Chad Ellsworth

Chad Ellsworth

Chad Ellsworth is an author; professional keynote speaker; career, leadership, and life coach who empowers people to cultivate courageous cultures in their workplaces and organizations. In 2018, he published, “Building up without tearing down: How to cultivate heroic leadership in you and your organization.” On December 29, 2018, he was featured in a story in the Star Tribune, “Coaching us to purposeful lives.” In 2007, Chad was named an Anti-Hazing Hero by HazingPrevention.Org, and in 2010, he received one of two national awards that year for outstanding professionals by the Fraternity Information & Programming Group (FIPG).

Chad served the University of Minnesota community for more than 15 years as a Career Coach for the Carlson School of Management, where he was recognized in 2018 as Staff of the Year; an Academic Advisor and interim Pre-Health Career Coach for the College of Biological Sciences; an Academic and Career Coach for the Center for Academic Planning & Exploration; Adjunct Faculty for the College of Biological Sciences, Leadership Minor, and Office of Undergraduate Education; Program Director for the Office for Fraternity & Sorority Life; and Student Activities Advisor.

Originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, Chad received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska in 2001, and his master’s degree from the University of Maryland in 2004. He currently serves Carleton College as the Program Director for Employer Relations. He lives in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area with his wife, Kristin, and two sons, Joey and Paul.

Most Requested Programs

Cultivating A Courageous Culture in the Workplace

Be Yourself & Become Your Best

Foes, Fears, & Failures: Confronting the 3 F’s to Change Your World

Building Up Without Tearing Down: Why Hazing Persists & What We Can Do To Stop It

Calling You To Adventure: Embracing The Hero’s Journey As A Developmental Tool


"Chad conducted a workshop for aspiring leaders within our organization. He was extremely engaging with the group, knowledgeable about the content, and, most importantly, passionate about the topic of strengths and leadership. Chad’s session was hands down our team’s favorite portion from our two day leadership development program. We absolutely would love to work with him in the future and highly recommend Chad to others looking to provide an authentic, compelling, and inspiring workshop for their teams." - Alejandra Morales, Area HR Manager, Sherwin-Williams

"Chad facilitated two webinars for the University of Maryland's Alumni Association in May of 2020. He initially reached out to graciously offer his services during the COVID-19 pandemic when our virtual programming was ramping up. Upon chatting with him briefly over email and reading through his impressive credentials, it was a no-brainer for the alumni association to feature his expertise. His webinars were thought-provoking, engaging, driven by research, and professional. Chad himself is warm, organized, thorough, and an expert in his field. I'd work with him again in an instant and I would encourage others to do the same!" - Ellie Geraghty, Manager of Alumni Career Programs, University of Maryland Alumni Association

"Chad graciously agreed to be a featured speaker for our group (University of Minnesota Advanced Careers Initiative), delivering a thought provoking, engaging presentation about purpose, becoming the person you want to be, and stepping out of fear into positive action. Chad's presentation opened up meaningful dialogue around courage, asking tough questions, and paving the way forward. Chad was insightful, reflective, and a skilled guide in exploring issues that matter across the life span, like purpose, calling, and meaningful work." - Dr. Kate Schaefers, Executive Director, University of Minnesota Advanced Careers Initiative

"After reading about Chad in the Minneapolis StarTribune, we engaged him and Caped Coaching to design two customized leadership skills workshops for our Professional M.A. Students in Strategic Communication. These are working professionals who are looking to improve their leadership skills and advance their careers. Our students gave Chad rave reviews for his engaging content, speaking ability and knowledge. In my experience, finding talent like Chad is rare." - Steve Wehrenberg, Professor, University of Minnesota

"We brought Chad to RIT to be our 2017 Hazing Prevention Week Keynote Speaker and we could not have been happier with our choice. Chad was able to share his deeply compelling story with our fraternity and sorority community, which had a significant impact on the members in attendance and became a call to action to prevent stories like his from being replicated at RIT. Chad’s story and presentation style were very engaging and showed the effects of hazing, but he also gave instruction on how to prevent it from happening again. Chad’s story should be heard by everyone to show the dangers of hazing." - Eric Pope, Associate Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life and Assessment, Rochester Institute of Technology