To say Judy Zimmer is familiar with Saint Ben’s is a huge understatement. In fact, College of St. Benedict and Saint Benedict’s Monastery played a major role in the first 18 years of her life. You see, she grew up just five miles outside of St. Joseph on a farm with six sisters and one brother. Then, she decided to enroll as a student. Despite living so close to the college, she lived and worked on campus all four years.
After getting a BA from St. Ben’s in Liberal Studies, she moved to the Twin Cities. She spent the first five years of her career in sales and operations before landing a project management role at Rivertown Trading Company, a division of Minnesota Public Radio. Rivertown Trading Company was growing at a rate of 40-50% each year with a new president and little infrastructure in place to support the enormous growth. There, Judy gained recognition as a leader and demonstrated that she wasn’t afraid to take on any task in order to get things done. She designed recruiting programs for 2,300 additional staff, coached managers, partnered with outside non-profits and kept others calm in the midst of great chaos. Shortly after this experience, she was approached about being a coach to other business professionals. Professional coaching was unheard of when Judy attended college, and this new career piqued her curiosity.
Judy followed that curiosity by completing her first coaching certification program through Ideal Coaching in St. Louis Park. She used her 500 hours of pro-bono coaching (requirement) to create a niche working with entrepreneurs, presidents and senior level business professionals. In 2006, she started her own coaching company to run alongside her full time job.
She worked at Salo, the top finance, accounting and human resources staffing firm in the Twin Cities and Chicago for 7 years. At Salo, she has the opportunity to coach and mentor over 800 senior level finance and accounting professionals. It was a dream situation for Zimmer—the opportunity to coach by day at Salo—and hone her own business as an entrepreneur at night and on weekends. Each year, her coaching and speaking practice grew and in 2013, she made the decision to leave Salo to work exclusively as an entrepreneur.
Today, she has coaching clients throughout the US and Europe. Her business, Coachology.us, focuses on growing revenues for small businesses, personal and professional development for leaders and public speaking. She has a lifetime goal to speak in front of 20,000 people. Zimmer’s clients have given her the gift of what it takes to be a great entrepreneur—including making mistakes, taking big risks and celebrating every small step to success.
Judy’s commitment to St. Ben’s includes serving on the Alumnae Board for eight years, co-founding the professional development series for alums and serving as the President of the Alumnae Board/ Board of Trustees for three years. She has been a speaker on campus for Career Day, the Centennial Reunion Celebration and reunion 2014. She is currently a mentor for the St. Ben’s mentoring program.