Ilka Chavez: Building Leaders, One Book at a Time

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By Helena Tavares Kennedy

Ilka Chavez

“Ilka V. Chavez is a lover of people and life” is the first thing you might read on Ilka Chavez’s website. Some may know her most as an active supporter of education and for her service on the Manassas City School Board from 2012 to 2015, but her new book, “What Leaders Say and Do: How to Inspire Your Tribe,” is quickly changing that.

She held a book launch in Manassas in October 2017 as well as events all around the U.S. and overseas, including in Panama, where she is originally from. Her book, written in English, has been translated into Spanish to reach a larger audience.

Chavez is dedicated to mentoring and guiding individuals and organizations to identify and activate the leaders within themselves. Her goal is to awaken the masses from being “walking dead people,” Chavez said. Her slogan is “Learn It, Live It, Lead It!”

Chavez is a fervent leader with a track record for helping leaders, communities and organizations reach their highest potential. She is a certified emotional mastery coach, and a leadership consultant through her company, Corporate GOLD (Global Organizational Leadership Development) LLC. She is also an
internationally sought-after public speaker with expert training in quality improvement.

Her experience has led her to where she is now, with more than 30 years of involvement in various leadership roles that helped her to hone her leadership, management and organizational transformation skills and unique ability to work with others to improve work quantity, quality and performance. Now she is sharing that knowledge, insight and experience with everyone through her new book, “What Leaders Say and Do.”

Books That Change People’s Lives
Chavez started her writing path in 2016 as a co-author of “Success University for Women in Business” where she, and 16 other successful businesswomen from all over the world, share their tips for facing your fears and achieving your goals. Chavez then co-authored a second book, “Feminine Influencers:
Healers, Leaders, Givers,” in 2017, which features conversations Influencers Movement.”

“What Leaders Say and Do” is her most recent and first sole author book and focuses on how to lead organizations, homes, family, communities and businesses. The book offers inspirational leadership models focusing on the human traits needed in any environment by anyone who desires to become
a leader.

What led Chavez to write her first sole author book was the realization that “there was a cry from so many for great leadership and the yearning to share my experience to help my tribe.”

“I hoped that many would awaken to the importance of their individual leadership and how leading themselves first would inspire their tribes,” Chavez said. “I wanted to bring light, excellence and conscience back to leadership.”

Dr. Melida Harris Barrow, Universal Peace Ambassador for Panama, said, “This book is going to be my [leadership blueprint]. I thank the author for putting together such a well written book promoting growth and excellence in leadership.”

Perhaps most telling about Chavez is what her neighbor of 17 years had to say about her. Linda Garner of Manassas said, “Ilka Chavez is one of the most authentic people we know. She is spiritual, loving, kind, and understanding, and has a message to share with everyone. Ilka is full of knowledge, information and ideas she shares with others to help them become the best people they can be. Ilka sets an excellent example of living what she believes in. We are honored to be a part of her tribe.”

Sandy Rabatin of Manassas has been a friend of Chavez for 17 years and said, “Ilka Chavez is a woman of conviction and strength, and she wants to share her experiences with everyone. She truly cares about her family, friends and community, and she is never too busy to stop to say ‘hi’ or just check in.”

“Ilka is a woman who exudes excellence in every fiber of her being,” added Lorri Dyson of Manassas and Chavez’s friend of more than 22 years. “She is an outstanding author and an excellent role model to everyone in her community, her church, her family and friends. She gives 100 percent to anything she
is asked or required to do. She is always confident and has a positive demeanor that draws people to her.”

To learn more about Ilka Chavez and her latest books, visit

Helena Tavares Kennedy (, a longtime Prince William County resident, is a freelance writer and communications consultant at and


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