Amy Florian is the CEO of Corgenius and an expert in life transition. She is an acclaimed speaker and author, and has published over 150 articles and the multi-award-winning books No Longer Awkward: Communicating with Clients through the Toughest Times of Life and A Friend Indeed: Help Someone You Love When They Grieve. She has been honored with many awards for her ground-breaking work, including:
- LUMINARIES Class of 2021 from ThinkAdvisor
- The 20 Most Creative People in Insurance and Financial Services from LifeHealthPro
- Influential Woman in Business from the National Association of Women Business Owners
- Women of Influence from the Chicago Business Journal
- List of 25 FrontRunners and Influencers from Investment Advisor Magazine
Amy holds a Master’s Degree and is a Fellow in Thanatology (the highest level of certification in the field of grief studies).
She taught a graduate class at Loyola University of Chicago for almost 10 years, she has worked with over 2,000 grieving people, and she consults with firms, corporations, and individuals across the country and the globe.
An icy road. A no-fault car collision. In the blink of an eye, I became a 25-year-old widow with a 7-month-old baby boy. I didn’t know it at the time, but my husband’s death began a lifelong mission of helping others heal from life’s crushing losses.
When John died, I was utterly devastated. I needed help with finances, legal matters, and more. Yet when I met with service providers, most offered trite platitudes before quickly moving to the comfort zone of business. Others ignored the death altogether. In almost every case, their awkwardness around me was excruciating for both of us, and I came away feeling like little more than a number. When I found a professional who treated me with the understanding, skill, and empathy that earned my personal trust, I switched and never looked back. As I work now with grieving people, they tell me how willingly they switch, too, when they find someone who knows what to say, what to do, and how to be there for them in ways that so many others don’t.
Likewise, on a personal level I was surrounded by a multitude of loving, very well-intentioned people who didn’t have a clue what to say or how to act around me. I felt isolated and alone, yet I was determined to find ways to heal. Eventually I discovered I could bring something good out of this awful situation by sharing with people what I learned about grief and healing. I founded a widowed support group, worked on seminars, and reached out in any way I could. I refined my support skills as I listened to, cried with, taught, and encouraged over 2000 grieving people.
Hungry for more knowledge, I chose to gain the academic understanding and language to back up my experience. I earned a Master’s Degree from Loyola University of Chicago, and a Fellow in Thanatology certification from the Association for Death Education and Counseling. (Thanatology is the study of death, loss, aging, grief, and transition; a “fellow” is the highest level of certification). My work expanded into teaching as an adjunct professor at several universities in the Chicago area.
I gradually realized how essential this knowledge is, not just on the personal level, but for professionals who desire long-term relationships with clients and their families. In 2008, I decided to combine my rare blend of experience – tragedy and personal growth, years of hands-on grief support practice, and rigorous academic study – to train such professionals how to support their clients through the toughest times of life. And thus, Corgenius was born. (“Cor” is the Latin root for “heart”; “genius” = brain. So the name matches the tag line: “Adding heart to the brains of business.”)
In the years since 2008, I’ve taught at thousands of events, conferences, and offices worldwide, published four books and several hundred articles throughout the trade press, and helped highly successful professionals raise the bar in their practices.
The heartfelt and overwhelmingly positive responses I get from attendees illustrate the power of my work and the profound impact it has on people’s lives. It sustains and motivates me to know that what I teach is good for business, but even more than that, it makes the world a better place. For this, I am eternally grateful.