Our Team

Some of the Lighthouse team members in April 2018

anne-5Anne Ricketts – Founder & Principal 

Anne Ricketts founded Lighthouse Communications in 2013 after seeing the need at many Bay Area companies with a heavy international workforce for English as a second language and communication skills training. Anne has taught workshops at many of the top tech companies in the world. She was asked to be a speaker at Facebook Tech Women’s Day, and has coached executives for big keynote speeches at conferences such as TED and SXSW. Anne is also a communication coach for the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Anne grew up in the Bay Area, and attended the University of California at Davis where she majored in Italian.  Indulging her passion for world travel, Anne spent several years studying and teaching English in Florence. In 2004, Ricketts moved back to San Francisco and earned a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Upon graduation, she received a position as an English teacher at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco where she taught English to students from all over the world. Outside of the classroom, Anne helped Academy of Art build its first cross country and track teams while she served as the distance coach.

Michael Shehane –   Instructional Designer & Facilitator 

Michael facilitates Effective Presentation Skills, Advanced Effective Presentation Skills, Elevate Your English, and Crucial Conversations at tech, engineering, science, and health organizations/companies. With an M.A. in language education from San Francisco State University and multiple years living abroad in Germany, Japan, and China, he highlights the values of linguistic and cultural inclusivity through his facilitation. 

In his free time, Michael teaches martial arts, practices yoga and meditation, and reads for his book club. He has recently earned a Master’s Certificate in Instructional Design through the University of Wisconsin Stout. 

Tessa Steffens – Coordinator and Administrative Assistant

At Lighthouse, Tessa is executive assistant to founder Anne Ricketts and her team, contributing organizational expertise and managing administrative needs, accounting, and office processes.Tessa Steffens is also a Coordinator and Instructor at the Academy of Art University, teaching academic skills to online college students. As an online teacher, she is passionate about the intersection of technology and education.

Tessa received her BA in History from San Francisco State University. She enjoys baking(especially during rhubarb season), reading, practicing yoga, and walking in the natural beauty of California.

Sheron Tabois – Presentation Skills Coach & Cross Cultural Communication Expert

Sheron is a leadership consultant, training facilitator, and influential communication coach providing feedback to Managers, Directors, and C-level individuals on their behaviors and content during classes and one-on-one coaching sessions. She encourages leaders to step out of their comfort zone, practice various delivery techniques, and create impactful messages effective in driving listeners to action. She also works with clients from a variety of sectors to facilitate dialogue that encourages a healthy exchange of ideas.

Passionate about cross-cultural communication, Sheron lived in Panama and Costa Rica as an instructor of English to Speakers of Other Languages. Upon her return to the United States, she worked for six years as the Sales and Marketing Executive at an international school for adult clients in San Francisco.


profile_2Christine Haas –  Slide Expert & Presentation Skills Facilitator

Christine has traveled around the world teaching courses to scientists and engineers on technical writing, storytelling, and presentation skills. With a special focus on developing slides that have targeted messaging and effective visuals, Christine bans the use of bullet-points to help her clients deliver focused content with confident delivery. She has taught clients across industry, government, and higher education, including The North Face, Texas Instruments, Sandia National Laboratory, European Southern Observatory (Chile), Simula Research Laboratory (Norway), and The Pennsylvania State University. Christine founded Christine Haas Consulting, LLC in July 2012.

She received her MBA in marketing and international business from Drexel University, and her BA in English and Film from Dickinson College. Christine’s job has led to some amazing experiences, including tobogganing down the Great Wall of China, attending the launch of the final U.S. space shuttle mission, and meeting Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Burt Alper – Presentation Skills Facilitator & Communication Coach

Burt has dedicated his entire career to making exceptional communication a competitive advantage. He helps clients articulate their ideas more effectively through improved content development, storytelling, and presentation techniques.

Burt serves as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, as well as a presentation coach for Stanford’s highly-regarded LOWKeynotes program.

Burt earned his BA in Psycholinguistics from Swarthmore College and his MBA from Harvard Business School.  He likes to visit ancient ruins and sample wines from around the world (not so keen on ancient wines or local ruins).

Lauren Rauch – Presentation Skills Facilitator & Coach

Lauren helps individuals from diverse personal and professional backgrounds to communicate and lead more effectively. With 5 years of experience in Silicon Valley, Lauren facilitates professional development workshops on communication, emotional intelligence, and leadership. As a coach, Lauren works with clients on finding their authentic voice, building trust and confidence, and communicating through conflict. Outside the corporate world, Lauren trained cross-cultural dialogue for Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian, and North American students, and led teacher-training workshops for language instructors in South America.

Lauren holds an MA in Intercultural Leadership from SIT Graduate Institute and a BA in International Studies from University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. She is certified in TESOL, Crucial Conversations, and Integral Coaching.

Kara Levy –  Communication Coach

Kara Levy has been a communication coach at the Stanford Graduate School of Business since 2010, and works with Bay area tech leaders, entrepreneurs, and academics to connect with audiences and maximize personal leadership presence. Kara also has extensive experience in the writing world: a fiction writer with an MFA from Columbia University, she has taught writing at multiple universities and mentored best-selling writers of business, memoir, academia, and fiction in crafting their narratives. She is a loyal devotee of the New York bagel.

Hilary Spreiter – Presentation Skills Facilitator & Coach

Hilary Spreiter is a communications coach based in the Bay Area. For Lighthouse, Hilary teaches Effective Presentation Skills, Advanced Presentation Skills, as well as Transforming Presentation Slides. Her favorite part about presentation coaching is helping speakers improve their body language and refine their content.

Hilary also works with executives, organizations, and students to generally improve their communication and sharpen their interview skills. Hilary began her communications career as a presentation workshop specialist at Stanford University, where she still works as a communication coach for the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She received her MLA with a focus on rhetoric from Stanford and her BS in Zoology from the University of Bristol, England.

Tani Peelgrane – Presentation Skills Facilitator and Communication Coach

Tani works with individuals and groups to develop executive presence, construct effective messages, and communicate complex concepts to diverse audiences. With her extensive experience as an executive coach, former position as lead training designer and facilitator at the California Academy of Sciences, and years as a high school and college educator, Tani has worked across North and South America, Australia, and Europe.

Tani creates training experiences that are learner-centered, motivating, engaging, professionally empowering, and tailored to each individual’s unique needs and goals within the broader context of business and company culture.

She holds a post-graduate degree in Education from the University of Melbourne and a double major BA in Spanish and Anthropology from the University of Queensland, as well as a TESOL ceritifcation.

Gardner_headshotJessica Gardner – English Language Specialist

Jessica is an English language instructor with teaching experience in the U.S. and abroad. She received a TESL certificate from UC Berkeley Extension, and a Master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from St. Mary’s College of California. She then taught for a year at the University of Macau while experiencing the wonders of Southeast Asia.

Jessica is a Coordinator and Instructor at the Academy of Art University. She has presented many times at regional and state conferences, and is co-author on a research study pending publication in the CATESOL journal. Besides teaching, Jessica worked as a consultant content editor for Apple’s Professional Development Team.

Adam Reid photo 1

Adam Reid – Facilitator & Coach

Adam is an English language instructor with a diverse range of experiences in education as well as the corporate world. After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Washington, Adam worked for several years in the legal field before moving to Central Mexico to teach English at the high school and university levels. In 2011, Adam returned to San Francisco, where he completed his M.A. in English with a concentration in TESOL (Teaching English to Students of Other Languages).

Currently, Adam works at Hult International Business School as the Assistant Dean. For Lighthouse, Adam does 1:1 ESL coaching as well as facilitates Pronunciation Bootcamp. He has previously taught at UC Berkeley Extension’s Intensive Academic English Program, the American Language Institute at San Francisco State, and City College of San Francisco, in both their credit and non-credit programs.