Velvet Machete Leadership Academy


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Become a Driving Force of Influence!

Velvet Machete® Leadership Academy

A 6-Week Leadership Certification Program

Your cohort begins September 2024!

Velvet Machete® Leadership is an interactive, 6-week leadership certification experience that supports you in maximizing your influence, focus, and results as a powerful leader.

Become more effective and efficient while doing more with less via the proven and actionable strategies of the Velvet Machete® Leadership journey. With six key pillars in clear focus, you are guided through small, achievable steps to unveil one massive impact: becoming an influential, confident, compassionate leader in a fast-paced, ever-changing world.

All levels of leadership across many industries all add to the depth of experience.

Again, you will receive an official Velvet Machete® Leadership certification with digital certificate of completion for your office, company tuition or development reimbursement, business expense plan or to auto-populate your LinkedIn profile.

Enroll today!

The Velvet Machete® Leadership Journey

Start your journey to becoming a

Velvet Machete® Leader

The Course Path

Enjoy New Course Content Updates in 2024!

The cohort meets weekly for two hours in lieu of hosting full days that take everyone out of operations for long stretches of time. There is a bit of important pre-work to set you up for success, followed by 8 weeks of content: 6 modules, one catch-up week, and a bonus personal brand assessment training, plus a virtual graduation celebration on the final week. Of course, our team is actively encouraging you to implement your learnings in real-time while holding you accountable throughout the program!


Unleash Your Potential with Personal Branding

Personal Brand Personality Assessment

Personal Brand Self-Assessment

Personal Brand Peer Assessment

Follow Your Breadcrumbs

Personal Brand Peer Assessment Evaluation

Personal Brand Promise


Master Your Communication

Position Yourself and Your Ideas Influentially

Craft Messaging Based on Distinct Audience Motivators

Focus on the “Platinum Rule”

Engage Effectively in Difficult Conversations


Amplify Strategic Thinking

Uncover Key Strategic Decisions Companies Contend with Today

Connect Decisions to Key Stakeholder Value

How to Contribute Meaningfully to Strategic Conversations

Leverage Your Internal Network to Drive Strategic Results


Develop Strong Business Acumen

Understand How and Why Things Are Done in Business 

Define and Report Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) 

Learn to Tell the Story Behind the Numbers and Outcomes

How to Prepare for a KPI Review


Build Supportive Environments

Strengthen Workplace Culture 

Foster Psychological Safety & Belonging

Prepare for the Future of Work

Create Streamlined Physical and Digital Work Environments 

Provide Systems and Processes 

Carefully Tailor Your People Environment

Nurture Your Personal Environments (Health/Physical, Mental, Spiritual)


Master Team Dynamics

Build High-Performing Teams

How to Motivate and Engage Your Unique Team

Lead Team Decision-Making

Foster Resilience and Adaptability

Prepare for Conflict Resolution

Nurture Team Alignment and Comradery

Each Participant Gets a High-Value Physical Workbook

A leadership library staple, this is one-part workbook, one-part reference guide.

Click PLAY for a preview!

As Seen In

What Participants Are Saying

Leading a national nonprofit association, I joined the Velvet Machete Leadership Academy to become a more influential, confident leader. Before working with Amber, I never really thought I needed a personal brand--I believed my organization's brand was what mattered most.  After working with Amber, I realized how defining my personal brand helped me better clarify exactly what I excel at, which is key to being a confident leader. 

The worksheets and assessments Amber used throughout the program helped me understand exactly who I am as a person and as a leader and how I’m seen by those closest to me. That knowledge is empowering! 

I appreciate Amber's direct, thoughtful, and down-to-earth guidance and the time she clearly invests to make this program beneficial for every leader involved. I can definitely say that I have grown as a leader because of the Velvet Machete Leadership Academy.  Thank you, Amber!

-Aubrie Kobernus, REALTORS Land Institute


I joined Velvet Machete Leadership Academy to improve my personal branding, but what I got from the experience was so much more! Amber takes you through a mindset change in light of your personal brand statement. I have never experienced anything like this, and I am more confident as a result! 

I love Amber’s direct style of teaching, which delivers breakthroughs early and often and quickly takes you through the changes you want to make. Don’t delay! You will make big strides if you do the work.

Kay Suarez, Walmart Home Office


I needed help with branding and influence when I joined Velvet Machete Leadership Academy. What I got from the experience was clarity on multiple aspects of my business and an understanding of new ways to help my team thrive. As a result, I am energized to attack the final quarter of the year, even during a pandemic, as my very best self. I felt I got my money back by the second class! 

Donna Feyen, More than A Review


I joined Velvet Machete Leadership Academy to boost my confidence and discover new leadership strategies. Overall, it was an AWESOME experience. I discovered the difference between how I think about myself versus how other people think of me. I gained the needed confidence. I confirmed areas I was making good choices for my business and life, and discovered important areas of growth. Ultimately, I have a clearer understanding of myself and what a good leader truly is so I can be the best possible version of myself while influencing others.

Misty Miller, Finishing Touch


I decided to join Velvet Machete Leadership Academy to ensure I had systems in place to lead a group of individuals to a common goal when I’m ready to open my newest business. I wanted to do the important leg work up front, so I’m prepared to run my business and motivate a team alongside me. I created a roadmap for my business by thoughtfully completing the course. I love that I can go back and revisit the areas I need to address as needed in the future. 

A benefit of the course is being able to connect with leaders of other industries to discover what they do in their businesses. It gave me tons of inspiration for my own! 

Jacki Kuehne, Self-Employed

Meet Your Instuctors

Meet Adrienne.


Director of Training, Employer Brand Central

Adrienne Roth has a long history in Human Resources with a strong focus on recruiting, training and development, employee engagement, and corporate culture. As a Senior Certified Professional Adrienne is a longtime Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) member and a recent New Orleans SHRM president and board member.

She has used her MBA by bringing a strategic and bottom-line-focused perspective to family-owned companies, large government organizations, national corporations and everything in between.  


As a former middle school teacher, Adrienne is well suited to develop curriculum and training in sales, marketing, leadership, and management.  She is well-versed in HRIS implementation and customization and online learning platforms, which is why she leads Employer Brand Central’s signature training programs and helps develop custom programs for EBC’s customers.


An active volunteer, Adrienne also serves the Boys Scouts of America, is a former National Officer for Zeta Tau Alpha fraternity and is a member of the dancing, philanthropic mermaid troup The Sirens of New Orleans. Adrienne lives with her two children in New Orleans and looks for any opportunity to go to the beach!

Meet Amber.

Founder & CEO, Employer Brand Central

Amber Erickson-Hurdle helps professionals and businesses define and position their value after learning about branding as a teen mom who repositioned herself into a multi-award-winning, powerhouse businesswoman. She has been recognized among the top 30 branding professionals in the world for four years, ranking #4 for 2023, thanks to her proprietary branding philosophy.

As an engaging and high-energy professional speaker, Amber teaches the combined value of personal brands, employer brands, and business brands to increase market share and profitability, reduce turnover, and amplify satisfaction among customers and employees alike. She is a featured expert in an upper-division college public relations textbook and has been covered in Entrepreneur Magazine, Fortune Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, and beyond.

Based in Venice, FL, she has served celebrities, executives, Fortune 100 companies, and everyday leaders alike through her books, podcast and coaching programs. When she is not at the dog beach or being a hot-wing snob she is leading Employer Brand Central, a branding agency focused on small to middle-market businesses looking to optimize their talent to increase operational efficiencies, reduce costs, and fortify their brand reputations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is This Leadership Program Right For Me?

This program will benefit anyone who wants to improve their ability to lead through impeccable communication and strategic influence. If you want to build trust by having a solid grasp on both people processes and business acumen, this program is for you. And if you like to whine, make excuses, or take but not give, this group coaching program is NOT right for you.

What Type of Leader Do I Need To Be To Participate in This Program?

Corporate leaders, small business leaders, direct sales leaders, community leaders, political leaders, and non-profit leaders all have benefited from Velvet Machete® Leadership principles. Even solopreneurs who aspire to grow a team or have virtual contract teams have grown tremendously from VMLA. Participants celebrate the diverse peer advisory group VMLA attracts and the innovation the various perspectives contribute to their day-to-day solutions.

How Long Do I Have To Complete the Program And Get Certified?

The core content is delivered over the span of six weeks, and participants are encouraged to keep up with the timeline as it unfolds to maximize the opportunity for group collaboration and to earn your certification in alignment with your class. However, the content will be available to revisit in the learning portal for as long as the program exists.

What If I Have Questions Or Need Support?

Once enrolled you’ll receive information from us on how best to contact us via email for questions about the coursework, or our technical support team for any system (online access or performance) issues. You will also be able to submit and ask questions during office hours sessions, and via our online discussion areas.

What If I Am Already Feeling Overwhelmed? Will This Take a Ton of Time?

We GET YOU! The lessons are bite sized and manageable with your hectic life in mind. You can ALWAYS access the Employer Brand Central team along the way for support. (We want Velvet Machete Leadership Academy to compliment, not complicate your life!)

What Type of Companies Participate?

We have students from large companies like Walmart, FedEx, PWC, Edward Jones and more, and we have medium-sized companies, as well as small business leaders and even solopreneurs represented. This content is transferrable across all leadership environments and levels. If you want to clearly understand and position your value, greatly increase your confidence, and ultimately increase your influence as a leader, then this program is for you.

Show your interest NOW

The program kicks off officially in September 2024

You do not want to miss this opportunity to take advantage of early bird bonuses!

Are you ready to start the journey to becoming a Velvet Machete® Leader?