About Us

For over thirty years the Falling Awake team has been coaching hundreds of leaders and individuals, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, best-selling author Jack Canfield, and many others.

Dave Ellis


Dave is no longer accepting new appointments.

Dave Ellis is a world-class workshop facilitator and best-selling author who has written seven books, including Falling Awake, Life Coaching, Creating Your Future, and Becoming a Master Student, which was the best-selling college textbook in America for over two decades. He has taught all across North America and around the world.

He has coached national and international nonprofit leaders, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, an NBA coach, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Dave has developed a variety of powerful programs assisting people to realize their full potential. He and the thousands of teachers and coaches he has trained encourage people to think what they have never thought and to take actions they have never taken. Through the workshops, books, coaching, videos, and interactive online classes, Dave has helped over six million people create a more wonderful life.

Dave held the following positions at National American University:

  • President
  • Assistant Dean of Student Services
  • Member of the Administrative Board
  • Computer programming faculty
  • Designer and teacher of an innovative first-year experience course for students to discover ways to be successful in college


  • Honorary Ph.D., Naturopathic Philosophy
  • Work towards Ph.D. in Psychology
  • Master’s in Computer Sciences
  • Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Psychology

Dave started The Brande Foundation and has contributed millions of dollars to the work of his foundation and other organizations. He has four daughters and six grandchildren. His hobbies are running, singing, photography, and travel.

Bill Rentz

Vice President, Dave Ellis Leadership and Master Certified Coach

Bill Rentz is an executive coach and a Master Certified Coach from the International Coach Federation. He is Vice President of Dave Ellis Leadership, the organization that presents the Falling Awake Retreats and other workshops.

Bill is a self-taught generalist who has partnered with Dave Ellis for over 30 years. Bill has been responsible for the coaching team and coach training, and he manages most of the day-to-day operation of the Dave Ellis Leadership programs.

JoAnne Bangs

Executive Coach

JoAnne Bangs has been coaching individuals, business owners, couples, and leaders of nonprofit organizations for over 35 years. She has worked with Dave Ellis for over 24 years. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and has two children.

JoAnne is a confidential thought-partner, she encourages individuals to think for themselves and manifest their dreams. She also encourages others to be accountable for their own productivity and results while also being responsible to those in their personal and professional life. Her specialty is to help others foster their best attributes in order to create the best results.

So, Dave is not an advisor. He was not telling me what to do. He brought out my own capacity. Working with Dave, I became an explorer of myself.

- Muhammad Yunus

Nobel Peace Prize Winner (2006), Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009),
Founder, Grameen Bank, Bangladesh

See more testimonials

Explore Falling Awake

12 Success Strategies

Falling Awake invites you to embark on an in-depth exploration and application of these strategies.

1. Determine what you want.
Trust your desires and create a bold, detailed vision for the long-term future.

2. Tell the truth.
Speak candidly, make promises, and align your actions with your words.

Read the list
Falling Awake 12 Success Strategies

Our Values

One of the pivotal opportunities of Falling Awake is investing time and energy to define or redefine your values and then aligning your actions with them. Values are our fundamental commitments, our highest principles, the things in life that we consider worthy for their own sake. They influence and guide our choices, and even small choices can ultimately shape the quality of our lives.

Read more on values
Falling Awake Life Inventory

Your Life Inventory

Begin solving your biggest problems and achieving your most important goals by doing this Life Inventory. When you have completed most of the Inventory you can request a free coaching session to begin your journey of moving closer to your definition of success.

Take inventory

Contact us