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Ara-what? | Our Story

Curious about what we're all about? Read the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions!


Our company, Arabona Coaching & Training, has a mission to help companies engage, develop, and retain young talent.

Okay, but…what does that REALLY mean?

Think of it this way. If you’re in the workforce, chances are you’ve left a job in the past because it was simply not meeting your expectations. Perhaps you were getting paid enough to get by, but you weren’t engaged, you weren’t receiving the attention and opportunities you needed, and you felt like this job was leading nowhere, so you left in search of greener pastures. And if you’re among the lucky few who have never experienced the disappointment of an unsatisfying, seemingly dead-end job, you probably know someone who has.

And that’s why we’re here. We want to help companies become awesome places to work where employees are happy, continually growing, and actively involved in the mission and vision of the company. We want to help companies reduce unwanted turnover (because who wants to spend all that time on hiring and training yet another temporary replacement?) all the while training and building up their high-potential employees.

Alright, I could jump on board with that. Where do you do this exactly?

We’re based in the busy metropolis of Chicago, Illinois. Most of our clients are from the Chicagoland area, but we’ve worked with people remotely as far as New York and Orlando. Our dream is to expand the reach of our company across the globe.

Who do you work with?

Our ideal clients are small- to mid-size businesses who want to outsource their talent development. We’re here to be an asset, not a replacement. If you’re part of a company that sees employee engagement/retention and leadership development as a challenge you can’t (or don't want to) tackle on your own, you’re our ideal client! We love working with companies who want to continually invest in their people, and we're always excited to see the results of a supportive company culture. In addition, we especially love to work with emerging leaders themselves because we are passionate about building up young leaders to their highest potential.

Who works at Arabona?

We’re a startup – which means two things: our staff is small, and you will always get top-notch service and quick responses since there is no middleman to fight through. (Seriously. Try it. Contact us now.)

On the frontlines of our company, you’ll see Jesse. He’s our certified executive coach and leadership trainer – as well as the brains behind most of our content. He’s the one you’ll meet at networking events, and he’s the one who’ll take the lead for your coaching and training sessions. Being a preacher’s kid, Jesse is also a phenomenal speaker and an engaging story-teller. When he’s not business-ing, Jesse loves the outdoors! He was born in the Amazon (yes the jungle, not the website), so he’s always up for an adventure. Thanks to his 6’4” height, he also enjoys playing basketball, and he rarely turns down a friendly game.

Behind the scenes, you’ll find Viki sitting mostly in front of a computer screen or getting through her 3rd cup of coffee as she works hard at the inner workings of keeping our business running. Viki does all things creative (marketing, website, writing), and she’s a key part of strategic business planning with Jesse. She’s also our resident perfectionist making sure everything we do is top quality. When she’s not geeking out on marketing things, she enjoys teaching ESL, taking photos or rock-climbing 60 feet up in the air.

Alongside Jesse, you’ll also find John, who is a sought-after speaker and an experienced consultant. John conducts personality assessments, runs company trainings, and consults with management to help them engage their emerging leaders. John’s got 20 years of experience in delivering results for a broad array of corporate, non-profit, healthcare and educational organizations. But don’t let his experience and professionalism mislead you – John is also a jazz musician with a great sense of humor that will lighten up any situation.

That’s cool. What does Arabona mean?

Ah, the question of the day. We’ve got several answers to that. First, it comes from Viki’s hometown in Hungary. The town used to be named Arra Bona, which in Latin means “Good Altar.” (But don’t go looking for Arra Bona on a map. Its new name is Győr. And yes, it’s pretty much unpronounceable.)

On the perfectly objective side of things, there are no business in the United States with this name, and the word Arabona is just easy to pronounce. (Unless you’d like to give Győr a try?) That being said, we also like to say that good leadership always requires sacrifice, so the name “good altar” is just fitting there too.

What’s with the logo? Is it three leaves or a mountain?

Yes – and yes. We chose the leaves to signify life and growth. Coaching and training are all about helping people grow. We want to help leaders develop skills that bring life and growth – and not just suck the life out of others.

Within the leaves, you can see the silhouette of mountain peaks. We are adventure-lovers at heart, so this a friendly nod to our outdoor adventures. However, as a company, it’s also a part of our philosophy of business. No matter what kind of business you’re in, it’s always an adventure. Sometimes you trudge rough terrain, and other times you reach new heights and exciting visions. No matter what you do, ups and downs are inevitable, and it will all take preparation, direction, energy, and grit. As a company, we’re here to walk the rough paths with you, cheer you on as you climb up the mountainside, and celebrate with you when you reach your goals.

How does it all work?

We want to help emerging leaders grow and develop to maximize their skill and impact. At our core, our passion is to come alongside leaders to provide the challenge, accountability, and encouragement necessary for them to take the next steps in growth. We do this best through leadership coaching and training.

We come with a holistic perspective, so we don’t just want to work with a company’s emerging leaders. We also work with mid- and senior-level leadership to help create an environment that is conducive to growth, and that will truly engage, young, up-and-coming talent. We want companies to have a healthy culture that employees want to stay in! We believe this is a whole-team effort.

Why do you do what you do?

Starting Arabona Coaching & Training was a dream with a mission. It is our job, calling, passion, and hobby all in one! We love being involved in changing lives, and through Arabona, we do just that! We believe that when you work with a leader, you’re not just changing that person’s life but everyone else’s around them too.

We also believe that emerging leaders are passionate, energetic, and eager to make a difference, and if we can tap into this and equip them, we are truly on track to help change the world. We also believe that constructive training early on for emerging leaders is far more effective, impactful, and sustainable than corrective training far later in their leadership journey.

We strive for excellence. Unfortunately, we have had too many opportunities and experiences where we signed up for something with great excitement and anticipation, but the more we found out the less excited we got. We want our business to be one that over-delivers on everything. We want our clients to be happy when they sign a contract – and be happier and happier the more they learn after that! The cool thing about owning a business is that you get to run it however you want – and we want to create great experiences for the people we work with! Whether it’s in the quality of the services we provide, the individual attention you get even after a contract is signed, the surprise perks we give you, or even just the fact that we don’t nickel-and-dime you after we give a quote, we want your experience with Arabona to be a game-changer for you and your business!

Lastly, a huge part of our “why” is to build a solid foundation for our business here in the United States so that we can use it as a spring-board to serve in other countries. We recognize that we live in an extremely privileged environment, and that just isn’t true for most of the world. We want to be able to offer leadership development in places that may not have the ample opportunities to receive it like so many companies in the United States do. Our long-term vision is to expand the reach of our business and have a global impact for leaders around the world – no matter where they come from.

Still more questions? We want to hear from you! Reach out to us at


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