Shawn Kent Hayashi (born 30 June 1964) is an American author, executive coach, and keynote speaker. Hayashi is the CEO and founder of The Professional Development Group.

Life and times

Hayashi was born 30 June 1964 in Auburn, Alabama. Her father worked as a forester in the forestry industry for Union Camp Corporation and the family traveled throughout the southeast United States. Her father's work meant the family moved several times during her childhood and residences included Gallipolis, Ohio, Winchester, Kentucky, Wilmington Island off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, Isle Royale in Michigan and New Haven, Connecticut. In New Haven, she attended kindergarten and first grade. Hayashi suffered with dyslexia and her parents sought treatment with a language tutor at Yale University. In 1980, Hayashi received her high school diploma from Selinsgrove Area High School in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. After high school she attended Susquehanna University and graduated in 1984 with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Hayashi attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a master of science degree in Organization Dynamics. The title of her thesis was: How people use Mentors, Role Models and Networks to grow their careers. Her thesis advisor was John Eldred. In 2006, she married James S. Hayashi.


Hayashi is the Executive in Residence for the MBA program at Lehigh University where she is the coach to executive MBA Students. Before Hayashi formed The Professional Development Group, she was Chief Development Officer with Progressive Business Publications. She has held leadership development positions with the following companies: RE/MAX Services, Primavera Systems, IMS Health, Dun & Bradstreet, Alex. Brown & Sons, and Prudential Securities.

Professional service

  • Philadelphia Society of People and Strategy, past board member

Volunteer service

In the News and Press

  • Recessionary Assessments.
  • Prepping for Your Annual Review.
  • How to Find the 'Star Performer' in Every Employee.
  • For Entrepreneurs, Conversations Are All Business.
  • How to confront an errant employee.
  • How To Say What You Really Mean In Conversations.
  • How to Say What You Really Mean at Work (and Be Heard).
  • TEDxLehighU speakers discuss 'The Future of Our Society'.
  • Mastering the Transition of Becoming a Manager of Your Former Coworkers.
  • Life Lessons: Wisdom Wednesday: Fear.
  • Life Lessons: Wisdom Wednesday: Change.
  • Life Lessons: Wisdom Wednesdays: Success.
  • Life Lessons: Wisdom Wednesday: What I know for sure.