About Us

Calling on 40 years of practical business expertise in a variety of industries, we coach for-profit and non-profit businesses, and career seeking individuals, who truly feel STUCK. You know how it feels when Plan A has stalled or even failed. We help you to create your Plan B to get you moving forward again! We often find the answers were in front of you all along and you’ve actually perfected Plan A!

First we seek to understand and get agreement on the challenge.

Next, we help you clarify your vision.

Then, we catalog all of your ideas.

Next, we guide you to creating inspiring mission-based objectives, strategies, and tactics.

Last, we ignite you to action!

We help you 

  • Create clear plans
  • Engage excellent people
  • Develop a network of ready support

Our Team

ETA’s founder, in-house team, and team of expert advisors all live our core values daily in order to be truly helpful. They are educated, credentialed, and experienced in their respective industries. They are passionate about coaching small businesses and career seeking individuals to keep them moving forward. They are committed to our company mission, the pursuit of personal excellence, and unshakable integrity.

Ed Lazar is an accomplished Senior Executive, Board Member, business coach and athletic coach with more than 40 years of success across various industries. He has mentored successful for profit companies working in insurance, human resources, and security; and non-profits working in veteran services, arts and culture, and community development. In athletics he has coached teams and individuals at all levels, including middle school, high school, college, and elite professionals.

As a business coach Ed leverages extensive experience in building and guiding successful and engaged teams. He is a valuable advisor for an organization seeking guidance on breaking through a variety of plateaus, getting past being stuck, and moving forward again. His broad areas of expertise include strategy, planning, plan activation, team assessment and team development, problem solving, and mission based decision-making.

As a running coach Ed has built championship cross country and track programs from the ground up. He has coached individuals to NCAA All American status and even to an Olympic Bronze Medal.

His executive career includes holding leadership positions as the founder and President of the Ed Lazar Agency Insurance Agency, Inc. and founder of ESSENTIAL Team Advisors, LLC. Ed also built and sold EMIT, Inc., a residential and commercial alarm company. He is a current board member of the The Grosse Pointe War Memorial Association where he co-chairs the Patriot Initiative Committee. He is also a board member in charge of structure and governance of the Grosse Pointe Woods Foundation. He has held previous board positions as chair of the Michigan Region 10 Veterans Community Action Team, chair of the Grosse Pointe Artists Association, and board member and inaugural member of the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce.

Ed’s passion and expertise is coaching. He assembled and leads a team of advisors who can address 99% of business challenges. ETA helps create clear plans, bring those plans to life with excellent people, and helps create a network of ready support.

Ed holds degrees in English and Psychology from Wayne State University, and carries insurance and securities licenses with the State of Michigan and the NASD respectively. 

Thanks to the many hands, the work is made light. Among those many hands are…

Renee Gasparovich, Executive Assistant

Renee has been Ed’s EA since the company started. Ed knew from working with her at her prior non-profit position that she would work for him one day. When she wrote him for a reference after leaving the non-profit, Ed snapped her up immediately. As he knew she would be, she has been an integral part of Ed’s and the company’s success.

She graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Liberal Arts, summa cum laude. Her 17 years of office process experience. 11 years of which have been as an executive assistant, truly reflect her passion for supporting the executive. She has been successful in both the non-profit and for profit worlds, bringing office organization and harmony to both environments. 

She is a native Detroiter and a mom of boys. With what little free time she has, she enjoys reading, spending time in nature, and any form of art.

William F. Kennel, Director of Accounting

Bill’s professional designation is Enrolled to Practice before the Internal Revenue Service, aka Enrolled Agent.

Since 1975, Bill has held his Life and Health Insurance Licenses from the State of Michigan and started the William Kennel Insurance Agency.

In 1982, he purchased the Highland Accounting firm.  He developed that firm as Kennel Accounting and Financial Services.

Over the next 20 years he combined Retirement Plans, Business Buy – Sell Agreements, and business transfer planning, as well as complete accounting and income tax preparation, to grow his firm from 80 clients to 1280 clients.

During that time he personally prepared over 8,000 income tax returns of every nature.

In 2003, he transitioned the practice to one of “repairing” tax returns, as well as preparing tax returns, and continues to do so today. 

Bill is a pro golfer, and former NHL hockey player who also loved to play, coach, and officiate football, baseball, and basketball.

His vocation is keeping your money in your pocket. Bill is often quoted, “Remember, whatever the problem is, it is not bigger than you or I, especially working together.”

Deiontae Nicholas, Social Media Manager and Business Development Associate

Deiontae is a 2018 graduate of Wayne State University with a BA in Communications. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Sports Administration/Management also from Wayne State University. He is a former scholar athlete for the WSU’s football team (2014-2019). All-league and All-region running back and 3-year captain (1 of 3 in the entire history of WSU football). He was the Vice Chair of the NCAA Student Athlete Advisory Committee, tasked with representing and advocating for over 120,000 collegiate student-athletes.

He believe that the process of guiding a person from one stage of life to the next is one of the most rewarding things in the world! He is eager and excited to learn how the mind works and what he can do to help others master that process. He is a  lifetime learner and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Our roster of advisors continues to grow and their availability changes, so rather than list their names, here are their specific industries:

Business Law

Estate Planning

Financial Management




Information Technology and Security


For Profit and Non-profit Executive Leadership

Veterans Benefits and Advocacy

Human Resources



Our Core Values

Our company core values, which are also our personal core values, guide everything we do. They allow us to detail our vision for the future and also our company mission. They outline our process for working with everyone. 

We uncover and understand the issues undermining your brilliance.

We look beyond the challenges and allow the freedom to want what is wanted, and sculpt those wants into a detailed vision.

All ideas are valuable. We believe in cataloging every one of them for immediate and future use.

We believe in developing sound, mission-based strategies that are easy to bring to life.

We discuss a lot, plan a lot, but then ignite teams to action!

Our Vision

Our vision is to become an industry leading team of advisors who not only get clients unstuck, but who help them create their best way to keep moving forward. That means helping them make clear plans, bring excellent people together, and assemble ready support.

Our vision is to be an effective team who…

We understand and embrace our mission so vision comes true.

Everyone has unique strengths exceptional talents. Our team members thrive in the roles they have been recruited for which align precisely with their strengths and talents.

Our team members are proud to be part of our company, not only for what we accomplish, but for what we believe in. Our shared beliefs shape our objectives, strategies, tactics, and our way to be always moving forward.

While surpassing industry standards and earning awards are helpful for marketing, our final measure of success is our clients’ success and their ability to always move forward.

We choose to proactively keep our morale high, our eyes up, and our vision forward. We live the questions that arise along the way, and celebrate the answers, too!

We are good stewards of our resources. We invest our time and money where they will do the most good and allow us to be truly helpful to our own team, to our clients, and to the community.

Our Mission

Our mission is to be truly helpful by getting you moving forward again. That means you must be coachable and want to move forward. If so, we will help you make clear plans, bring excellent people together, and develop your network of ready support to keep you moving forward, always!

Most of the time we can be truly helpful, provided someone is coachable and truly desires change. No room for egos. As good coaches we will urge you to get out of your own way, tell you things you may not want to hear, push you to do things you don’t want to do, and then celebrate with you when you make progress. Okay, so we may sneak in an “I told you so!” every once in a while to drive home the point. And, if we can’t help, we will get out of the way. 

Engaging you deeply in the planning process is as important as the resulting plan. Pushing for more clarity is challenging, but confirms and strengthens your commitment, and your ability to get buy in from your team.

We help you build or rebuild an org chart and job descriptions that align with your objectives and strategies. If you have a team, everyone must be in the right seats to match their strengths. We help you move them if they are not. If seats are open, we help you fill in the org chart. All need to be excellent. We help you find excellent people who are not excellent by accident, who work hard, learn, sacrifice, endure, study, and LOVE what they do. 

Once your internal team is complete you will still need external experts ready to step in at a moments notice. If you have trusted resources, fantastic! If you do not, we will recommend specialists that know you and care about your success as much as any internal team member.

Business Owners
Career Seekers

What Clients Say

Ed is very professional, kind and patient in his approach to training. He has provided me with valuable information and direction that will help me be successful in my sales career. His experience and skill in the art of sales was very evident in the way he instructed me. I appreciate him always being willing to help me if I have further questions.

State Farm CSR

Thanks, ETA! You came through for me with a great opportunity at just the right time. Your training prepared me for a successful start in my new sales career.

Allstate Sales Representative

Essential Team Advisors does a great job bringing the total hiring processes of your business together...it is a business planning firm that helped us get moving again!

Jeff Torrice
Allstate Agency Owner

Plan B


Clear Plans

Rather than just do it for you, we immerse you deeply in the process to review and/or create all of the plans you need to get moving forward again. 

Excellent People

Regardless of who you are, or what you do, you need other people to help you see your clear plans through. We’ll help you find them.

Ready Support

Along with your own excellent people, you’ll need additional professional ready support. We’ll teach you how to recognize them and find them.