Stonefire Grill

Working with Amba has been both a personal and professional transformational journey. It is without a doubt, the greatest gift I have given to myself and to my team.

She has provided in both her course work and her supernatural ability to quickly reach the heart of the matter, an environment that contributes to the ongoing leadership development of my company and a deepening of our culture and values. In addition, my awareness around my own leadership is heightened and contributed to in working with Amba through personal growth, accountability and an understanding of who I am, who I work to become and the endless possibility my life holds.

Amba’s message is beautifully simple: true leadership begins within each of us. When this message is grasped and truly understood, lives are transformed and in turn, the workplace becomes one of accountability, appreciation, honest communication and results. Seriously, does it get any better?

Mary Harrigan
Founder and CEO, Stonefire Grill Inc.

Working with Amba has been transformational to say the least. Leadership starts from within, and my journey has been an exploration of who I am and where I stand to make an impact in this world. I have learned where I can get in my own way in leading my team, and how I can be most effective in leading change towards a unified goal. What gets created is an environment (or culture) of mutual development and accountability, where each member of the team is empowered and set up to succeed, the unique contributions of each individual are valued, and commitments are honored. This work has been paramount for us as a growing company. As we get bigger, changing course while keeping the entire team aligned and committed to the common goal becomes ever more challenging. The work completed with Amba has given me and my team the skillset to do just this. What’s more is that, as a team, we are now in a constant conversation of development and accountability.

Matt Calabrese
Administrative Vice President, Stonefire Grill Inc.

Working with Amba has been a life changing experience both personally and professionally. Through her work, I’ve improved my personal health, communication skills and my ability to lead people. Introducing Amba to the leaders in our organization has proven and continues to prove itself as a valuable investment. The level of happiness both personally and professionally of our team, our level of efficiency, and our capacity to grow through mutual development have all been increased. Her work is ever present in my mind and something that I will take with me for the rest of my life.

Kyle Lopez
Director of Operations, Stonefire Grill Inc.

Engaging Amba’s work involves reinventing how we choose to lead our lives. It weaves the personal and professional dynamics of our everyday actions into numerous conversations that all revolve around a fundamental question: how good are we willing to have it be? Her work is an active process of (re)discovery, of simplification, of passion and purpose. It makes a difference, and continues to do so, when we make the daily decision to set out to do the same. I remain incredibly grateful for her contributions and look forward to even more work with her as I continue to unfold who I am and what I am up to in the world.

Justin Lopez
Marketing Director, Stonefire Grill Inc.

The following was a letter written by the wife of a participant to the owner of the company of Stonefire Grill’s Heart of Leadership, who gave permission to share:

I just wanted to send you a message telling you how wonderful you are. I know I tell you how incredibly generous and giving & caring you are, but I don’t think I can even express how much you truly mean to me.

Seeing what you do for the people who work for you & doing so much to help them improve their lives is amazing to me.

Jacob & I just had the most in depth & meaningful conversation we’ve had in months maybe even years. I had been feeling so alone in our marriage & felt that I needed to let him grieve in whatever way he needed to, not realizing the affect it had on me. I felt so shut out of what he was going through because he would never talk about anything with me.

Then about a week ago when Justin & I were talking during his hair cut, I had to change the subject because I started to cry when we mentioned Jacob & how hard of a time he’s been having, neither of us knowing how to help him. It really became clear that something needed to change but I didn’t know what or how.

This program seems to be life changing & I couldn’t be more grateful, it came at just the right time for him (& me) & I know this is just the beginning.

You are such a great role model for everyone in your life, including me & I hope you know how much you are appreciated.

I love you so much, thank you for bringing him back to me (us;))

Leeanne xo

Other letters from participants of the same class:

I just wanted to thank you again for the Heart of Leadership. I met with my dad last night. There’s so much that I want to share with you, but for now I want to tell you this. I feel like I would have gone my whole life without repairing my relationship with my dad. I’m so happy that this experience has open my eyes and changed my feelings about him. I just keep thinking about how I will have a different relationship with him than I pictured before.

Thank you so much!


I want to thank you for opening up my eyes and heart to find the real me. I have made several discoveries over the last few weeks that have just been true self work . I must not have realized that my true happiness lies within and self care was never an option since I have such a busy hectic life.. I want to open up a little more with you and let you know a little more about me. I have a wonderful husband who went back to school to become not only an RN but a Nurse practitioner. We made this decision about 4 years ago as a family . We sold our home and now live in a 3 bedroom apartment . I have 4 children , Robbie 21, Paige 15 , Addyson 6 and Emma 4 next week. Before this life changing decision I always made time for me. So I can’t tell you what a wonderful discovery it was to know in my heart that I am not crazy, just a very busy mom, wife and employee not taking care of herself . I have made a commitment to take time for me no matter how many fits my kids have. Without this I can not be the mom I so desire to be to them…. Thank you, Amb,a from the bottom of my heart ! I am truly grateful and look forward to staying and living in the now.


Dear Amba,

I would like to begin this letter by thanking you for sharing your wisdom, and for your generosity of spirit. The deep insight I invoked during and since my time in Seattle has brought profound clarity to my life. Whatever amount of work I did for myself, I did it through your influence and your excellence. Thank you, again.

Since Day Five, my personal accomplishments are impossible to count. I feel like every catch and correct is an accomplishment, however trivial it may seem in the moment. Every judgmental thought extinguished, every piece of gossip unspoken, every trigger point deactivated – these all are accomplishments.

Public speaking anxiety? A thing of the past. Writer’s block? Cured. Paradigms? What paradigms??? Once I stepped out of my comfort zone, I opened up my world to an endless realm of possibilities. My universe expanded. Possibilities have changed my life for the better, and all I had to do was change the way I thought about them. I throw out possibilities left and right because I see now how possibilities evolve into working, feasible ideas – even if they seem absurd and entirely unfeasible at first.

My relationships have improved noticeably, both personally and professionally. I acknowledge breaches and move on, rather than dwelling on them and feeling guilty for saying nothing. I am now closer to being a clearing for open and honest communication (one of my stands). I admit I had some trouble initially grasping what it means to be a “clearing.” But I was overthinking it. I realize now that I create the clearing through my actions and reactions.

I want to say thank you, again, and again, for inspiring me. I picked up a piece of charcoal and drew a portrait for the first time in years within a week of returning home from Day 5. It was a big moment for me – I felt brand new and ready to embrace a future that wasn’t going to happen anyway. I have echoed these sentiments to Mary, and I want to repeat them here: the Heart of Leadership is a gift that I never expected, but would never trade back.


Hayley Wallis


Join Us!

Subscribe to receive my weekly blog, news, updates & more.

Join The Joy of Being Wait List

Subscribe to Amba's Bi-Weekly Blog and Poetry Email