away I could see him delivering value. David is simply enjoyable to talk with – he has a comforting way of asking questions and providing insight, and does it in a way in which he really guides you to produce a solution on your own. He doesn’t simply “give you the answers.” Working with David helped bring a lot of clarity to the transitional phase I am in right now regarding my business and some big questions around that. I very much recommend reaching out to David to see if he is the right fit for you as well.”


David, thank you so much for impacting my thinking in such a short time! You really challenged some of the beliefs I was carrying and created space where I could deepen my awareness of how those weren’t serving me. I’m making new choices for my business because the coaching has helped me to change. That feels incredibly empowering!?


Amy P, COO. San Diego, CA.

“I highly recommend David. He has helped me navigate a life changing career move. He quickly adapted to my communication style and challenged me to look at situations with a new perspective and away from my comfort zone which provided impactful results. The level of support and guidance David has provided has helped me to take the next leap in my life with courage and confidence.

Thank you David for being such an awesome coach! I was reflecting back on this past year & could not have made these significant changes without your real talk, support & making me accountable for living a life that I desire. You pushed me to make decisions & truly find what I value in life which has been incredibly rewarding….now that that hard part is over.  2019 has been transformative & you helped me get that process started.”

Rachel Gauvin. Business Process Consultant. San Diego, CA.

“If you’re looking for clarity and direction in your personal and/or professional life, work with David. He is easy to talk to and creates a safe space to open up and be vulnerable. I really appreciated how he summarized what we were talking about a few times during the call, also sending follow-up notes. He was very mindful about not leading me one way or another, but instead asked the questions that help me get there on my own. Definitely worth your time!”

Ariana Longoria. Recruiter, Newsela, NYC

“David’s coaching skills are truly one of a kind. He really takes the time to dig deep into every aspect of your situation and will help guide you so that by the end of your sessions you can see yourself becoming stronger with navigating thorough each situation.

I had so many roadblocks that I didn’t know how to overcome and after my sessions, I was able to push past all of it and come out so much more clear towards the end. You will not find a more helpful, dedicated, and knowledgeable coach. I highly recommend David.”

Harish Betchoo. IT Consultant and Enterprise Architect. London Borough of Lambeth, England

“I don’t usually make recommendations but there’s something about David. If you need help setting your goals, someone to give you a push, make you see things differently, guide you towards your inner strengths then you need to talk to him.

I’ve worked with David many years ago, he was a very nice person back then, he’s just phenomenal now. I highly recommend him, an hour conversation with him a few weeks ago has provided me the focus I needed to do what matters most to me and to be fair I wasn’t aware even though it was staring at me in the face. I guess we all need someone like David at some stage to push us just that bit further. Cheers David for listening to me, I am grateful.”

Laura Wildeman. CEO. Seattle, WA.

“A few years ago I met David in San Diego through a mutual friend that was an ex client of his. At that time I was really struggling with a lack of professional direction and just feeling like something was missing.

Through some fascinating, thought provoking and sometimes hilarious conversations we looked at my values, passions, likes, dislikes, assumptions and behaviors that helped me figure out what I really wanted,

I took a senior management role with Microsoft in Seattle to be close to my family, and then started my own Marketing Consultancy. I have a much greater sense of clarity and confidence and couldn’t be happier.”

Andy Bayon. Strategic Philanthropy Consultant, CEO and Founder, The Nature Effect. Denver, CO.

“David possesses the perfect combination of warmth, generosity and expertise. I met him through a mutual friend and business contact at a point where my professional life had come to a standstill. I felt stuck and stressed.

At that time I was trying to get a new venture off the ground so I could leave my job a mid level manager in a large insurance company. I dreamt of getting out! Through David’s coaching I soon knew that the only way I was going to make a go of things was to just jump. I realized that this was one of the few times in my where I could do just that and I had nothing to lose.

Together we established firm and clear goals and the means to obtain them. With sufficient clarity of purpose and confidence I was able to leave my job and establish 2 businesses.

I am now immeasurably happier and very confident in my new ventures. David helps to shine light on my blind spots as my small businesses grow. I know he always has my best interests at heart. 

Should you choose to work with him, he will see nothing but the good in you, and will masterfully bring out who you really are and how you can have a life that is truly fulfilling.”

Zac Snyder. Sr. Analyst, Sales Strategy. Salesforce. San Jose, CA.

“My life has changed greatly for the better ever since David and began working together.  About 18 months ago I realized that I needed help getting my life on track. I had everything I used to think I wanted and should’ve felt ecstatic, but I felt unhappy. I was way ahead of schedule in terms of my own expectations of job, income and status, but still not happy or satisfied with my life. 

David helped me reassess where I was and how to work towards a life I wanted to live in the future.  He did an amazing job of getting me to focus and find what’s really important to me in the midst of a crazy workweek and helped me identify the things in my life that were having negative effects on my happiness. 

For the first time since I can remember, I feel like I am on track and I’m headed towards a life that I will be fulfilling. My social life is amazing and my confidence at an all time high. I have had 2 promotions at work in last 18 month with a pay raise of over $10, 000, international travel, received a national outstanding performance award, and am getting a huge amount of recognition for my recent achievements. 

With David’s help, insights, and life experiences, I’m happier than ever. I’m still working hard and putting in long hours at work but I am also taking the time for myself to explore what truly makes me happy.  By pushing me to explore and enjoy the things in life that make me happy and eliminated the drags on my happiness I now I have a life that feels much more balanced.” 

Shae LeFae. CEO The Faery Apothecary. Olympia, WA.

“As an artist I am full of creative business ideas but as soon as I get to the business side of things I crumble under the stress. When I came to David I knew I wanted a life and business that indulged my creativity, but just didn’t know how to do it. I just want to make stuff and have someone else take care of the business side of things.

David asked key questions that helped me form my ideas into something with structure and substance, find the strengths and weakness in my plan and focus on my goals.

I now know exactly what I need to do and how, and have the confidence to actually do it! David helped me establish my business as a credible and serious start up with a solid commercial backbone but that kept all the artistry and creativity in the process. I have a greater sense of direction, increased confidence, and able to clearly communicate what I do to investors, vendors and customers. “Highley” recommended!”

Jim Geddes. Writer, Teacher and Special Ed. Specialist. San Diego, CA.

“David is a gifted life coach. He was able to help me assess my current circumstances, past history, and provide practical direction for the immediate and distant future, unlike anyone I’ve worked with. His integrity and ability to get to the heart of the matter as one reflects on challenges faced provides a backdrop that really produces results.”

Jaisen Mahne. Writer. Mental Health Advocate and Consultant. Tasmania, Australia.

“I had a lot of anxiety and fear in my life and was going nowhere, fast. I found it difficult to say no and and although I had an idea of what I wanted to do, it was by no means concrete.

Enter David Highley. As a mentor and coach, David was instrumental in helping me to set goals and entertain my dreams as something that could become reality. He assisted me in learning to understand not only how to manage situations, but also how to accomplish tasks by making a solid commitment to my decisions.

Working with David has been a pleasure; In the past two years, I have managed to quit a job I was not happy with; and reach several personal goals including starting a business and going on a holiday with my family. I have even begun writing the first in a series of novels. Without David’s encouragement, guidance and mentoring, I would still be in a negative holding pattern.

I am very pleased with the results I have achieved through his honest and personable coaching style. He is extremely motivating and isn’t afraid to give you a push in the right direction through asking the tough questions. I can highly recommend David as a coach and mentor, he has a talent for seeing solutions and is extremely motivating.”

Michael Jones. Musician. Manchester, England.

“At nearly 30 years old I found myself living with my parents again, uncertain of my future and in a dead end job. I knew I wanted to live a much much “bigger” life. I met David through mutual friends in San Diego while I was on vacation and was very inspired by his story, and the way that he had changed his life, as I wanted to change mine.

With him I explored my personal values, found a self-awareness that gave me the clarity to make bigger plans than I thought possible, and the confidence to achieve them.

I gave up my job in the North of England and temporarily relocated to Australia. I am in the application process for for a working visa in Canada so that he can live my dream life in the mountains.

David is such a kind, considerate and conscientious Coach. He has offered me great support over the past two years. His relaxed, colloquial yet professional approach to sessions really allowed me really to open up, evaluate and explore my inner self, and ultimately overcome any obstacle or insecurities that I was carrying. Working alongside David will without doubt help you get to where you want to go and be who you want to be!”

Paul McCarthy. Director of IT. Legal, NYC. 

“David is a fantastic coach & a genuinely super nice guy. He is easy to talk to and was has great insights. He was able to help me breakdown, assess and improve areas of my professional life, and some personal habits, that had been frustrating me for years. There’s no candy coating or fluff in working with him, he will always have the right question to challenge you, make you really think about what you really want, go to areas that you’ve mentally avoided and help you work through them. 

David was also very generous with his time, I think we went over our session times, substantially at times, almost every time. He was also always accessible to schedule a quick call, email or txt to check in or for advice.”

Anderson Bautista, CEO, Alternawear. NYC

“I used to think that I had to do things on my own to prove myself that I was strong enough to deal with every situation with no help, and while this might be a way to do it, having someone like David on your side who can see your life from another perspective give you an amazing advantage and completely change the way you see yourself.

David has a way of dividing your life and guide you with honestly, kind and professionalism and that has been a tremendous support in my plan to change my life, giving me an outside view of behaviors that had kept me stocked for so long and that I could have never seen on my own.

Thank you David!”

Russ Maxwell. Maxwell Design. NYC

“After realizing I’d been going around in the same circle(s) for years, I decided to get some outside perspective on things. David has really helped me start breaking those endless loops and start paving a direction based on my personal values. 

After a period of “disentanglement, ” I’m starting to lay the foundation of future steps…David’s professionalism gently, but firmly, nudges you to confront issues and blocks and start to think with a different mindset.

There really is no substitute to be found in any self-help book for a valued life coach…I’m so glad I’ve made the decision to work with David.”

Angela Cangialosi. Coach and Consultant. New Jersey

“Working with David for a few months now has produced significant shifts in my life and in my own business. As a Coach myself I really value the sounding board, facilitator, and clear mirror that he gives me, pushing me to take the next steps in my life and career.

Since beginning our partnership I have doubled the number of clients I work with, gained confidence in my value as a coach and entrepreneur and made big improvements to the relationships in my life.”

Creating excellence together