About Us

About Us2019-04-29T20:10:14-05:00

There are millions of job openings in today’s workforce, however, the gap between what a company needs and the skills employees have exists.  With the knowledge of Zig Zigler, Stephen Covey, Dale Carnegie, and more, AVA helps individuals and teams identify their SUPER (Hard + Soft) Skills to cross the Skills Gap and walk the path to success.

Each year AVA facilitates thousands of hours of LIVE customized, L.I.F.E. changing workshops for the corporate and government sectors in locations near you.

The Mission

Teach every person to identify, and build, their SUPER Skills.

The Vision

Empowering people individually, locally, nationally and globally to achieve any goal through L.I.F.E learning experiences.

We believe that learning is elemental to L.I.F.E. at all stages.

AVA donates a percentage of its earnings to the Skills for L.I.F.E. Foundation , providing SUPER (Hard+Soft) Skill workshops to transitioning military members, their families, and high school students for FREE!

The Team

Meegan Kriley-MackayCEO
Founder and Chief Education Organizer (CEO) of Artes pro Vita Academy (AVA).

Meegan grew up in “A River Runs Through It”, Missoula, MT in the Pacific Northwest. The eldest daughter of two college professors, she has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Montana and a Masters Degree from Johns Hopkins University SAIS.

While in high school and college, Meegan traveled abroad and studied six foreign languages. She met people from different cultures on four continents and developed a passion for understanding the human connection and how we relate. Meegan refined her listening, communication, questioning and negotiating skills as a Human Intelligence Specialist and Certified Interrogator working for the Department of Defense (DOD).

Her unique skills, education, training, and experiences have helped her identify her purpose in life – to empower individuals to see their inner self and SUPER abilities, connecting with others in their personal and professional lives.

Kate Brough
Kate BroughBranding and Web Development Support
Kate Brough is our graphic design, branding, and web development partner at PageLauncher.com.  Born and raised in southern New Hampshire she has a degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing, and a double minor in social/organizational psychology and digital graphics media from Merrimack College.  She has a Masters of Business Administration from The Citadel Graduate College. Kate connected with Meegan as a military spouse and mom, in Altus, OK where the concept of AVA and Skills for L.I.F.E began.
Jennifer Gerhardt
Jennifer GerhardtPublic Relations Specialist
Jennifer is the Public Relations Specialist at AVA.  For 11 years, Jennifer was a Public Relations Officer in the U.S. Air Force. While serving, she created strategic media campaigns, responded to national and regional media requests, edited and wrote stories for base newspapers, and planned special community events. As a freelance writer, Jennifer writes for Civil Air Patrol’s magazine.

Two degrees of separation led Jennifer to AVA on a chance flight to Atlanta. Meegan identified Jennifer’s SUPER Skills and recruited her to the team.

Janell Harris
Janell HarrisFacilitator & Coach
An AVA Facilitator and Coach, Janell assists workshops in the corporate, government, and Skills for L.I.F.E. settings while launching her own business as a SHARP/EO Training Consultant. Originally from West Virginia, she followed her father and three siblings lead, and joined the Army at 25 years old. She dedicated 24 honorable years as a Combat Medic before retiring in 2018 after two tours in Iraq. She loves dogs and enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Janell graduated from the Skills for L.I.F.E. Transitioning workshop series at Fort Sill in Oklahoma and is now part of our team.
Dan Bowen
Dan BowenFacilitator & Coach
Dan is an AVA Facilitator and Coach. From Lawton, OK, he has a Baccalaureate Degree from Oklahoma State University (OSU) and a Masters of Business Administration from The University of Phoenix. He served 22 years in the military as a Field Artillery Battery Commander, as well as a Training Company Commander, and a Headquarters Company Commander. He was a Battalion Admin Officer, Logistics Officer, Group Operations Officer, and Recruiting Company Commander. Dan was selected to be Chief of Tech Support/Functional Project Manager at HQ US Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox KY. After he retired, he was a small business owner and corporate manager for over ten years.
Chelsy Lyons
Chelsy Lyons Facilitator & Coach
Chelsy Lyons was born and raised in Lawton, Oklahoma where she currently resides with her US Army active duty husband, She is active in the community as a Family Readiness Group (FRG) leader, volunteer, and counter human trafficking activist.

Chelsy has a bachelors degree from the University of Oklahoma, in Administrative Leadership and minor in Sociocultural Anthropology. While assisting AVA with its business phone service at Verizon, she was recruited to AVA, bringing her excellent people skills to our mission and team.

Giovani Castro
Giovani CastroRegional Sales Specialist
Giovani Castro was born in Mexico and moved to the United States at the age of three. Although life was hard, by the age of 12, he was working with his father to help their family have a better life. Through the School of Hard Knocks, he learned to use humor and hard work to connect with people and teams. Married to his Altus High School sweetheart, he and Emilie have two children and enjoy spending time with family, Gio joined the AVA team because of the SUPER Skills he learned and mastered attending AVA workshops.
Jeromy Gold
Jeromy GoldRegional Sales Specialist
Jeromy Gold is AVA’s Regional Sales Specialist. He is a military veteran with a specialized background in aviation and defense contracting. Jeromy is also the owner of GoldPointe Window and Door, in Corpus Christi, Texas where he enjoys helping others as a volunteer in the community. Jeromy met Meegan at an entrepreneur event at Oklahoma City. Jeromy shared Meegan’s passion for helping people and was invited to be on AVA’s team.
Bailey Fortenbaugh
Bailey FortenbaughTech Team Intern
Bailey is a Tech Team intern for AVA. A student at the University of Oklahoma, she is studying journalism and enjoys everything from creating stories to editing videos. She is a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority. Bailey graduated from the Skills for L.I.F.E Show Me the $$ Workshop at Eisenhower High School in Lawton, OK, and was recruited as an intern in 2018.