Cari Coats
Cofounder and Managing Partner
Accendo Leadership Advisory Group

Global Executive MBA

Class of 2003






Orlando, Florida


Cari H. Coats is a business advisor, leadership strategist, executive coach, and speaker, leveraging her extensive executive and C-suite experience. Cari is cofounder and managing partner of Accendo Leadership Advisory Group. Accendo is a leadership firm offering advisory services for the full spectrum of leadership development, including executive and transitional leadership coaching, high performance executive team development, professional development for high-potential women leaders, and next-generation succession coaching for family business leaders. Cari is a certified executive coach in the Marshall Goldsmith stakeholder-centered methodology and a key advisor to CEOs and executives of numerous innovative and high-growth companies.

Additionally, Cari is executive-in-residence for entrepreneurship at the nationally ranked Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. She is a director on the boards of venVelo and the FireSpring Fund, two early-stage venture investment funds.

Prior positions include Chief Operating Officer for CNL Financial Group, key advisor for Franklin Square Capital Partners, and growth/exit strategy lead for one of the largest privately held, family-owned beverage distributors in the U.S. Cari’s longest standing role was a 16-year career with the Orlando Magic/RDV Sports, where she quickly rose to become one of the highest ranking women in professional sports.

Cari was tapped by then newly elected Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer to chair his downtown strategic transition team. Her visionary leadership for downtown Orlando continues in her more recent role as Chairperson of the Executive Advisory Board for Project DTO (downtown Orlando).

Cari is a frequent speaker on innovation and entrepreneurship, leadership, strategy and growth, social innovation, and women’s business issues. She is a member of the board of advisors of Bajalia International Group, serves on the advisory council for Clean the World Ventures, and serves on the board of advisors for LiveTrends. Additionally, Cari is a member of the governing body for Athena PowerLink Orlando.

Cari is a graduate of the Global Executive MBA program at Duke University. She received her BA in Communications-Radio/TV from the University of Central Florida. She was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year at UCF and served on the UCF Foundation board for more than a decade. Cari resides in Orlando, Florida with her husband, Russell. They have twin daughters, Kate and Maddie.