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Get to Know Us

"It’s through awareness of ourselves, others and something bigger than us that we have the potential to make a difference and to do something that matters with our life."


Donna Richards Muriel is the Founder and managing partner of Merge Leadership Solutions, LLC.  

For as long as I can remember I’ve been passionate about awareness and growth.  I couldn’t get enough of it. I still can’t. To me, awareness is the key to well – everything. It’s through awareness of ourselves that we define our life and our success story. It’s through awareness of others that we create and keep strong relationships. And it’s through awareness of something bigger than us, whether it’s our family, company, community or the world, that we have the potential to make a difference and to do something that matters with our life. 


I started my career working for Towers Perrin (Now Towers Watson), an international management-consulting firm. While there, I specialized in learning and leadership development, people performance solutions, change management and communication. My focus was on how to help business succeed by creating programs that enabled the people who worked at them to be more successful.


While I loved this, for me it was missing the one key ingredient, a focus on the development and growth of the individual. That passion led me to found Merge Leadership Solutions, LLC (Merge).  Merge is a boutique firm committed to teaching a new and different kind of leadership program where leaders are challenged to look within. We offer them the skills and tools to understand what causes them to act the way they do and the impact they have on others. We challenge them to take ownership for the current reality they are facing and the creator of the change they want to see. We empower them to do things differently for the ongoing good of the people, organizations and communities they’re leading.


My commitment to each individual, team, organization and community I partner with is that I will challenge their own status quo. I will meet leaders at the level of their head and their heart and challenge them to “get real” with themselves and with others. I will take them into deeper, more authentic conversations that will empower them to gain tremendous insight and achieve extraordinary results.


While my professional and educational background have been extremely important for my growth, the one most important and ongoing factor in my own growth and awareness is my incredible husband and two amazing boys. We live, play and learn together in Evanston, Illinois.

My passion for awareness and growth has led and continues to lead me to pursue ongoing education.

A Master of Science degree in Organizational Development and Adult Learning from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communications from the University of Illinois. 

A graduate of Coach University

Professionally certified coach (PCC) through the ICF.


Certified practitioner of Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP)

Certified practitioner of The Leadership Circle 360º Leadership Feedback and Culture Survey Assessments


Graduate of the Organization & Relationship Systems coaching program at the Center For Right Relationship

Coursework in Relationship Awareness with The Arbinger Institute

Workshops in deepening self-awareness with the Ford Institute (The Shadow Process) and Tony Robbins, Inc.

“We are in quest to

create great leaders and cultures where what’s possible far exceeds what can be imagined.”


Founder of CataQuest Consulting, Carolyn has a proven track record of coaching executives and teams toward inspired and confident leadership. With her guidance, leaders and teams learn new leadership patterns, ensuring their actions align with their desired outcomes and business results.

Unlocking possibilities is a passion of mine. At the heart of it, I’ve come to believe that learning how to unlock the possibilities within our selves allows teams to thrive in action together and organizations to undergo significant culture change.


I see a gap between what we know and learn about leadership and what we do as leaders.  For example, I observe countless leaders working incredibly hard in very demanding situations who aren’t having the impact they want.


I was once one of those leaders- and what I discovered is that I was often unknowingly in my own way.  My journey in facing this disquieting truth and learning how to grow beyond that way of leading informs what I bring to those I work with and led me to found CataQuest Consulting in 2006. 


CataQuest is a boutique firm committed to building communities of leaders who want to learn and grow well beyond their current capabilities.


As managing partner of CataQuest, I guide teams and cross-functional groups of leaders through unique programs that inspire new levels of self awareness, relationships and performance through deepening personal courage, vulnerability and trust. 


I have worked in organizations ranging from start up to Fortune 500 in diverse industries including manufacturing, advertising, airlines, drugstore, publishing, consumer products, and insurance.

I live in Highland Park, IL with my husband. We enjoy exploring new places together as well as long walks and good books.  Practicing tai chi at the Chicago Botanic Gardens is a highlight I look forward to every week.


I am an active learner. A sample of my credentials and certifications:

Professionally certified coach (PCC) through the International Coaching Federation.

Graduate of Strozzi Institute’s embodied leadership program

Graduate of the Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching program at the Center For Right Relationship

A graduate of Hudson Institute’s coaching program

Master of Management, Kellogg Graduate School of Business

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