Sarah Ciavarri

Sarah Ciavarri

Sarah Ciavarri, M.Div., PCC, BCC, CDTLF, CDWF-C

Transformational.   Playful.  Power-packed storytelling.  Daring.  Authentic.  Riveting.  = So engaging participants actually put their phones away. = This is how event players and participants often describe Sarah’s presence. Through empathy, vulnerability, and her ability to dance in the moment, Sarah has the rare ability to connect with audiences live and virtually at a deeper level.  Sarah is a sought-after creative thought leader on vulnerability and resilience, trained in all of Dr. Brené Brown’s curricula, who leaves her audiences with clear action steps to craft a life they love, minimize regrets through bold strategic action, and to achieve professional excellence in the midst of uncertainty and division. 

During the pandemic Sarah worked on a COVID healthcare unit and knows in her bones the resilience and dedication to mission that is needed to stare down stress, fatigue, and fear and do what needs to be done.

Sarah’s programs help you and your team:

  • Develop Resilience
  • Unleash Kindness and Curiosity to Transform your Culture
  • Harness the Power of Authentic Vulnerability
  • Tap into Dr. Brené Brown’s Research on Leadership and Courage
  • Learn How Empathy Can Increase Sales
  • Move from Surviving, Through Striving, to Thriving

All of Sarah’s keynote programs are customized to each audience through a pre-event call to learn your organizations goals and what success looks like for you.  Sarah does her research on your industry!  Each program can be tailored to be delivered virtually, hybrid or in person.  Most of these programs can be presented as a keynote, ½ day, or full-day workshop.

Sarah’s Virtual Experience:  We got this!  Sarah has facilitated hundreds of virtual events so you can trust your virtual event will go off without a hitch.

About Sarah:

Sarah Ciavarri, founder of Level Up Leadership, LLC, is a gifted keynote speaker, author, and thought leader who has been helping organizations, leaders, and teams achieve professional excellence and craft a life they love through increased resilience and authenticity for over a decade.  Sarah is able to quickly connect with audiences large and small and travels the country inspiring participants to be courageous, resilient, and authentic. Sarah wrote, "Finding Our Way to the Truth: Seven Lies Leaders Believe and How to Let Them Go" to inspire leaders through her own relatable and humorous stories and to provide readers easy steps to be more successful in their own skin. Sarah is keenly attuned to the inner life of leaders and regularly presents on resilience, burnout prevention, and compassion fatigue.

Sarah is a Certified Facilitator of all of Dr. Brené Brown’s curricula: Dare to Lead, Daring Greatly, Bold, and The Gifts of Imperfection. Sarah has facilitated over 200 workshops on Dr. Brown’s research and has supported thousands of leaders to dream and live big.  Sarah is among those who have been facilitating Brené’s research since the beginning.  Sarah has the unique honor of being among just a handful of facilitators dual certified in Dare to Lead and Daring Greatly.  In addition to this honor, Sarah was asked by the Daring Way senior leadership to step into greater responsibility eight years ago within Brené’s organization as a Case Consultant supervising candidates through integrating Brené’s research into their context. Sarah is Vice President of Spiritual Life at a large senior healthcare organization headquartered in Minneapolis, MN.

Sarah’s Alphabet Train:  Sarah’s got lots of letters behind her name but really why you should care is this means Sarah is always learning and adding rigor to her coaching skills.  If you want more details, here they are:  Professional Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation and is a faculty member with Coaching4Today’s Leaders and LeaderWise, Leadership Agility 360 Assessments, Train the Trainer Certification, 1600 hours of Clinical Pastoral Education, and Board Chaplain Certification. She earned a Masters of Divinity from Luther Seminary where she was a Presidential Scholar.  Sarah is an Advisory Board member for the Women in Leadership Program at Mankato State University, Mankato, MN.

Sarah is Vice President of Spiritual Life at a large senior healthcare organization headquartered in Minneapolis, MN.

A few fun things: 

  • Sarah got her afrave on this summer when she sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a nationally televised Twins game.
  • Sarah lives on 10 gorgeous acres with her family, a small herd of goats, and two horses that are the best therapy money can buy.
  • Sarah and her spouse designed and built their home. She can use a plumb bob, wire a house, and hang drywall with the best of ‘em.
  • Sarah put herself through grad school by singing and dancing.

Most Requested Programs

Passion, Purpose, and Paychecks: Unveiling the Heart of Employment!

Join us for a playful and insightful journey that will leave you feeling re-energized and ready to fall in love with your job all over again. In this engaging keynote speech, we'll explore actionable resilience steps that will help you thrive in your role and connect to what drives you to do your best work. Discover how to bounce back from challenges with a spring in your step, reignite your passion for public service, and find deeper purpose in your work. Prepare to laugh, learn, and love your job like never before as we delve into and uncover the true magic behind combining passion, purpose, and those ever-important paychecks. Don't miss this opportunity to reignite love for what you do  and become a more resilient employee.  Pssst, this also helps you get more done with less effort!!

So Over It:  Overcome the Overload and Overwhelm with Resilience

Most of the time you love what you do helping people.  But sometimes the routine feels . . . well . . . routine.  And you are just so over it!  This keynote gives practical strategies for injecting excitement into the everyday and reigniting your sense of purpose.  Your contribution matters.  Learn how to harness the power of resilience to weather challenges, adapt in change, and remain upbeat so the next time you say, "How may I help you?"  you don't dread the answer.

Putting the Kind Back in Human

With the pressures of our modern world and frayed nerves from the pandemic, we could all use a little more honest-to-goodness kindness in our lives. More of ‘we are in this together’ and ‘we can get through mistakes and setbacks,’ more genuine interest and concern. Learn actionable practices to support your team, self-compassion practices to support yourself, and unleash the power of curiosity to use when in hard, heated, or horns-locked conversations, and the three-step process for healthy conversations.

The Seven Lies Leaders Believe and How to Let Them Go

Based on Sarah's book, this session gets real real fast. Do you have people on your team that don’t believe they are good leaders? Do you struggle to set clear boundaries and expectations because you want to be nice? If so, the lies about leadership just might be working overtime in our thinking. Lies that say you must please everyone, you must have all the answers, you must avoid judgment, and you somehow tricked the people who hired you. You get the idea; all the thoughts that isolate us. But here’s the secret: those lies aren’t true. Learn what the lies are, how to catch them, and practice accessible tools to grow as a leader in emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and self-awareness.


“Sarah Ciavarri was the perfect addition to our Minnesota Organization of Leaders in Nursing (MOLN) conference! Her ability to bring humor into her message and stories was a surprise and very much welcomed! Hands down her delivery was engaging, relatable, and left the group with tools to help in all aspects of our lives. Sarah overall was an absolute joy and would be highly recommended!” - Sarah Fulton, Planning Team Representative at MN Organization for Leaders in Nursing

“Sarah Ciavarri presented at our first in-person event since before COVID, and she brought great energy to our group. Her ability to incorporate humor into her presentation was well-received and kept our group engaged and laughing. Sarah’s message around self-compassion, boundaries, and kindness really hit home for our group and inspired us to implement the tools she taught us right away in both our personal and professional lives. I would highly recommend Sarah for your next event." - MyLinda Anderson, Chair at ITW Women's Network

"Sarah is a gifted coach and presenter for Brené Brown's Dare to Lead material! She presented for our team's annual event and was able to customize the material especially for us. I've also attended an all-day workshop Sarah presented, and experienced personal growth as a result! Sarah is well-versed and knowledgeable as a coach and her presence exudes the care and concern she has for others!" -Mary Younggren | Connector in Chief and NAWBO-MN President at Advent Talent and Creative

"Sarah designed and facilitated a two-day workshop for us that focused on building trust and resilience within a team who had been through turbulent times that involved layoffs and changing leadership. The results were astonishing. Sarah’s warm demeanor won over even the most ardent skeptics and by the end of the workshop we had made incredible progress. At the end of the workshop one of my team members said, “I was so skeptical of this workshop because of several bad experiences in the past. I came in determined to do the absolute minimum and get out of there. Instead Sarah created an environment where I felt safe to let my guard down and engage. This was exactly what we needed and I am optimistic about the future for the first time I can remember.” This team member and several others are now participating in individual coaching with Sarah. I offer my highest recommendation for Sarah. You can probably find a lot of speakers that know the basics but I doubt you can find someone that operates with her graceful and gently challenging nature. We will definitely continue to work with Sarah in the future and I strongly recommend you do the same." - Brian Beckstrom, Assistant VP at Valparaiso University