Community Coaches/Teachers and Friends

The Community Coaches and Teachers of The Midwest Institute for Forgiveness Training have each undergone extensive hands-on training with Mary Hayes Grieco, and now teach and coach others in the model and methods of Unconditional Forgiveness. We are blessed to be a group of people who share a spirit of joy, friendliness, compassion and enthusiasm, and we see this forgiveness work as our world service. Although we strive to teach our work within the purity and integrity of its foundational components, each teacher brings their own personality and spiritual depth to the way they share with their clients and students.

Unlike some coaching institutes, Mary Hayes Grieco does not “certify” a large number of coaches; her approach has been a traditional master/apprentice relationship in which she works closely and organically with 1 – 3 trainees at a time for several years, until they are ready to work on their own. Each one of them is a graduate of The Self Mastery Program, which is the foundational requirement for becoming an apprentice. Mary is confident that each one of the Institute community teachers is a mature, integrated person who deeply understands and actively lives the principles of her work, Unconditional Forgiveness, and someone whose nature it is to treat others with thoughtfulness, kindness, insight, and respect.

Get to know this lovely group of people by viewing the photos and short biography below: each one of them is available to be contacted as a practitioner for private forgiveness work, or as public speakers on the topic of forgiveness. Contact them directly or get in touch with our office to discuss your needs at 612-874-6622.

The community coaches/teachers of The Midwest Institute for Forgiveness Training are independent practitioners, and are responsible for their own domain and client relationships. Mary Hayes Grieco is not responsible for their words or actions, nor is she personally liable for any mistake or perceived harm that is caused by the words or actions of one of The Midwest Institute community coach/teachers. And although it is likely that other practitioners around the world, well outside the sphere of Mary and her community, will use the model and methods of Unconditional Forgiveness with their clients, they are not considered “approved” as a coach/teacher of this work without having been a direct apprentice of Mary Hayes Grieco.

Mary Flood ManeelyMary Flood-Maneely was a student of the Nine Month Self Mastery Program in 2002-3, and began teaching forgiveness classes and workshops in 2004. She teaches classes and workshops on her own and as a team with Kiersten Dahl-Shetka. Mary has a degree in engineering and dance, and is the proprietor of her own small business, Mary’s Garden, which features both her healing work and her nature photography. She created the 5-week class to teach the Unconditional Forgiveness workshop material in an alternative format, and she also offers monthly Forgiveness Refreshers. Every spring in the Lenten Season Mary conducts an on-line journey, known as The 45 Days of Forgiveness, which completes at Easter. Mary is appreciated for her wonderfully compassionate “Divine Mother” energy, and her keen gift of empathy and intuition when assisting clients who are having difficulty getting in touch with their emotions. To get on Mary’s mailing list and be notified of her classes or the 45 Days of Forgiveness, contact her at or 651-398-9988.

Kiersten Dahl-ShetkaKiersten Dahl-Shetka is an artist, and a K-8th grade art teacher. She has a Masters of Fine Arts in Sculpture with a double major in biology and art, and she is finishing a third major in K-12 art education. In addition to her grade school teaching, Kiersten teaches classes in art, bronze casting, and forgiveness, to people of all ages at New Prague Community Education and in her Heart Park Studio. She is a dedicated family woman – a wife and a mom of two teen boys, and they live in the beautiful countryside of New Prague, Minnesota, south of the Twin Cities. Kiersten was a student in Mary Hayes Grieco’s first Self Mastery Program, in 1999-2000 and after several years of apprenticeship with Mary she began to co-teach the weekend workshop with Mary Flood-Maneely in 2004. Kiersten’s spiritual practice is Christianity, and she loves to work with spiritual people of any faith – she brings experience and compassion to her work as a forgiveness practitioner. She is filled with the grace of Christ – Mary Hayes Grieco likes to refer to Kiersten as “golden” because her spiritual energy feels so strong and loving.

TeesieMary T. Vallero (“Teesie”) met Mary Hayes Grieco in 2001, and moved from Illinois to the Twin Cities to study with Mary in 2002. She assisted Mary closely for several years, and began to teach public forgiveness workshops for the Institute in 2006, on her own and as a team with Sue Paisley and Kate Pfaffinger. She follows the spiritual/nature based traditions of The Lakota Nation, and her connection with Mother Earth is strong and authentic in everything that she does. She also walks the Twelve Step path of recovery, having served as a sponsor to many people since she found sobriety at Hazelden 25 years ago, and she brings great experience and insight to the work she does with recovering people. She assisted Mary at Hazelden’s Dan Anderson Renewal Center from 2003 -2008, and currently leads retreats in forgiveness and in grief and loss there. She is valued in any situation for her deep and wise presence, her ready laugh, and her marvelous deep voice! Teesie can be reached for presentations, 1:1 work in forgiveness, or Reiki healing, at or 651-357-4866.

Sue PaisleySue Paisley has a background in corporate training in the Health East health care system in St. Paul, MN. She teaches courses related to the health care industry at Century College, and though she is not currently teaching our workshops, she remains a sturdy and lively influence in the strength and health of the Institute’s learning community.  Sue began her training in forgiveness work in the Self Mastery Program in 2003, and has served as an able assistant to Mary Hayes Grieco in many subsequent self mastery programs and workshops between 2003 – 2010. She taught public forgiveness workshops as a team member with Teesie and Kate, from 2006 – 2010. Grounded and sparkly, Sue served as an indispensable traveling companion for Mary on a number of teaching trips, including two trips to Ireland. (Thus earning her the affectionate moniker of “Sam,” as in Frodo and Sam, two hobbits on a long journey.)  She lives and breathes her commitment to the principles of Unconditional Love and Forgiveness in an inspiring way in daily life.

Mary PfaffingerDr. Kate Pfaffinger, LP, PhD brings extensive experience in psychology to her work in teaching counseling professionals and nurses in the Midwest Institute’s professional trainings. She has a background as a public health nurse, and her primary passion as a psychologist in private practice is in working with children, adolescents, and their families. Kate is a certified trainer of biofeedback and hypnosis techniques and hypnosis techniques as well. Our Institute community is grateful for Kate’s enthusiasm and thoroughness when it comes to researching the academic literature about forgiveness. A self-professed “research wonk” she fearlessly dove in to the mounting psychological and medical papers and studies that show a clear correlation between unresolved emotional issues and stress-related disease, and evidence that forgiveness is a proven stress-reducer. Kate was a key player in the development of the Professional Training, and in its approval for CEUs by the licensing boards in Minnesota. Kate’s farm background has gifted her with an awe-inspiring work ethic, and she is the original “busy beaver”, strong and productive, at work or at home. Cheery and humble, we value her server’s heart as well as her impressive brain!

Mary ConnerMary Conner, MA, LP has been sturdily involved with Unconditional Forgiveness for a long time. A graduate of Mary Hayes Grieco’s first Self Mastery Program in 2000, Mary has often utilized the forgiveness method in her therapy sessions, and she considers it to be one of the best tools that she has. Mary C. has sixteen years of experience as a licensed psychologist working one-on-one with patients with numerous mental health issues. She has mastered the art of bringing this holistic and spiritual modality into clinical and secular settings, and she has keen insight about how to discern a client’s readiness for forgiveness, and how to work with their cultural or religious paradigm. Most recently, Mary has worked with Somali refugee populations in Minneapolis, at the People’s Center Clinic, and has expanded her capabilities with dealing with both severe trauma and with cultural differences that need to be successfully navigated in therapy. Mary whimsically refers to herself as “The Other Mary,” and her clinical experience with diverse populations provides a valuable counterpoint to Mary Hayes Grieco’s holistic framework and spiritual world view. Mary C’s teaching style flows effortlessly between her earnest and dead-serious conviction, and her wonderfully wacky sense of humor and the disarming way of not taking herself or anything too seriously. She’s a gem!

Linda LaBarreLinda LaBarre, MA graduated from the Adler Graduate School in 2012. She has been studying forgiveness since her first workshop in 2008. Linda studied with Mary Hayes Grieco in the 2010-2011 Self Mastery Program, and served as an assistant teacher in the 2011-2012 program. She has also assisted Mary in The Freedom of Forgiveness Training for Mental Health Professionals, and in 2012 she did a presentation about forgiveness to Adlerian professionals and students at a conference in Eastern Europe. She is certified in EMDR therapy, and finds it to be a perfect pairing with the forgiveness work and trauma recovery work. In 2012, Linda got a dream job doing therapy at Soul Work Counseling in Champlin, MN. She loves her work! She also loves her cats, yoga, her husband, and her friends and neighbors. And we love Linda! Her bubbly, “can-do” attitude and her enthusiasm helps everyone around her to remember that life is good.

Taylor TaggTaylor Tagg of Memphis, Tennessee, had undertaken his own potent journey of seeking and understanding the experience of forgiveness before he sought out Mary Hayes Grieco as his mentor in the summer of 2011. Having been inspired by the teaching and example of his wise uncle, Fr. Joseph Tagg, Taylor sought his way intuitively to the experience of forgiveness so he could release himself from the paralyzing impact of debilitating childhood trauma. With a new lease on life, he desired to learn a reliable method that anyone can use, and found his way into a committed path of apprenticeship with Mary.

Taylor’s desire to inform and uplift others has led him into several pathways and formats in which to help people. He shared his encouraging story in his book, The Path to a Peaceful Heart. He is certified by the Napolean Hill Foundation as a Leadership Instructor and facilitator, and he teaches courses in emotional intelligence and in forgiveness in the work place to business audiences. Taylor is enthusiastic about people’s ability to re-frame adversity and transform any personal liability or tragedy into their greatest asset. Let’s go!! is Taylor’s motto when viewing a challenge or an opportunity, and when he teaches a workshop he brings a big smile and an open heart that kindles optimism, hope, and new confidence in his fortunate students.

Jennifer Juhler, MS,Jennifer Juhler, MS graduated from Drake University in 2006 with a degree in Adult Education and Leadership. Jennifer has always had a strong interest in social justice and has worked in the areas of domestic violence, sexual assault, and anti-racism. Learning forgiveness has been a tremendous joy for Jennifer and she enthusiastically encourages others on their path to freedom through forgiveness. She completed the Self-Mastery Course in 2013 and her internship with Mary in 2015. Jennifer is a dedicated mom to two adolescent girls and several dogs, cats and even a snake. She enjoys all things sparkly and looks forward to retiring from her day job so she can dedicate more time to forgiveness work. Jennifer lives in Ankeny, Iowa and is excited to work with individuals and groups, teaching forgiveness. You can contact Jennifer at: or 515-250-9767.

Community Associates and Friends:

Barb Crist, Diana Knoble, Laura D’Ambrosio, Deb Magnuson, Annette Rondano, Todd Andrews, PhD, Elizabeth Lewis, Eric Mann, Wendy Martell LP, Cindy Chicoine, MSW, Morgan Rivers, John Mischke LP, Teresa Saracino LP, Mary Kathleen Fransen MSW, JoAnne Lieske, Jen Quade, and Linda Shepard.