Charlena Smith

Founder of Optio, Mother of Dragons

Hi. I'm Charlena. I'm an international keynote speaker, a best-selling author, a coach and, let's say I'm a 'goal enthusiast'. 

I work 1:1 with powerful women to ensure they maximize their potential without damaging essential life elements in the process.

I work with Corporations like NASA and the NFF (National Firefighters Foundation) through my company, Optio, to build stronger teams through Guided Accountability, increase successful goal completion by 97%, promote corporate and employee wellness and improve KPIs.

I'm also a special needs Mom and an advocate on the Hill. I present to Congress bi-annually to affect systemic changes to our healthcare policies and to protect our children through our laws.

I am a Professor of Business, Marketing and Communications at Towson University. Go Tigers!





Master’s Degrees
(University of Maryland)
Educational Leadership & Administration
Business Administration & Management
Marketing
International Relations

Bachelor’s of Science Degrees

(Towson University)

Mass Communication

Interpersonal Communication

Psychology 


Bachelor’s of Arts Degrees

(University of Maryland, University College)

Political Science


Graduate Certificates:

Peace & Conflict Studies

(Juniata College)

Project Management

(University of Maryland, Baltimore)


Coaching Certifications:

Certified Enneagram Practitioner & Coach

Certified Meyers-Briggs Practitioner

Certified Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner and Consultant (CAIPC)

Certified Life Coach

Certified Business Coach


Event Certifications:
Certified Event Planner (CEP) 
Certified Special Event Planner (CSEP)
Professional certification from CIC (Convention Industry Council)
Meeting Planners International Certified (MPI)
Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) 
Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) 
Certified Event Planning Specialist (CEPS)
Certified Quality Event Planner (CQEP)


Career History:

COO, 83North Marketing

Senior Account Executive, Partner, Carton Donofrio

International Event Planner, Yes Events 
  - Beyonce's 21st Birthday Party
  - Dalai Llama's personal seminar on Death & Dying


Current Career Status/Accolades 

Professor of Communications, Towson University


Member of Mensa International (Certified Genius IQ/High IQ Society)


Vice President of Maryland's Volunteer Fire Company


Advocate/Lobbyist on behalf of women & children to Congress

Best-Selling Author: Guided Accountability

International Speaker
Coach

Charlena is magnetic. She is a mix of intelligence, determination, sassiness, and joy. She has this way of helping you see what you really want, and then holding you accountable to getting there. 

Dana Malstaff

CEO Boss Mom

Extremely self-motivated, a go-getter, enthusiastic, driven

Selena Soo

Founder of Impacting Millions

Charlena is a bright, inspirational, and a creative designer of guided accountability, an unprecedented system for goal completion. 

Carolyn Colleen

Author, Speaker, Founder of Fierce Academy

Charlena is super engaged, enthusiastic, and openly helpful in working with her clients, audience and peers.  She has given me tremendous advice, connected me to invaluable contacts and supported me in my entrepreneurial journal.

Angela Hosking

CEO, Her One Tribe, LLCh

Charlena's heart is a million miles deep. She want the best for everyone. She quite literally wants to save the world and impact all those she comes into contact with in a ginormous way. The crazy part about that? She does.

Natalie Managrum

CEO, Maryland Teacher Tutors and author

Charlena has the biggest heart and the most zest for the pursuit of a life full of meaning and goodness of anyone I’ve ever known.

Molly white

Digital strategist at ONeil Interactive

Charlena is fun, easy going and adventurous! There are always TONS of laughs when we work together! I can count on Charlena to brighten my day every time I see her and she brings the best out of everyone. Always. 

Nicole Anderson

Photographer, NicoleBRanderson

In addition to being brilliant and excellent at what she does, she's so generous with her time and knowledge. She's one of the truly authentic humans: genuinely caring with high empathy. I feel honored to know her. 

Julie Reisler

CEO and Founder, Empowered Living, LLC (a personal development and coaching business in the Washington DC area)

Charlena is a complete inspiration in my life. I don't know how she juggles everything that she has on her plate (and with a smile on her face!), but I want whatever she has. As a woman with very few role models, watching her grow and evolve has been hugely important to me. Working with Charlena professionally was an absolute pleasure and a true honor.  I would jump at any opportunity to work with or partner with her in the future. She is one of a kind.

Malia Chapman

Owner of Millennial Marketing

Charlena is such a bright vibrant light in any room. Her story is absolutely amazing and she is so inspiring. She is on a mission to help people fulfill their life goals and dreams and no one will get in her way!! I feel so honored to have worked so closely with her, and appreciate all the time we've spent together. 

Brittany Dixon

CEO, Brittany & Co Consulting

Charlena is so full of life and love. She has the biggest heart and is always so positive. She has an uncanny ability to see in others what they cannot see in themselves. 

Rebecca Howard

Entrepreneur, Military Spouse, Homeschool mother of 4

Easy to work with. Energetic, friendly and motivating

Elizabeth Zaczek

Boutique Owner

Charlena is amazing! So encouraging, an amazing communicator and so authentic and genuine.

Maureen Acton

Field Operations Director, Mid- Atlantic Region, InterVarsity

Charlena is the ideal coach and partner for anyone on a mission - or looking for one. She is driven, passionate, inspiring, and KIND in both business and her personal life. She wants to see others find success in doing what they love. Working with Charlena has been a dream because she values my opinion and is extremely approachable. She is the perfect person to help entrepreneurs thrive. She doesn't wait around for things to happen; instead she is quick to put plans into action, and does an amazing job teaching others to do the same.

Sara Whittaker

Virtual Assistant/Sara Whittaker Virtual Assistance

Very engaging, confident, knows her stuff, passion to help others, genuine

Anna Krueger

Owner, Platform Consulting

Working with Charlena is the best! I seriously wish (and often times find myself creating ) more opportunities to do so. Charlena is an amazing leader and the best team player. Supportive, funny, open to new ideas and thinking while offering the most amazing perspectives and constructive criticism. No matter what you throw at her - she can handle it. Charlena is the best problem solver I know. Quick on her feet and always eager to come back for more - she always over delivers.

Lindsay Steele

Lead Portfolio Coach at Johns Hopkins University, School of Education, Teacher Development Partnership

Relatable, honest, gracious and fun! Charlena sees the inner rock star in everyone

Candace Minnicks

Music Artist

One of the most amazing humans I’ve ever met. Strong, brilliant, driven, determined, genuine, and absurdly kind

Stacey Cosden

Freelance Social Media Manager

Positive, insightful, direct

Abby Sines

National manager

Charlena is a force to be reckoned with — when she sets her mind to something, you can be assured, it’ll happen! Her influence, passion, determination, and spirit of excellence is epic. Anyone who interacts with her can attest to feeling that “can do” energy that fills every room she enters.

Olivia M. Gonzalez

CEO and Chief Brand Strategist, OMG Brand Story LLC

Charlena is truly a genuine person. Easy to work with, but still pushes you to be the best version of yourself. 

Wannetta Puckett

Johns Hopkins

Charlena is driven with compassion, dedication, and joy. She sees the best in everyone she meets and has an uncanny talent for bringing it out. 

Jennifer Hooper

Public School Teacher

Charlena is kind, generous and so inspiring! And fun! Lots of fun! I often find myself inventing ways for us to work together just to be in her space. 

Cheryl Keffer

Boutique owner, entrepreneur

Charlena is a self motivated individual who gives her complete devotion to the task at hand. She is full of energy and can make any situation a positive one.

Bryan Shank

Engineer / SCA, Inc

Charlena is the epitome of the best type of person a human can strive to be. So positive and infectious. Charlena has the 'X' Factor everyone is looking for and the most amazing part is she shares it so freely.

Regina Barys

Director - finance

Charlena is kind, thoughtful, creative and has the biggest heart. She approaches clients with a kind of compassionate logic that I have yet to encounter elsewhere. 

Stacey Lounsbury

Attorney, Whiteford Taylor & Preston

Caring, kind, giving, strong willed, tenacious, hard working, and determined. Charlena won't let you give up on yourself - even when you want to. 

Christina Suit

Disabled Entrepreneur

Charlena is an amazing, upbeat, fearlessly optimistic force for good in the world.

Christina Ferrari

Veterinarian (practice owner)

Charlena is motivating, and encouraging. She's passionate about helping others be their best. I've seen her do it for me and for countless other homeschooling entrepreneurs. She doesn't see limiting beliefs. She sees possibilities, embraces them fully and paves new paths. 

Jessica Dixon

Homeschool Mother of 3, Entrepreneur

Charlena is one of the most professional fun loving individuals you could ever meet. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Charlena for more than eighteen years. She has a smile that will light up any room. Her generous ways and outlook on life is simply remarkable. Charlena strives for excellence and drives for results. Charlena is goal oriented and and she WILL get you where you want to go. Charlena's perseverance shows through her families values. 

Erica Quarles

Child Care Provider & Owner of E’s To Bee’s Cleaning Services

Charlena is an amazing human. She is motivated, dedicated and fun-loving. She has done incredible things in her career, business and personal life - and for MINE. She's never one to back down from a challenge (her own or her clients) and knows how to get things done. And yet she remains humble and kind and generous on top of all that.

Ami Youngs

Owner, Writing Her Life Services

Absolutely wonderful! Charlena is one hard-working parent. I’m pretty sure she juggles a zillion things but does it with grace and humor. She has an infectious energy and truly brings out the best in others. Very positive and so giving! Her family AND her clients are blessed to have them in their lives. She might say 'balance is bogus' but she seems to have a handle on it all!

Maureen Evans

Speech Language Pathologist

Charlena is a highly compassionate, enthusiastic, dedicated woman who pours her heart into her work and inspiring those around her. She is very knowledgeable and an amazing cheerleader. She WILL see you through to success.

Valerie Friedlander

Certified Life Leadership Coach @ Valerie Friedlander Coaching

Charlena is a key reason I am a best selling author. She is Awesome. So encouraging and practical! She never let me give up on myself. Not ever. And I'm so thankful.

Camila Arguello

Best Selling Author: Swipeable, Closing Gift Consultant - Cutco Closing Gifts

Charlena is super positive, friendly and hardworking. The balance she strikes with family and business - weaving the two together - is uncanny. Be in her space. It's worth it. 

Allison Tritt

Natural Resource Planner

Charlena is SO MUCH fun! Work doesn't feel like work when Charlena's coaching you - no matter how insurmountable the problem may seem. 

Cathy Topping

Founder of Your Web Toolkit

Charlena is exhubarent, kind, empathic, and a super badass. She sese people where they are and then helps them to see their true potential. It's an incredible gift. 

Yvonne Marcus

Family Scrum Master @ Your Agile Home

Charlena is super smart and relentlessly passionate about her mission to change the world through Guided Accountability and its power to change relationships and accelerate people toward their goals. She is strategic and creative and throws 100% of herself into what she does. Charlena is a lovely, caring, and devoted person - and one of my favorite people, ever.

Melissa Lehman

Self-employed, online course consultant

Charlena is inspiring, motivational, super solution-oriented, and a great listener. She has an enormous amount of tools in her toolbox and is able to apply a helpful perspective for any life challenge!

Nathalie Savell

LCPC & Mindset Coach at my private practice

Charlena is a force that is changing her community, both locally and globally. Her passion for helping women reach their goals is unmeasurable. She wants to assure that everyone around her knows their worth and makes them feel like they can achieve anything they set their minds to. She motivates me to become a better person and I'm honored to know and call her friend.

Shayna Hardy

Portrait Photographer, Owner of Shayna Hardy Photography in Baltimore

Kind, passionate, smart, fun, focused. Total champion!

Tatyana Vroman

Health Coach

Charlena Smith

Founder of Optio, Mother of Dragons

About Me

Hi. I'm Charlena. I'm an international keynote speaker, a best-selling author, a coach and, let's say I'm a 'goal enthusiast'. 

I work 1:1 with powerful women to ensure they maximize their potential without damaging essential life elements in the process.

I work with Corporations like NASA and the NFF (National Firefighters Foundation) through my company, Optio, to build stronger teams through Guided Accountability, increase successful goal completion by 97%, promote corporate and employee wellness and improve KPIs.

I'm also a special needs Mom and an advocate on the Hill. I present to Congress bi-annually to affect systemic changes to our healthcare policies and to protect our children through our laws.

I am a Professor of Business, Marketing and Communications at Towson University. Go Tigers!





Master’s Degrees
(University of Maryland)
Educational Leadership & Administration
Business Administration & Management
Marketing
International Relations

Bachelor’s of Science Degrees

(Towson University)

Mass Communication

Interpersonal Communication

Psychology 


Bachelor’s of Arts Degrees

(University of Maryland, University College)

Political Science


Graduate Certificates:

Peace & Conflict Studies

(Juniata College)

Project Management

(University of Maryland, Baltimore)


Coaching Certifications:

Certified Enneagram Practitioner & Coach

Certified Meyers-Briggs Practitioner

Certified Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner and Consultant (CAIPC)

Certified Life Coach

Certified Business Coach


Event Certifications:
Certified Event Planner (CEP) 
Certified Special Event Planner (CSEP)
Professional certification from CIC (Convention Industry Council)
Meeting Planners International Certified (MPI)
Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) 
Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) 
Certified Event Planning Specialist (CEPS)
Certified Quality Event Planner (CQEP)


Career History:

COO, 83North Marketing

Senior Account Executive, Partner, Carton Donofrio

International Event Planner, Yes Events 
  - Beyonce's 21st Birthday Party
  - Dalai Llama's personal seminar on Death & Dying


Current Career Status/Accolades 

Professor of Communications, Towson University


Member of Mensa International (Certified Genius IQ/High IQ Society)


Vice President of Maryland's Volunteer Fire Company


Advocate/Lobbyist on behalf of women & children to Congress

Best-Selling Author: Guided Accountability

International Speaker
Coach

Book Me

Testimonials

Charlena is magnetic. She is a mix of intelligence, determination, sassiness, and joy. She has this way of helping you see what you really want, and then holding you accountable to getting there. 

Dana Malstaff

CEO Boss Mom

Extremely self-motivated, a go-getter, enthusiastic, driven

Selena Soo

Founder of Impacting Millions

Charlena is a bright, inspirational, and a creative designer of guided accountability, an unprecedented system for goal completion. 

Carolyn Colleen

Author, Speaker, Founder of Fierce Academy

Charlena is super engaged, enthusiastic, and openly helpful in working with her clients, audience and peers.  She has given me tremendous advice, connected me to invaluable contacts and supported me in my entrepreneurial journal.

Angela Hosking

CEO, Her One Tribe, LLCh

Charlena's heart is a million miles deep. She want the best for everyone. She quite literally wants to save the world and impact all those she comes into contact with in a ginormous way. The crazy part about that? She does.

Natalie Managrum

CEO, Maryland Teacher Tutors and author

Charlena has the biggest heart and the most zest for the pursuit of a life full of meaning and goodness of anyone I’ve ever known.

Molly white

Digital strategist at ONeil Interactive

Charlena is fun, easy going and adventurous! There are always TONS of laughs when we work together! I can count on Charlena to brighten my day every time I see her and she brings the best out of everyone. Always. 

Nicole Anderson

Photographer, NicoleBRanderson

In addition to being brilliant and excellent at what she does, she's so generous with her time and knowledge. She's one of the truly authentic humans: genuinely caring with high empathy. I feel honored to know her. 

Julie Reisler

CEO and Founder, Empowered Living, LLC (a personal development and coaching business in the Washington DC area)

Charlena is a complete inspiration in my life. I don't know how she juggles everything that she has on her plate (and with a smile on her face!), but I want whatever she has. As a woman with very few role models, watching her grow and evolve has been hugely important to me. Working with Charlena professionally was an absolute pleasure and a true honor.  I would jump at any opportunity to work with or partner with her in the future. She is one of a kind.

Malia Chapman

Owner of Millennial Marketing

Charlena is such a bright vibrant light in any room. Her story is absolutely amazing and she is so inspiring. She is on a mission to help people fulfill their life goals and dreams and no one will get in her way!! I feel so honored to have worked so closely with her, and appreciate all the time we've spent together. 

Brittany Dixon

CEO, Brittany & Co Consulting

Charlena is so full of life and love. She has the biggest heart and is always so positive. She has an uncanny ability to see in others what they cannot see in themselves. 

Rebecca Howard

Entrepreneur, Military Spouse, Homeschool mother of 4

Easy to work with. Energetic, friendly and motivating

Elizabeth Zaczek

Boutique Owner

Charlena is amazing! So encouraging, an amazing communicator and so authentic and genuine.

Maureen Acton

Field Operations Director, Mid- Atlantic Region, InterVarsity

Charlena is the ideal coach and partner for anyone on a mission - or looking for one. She is driven, passionate, inspiring, and KIND in both business and her personal life. She wants to see others find success in doing what they love. Working with Charlena has been a dream because she values my opinion and is extremely approachable. She is the perfect person to help entrepreneurs thrive. She doesn't wait around for things to happen; instead she is quick to put plans into action, and does an amazing job teaching others to do the same.

Sara Whittaker

Virtual Assistant/Sara Whittaker Virtual Assistance

Very engaging, confident, knows her stuff, passion to help others, genuine

Anna Krueger

Owner, Platform Consulting

Working with Charlena is the best! I seriously wish (and often times find myself creating ) more opportunities to do so. Charlena is an amazing leader and the best team player. Supportive, funny, open to new ideas and thinking while offering the most amazing perspectives and constructive criticism. No matter what you throw at her - she can handle it. Charlena is the best problem solver I know. Quick on her feet and always eager to come back for more - she always over delivers.

Lindsay Steele

Lead Portfolio Coach at Johns Hopkins University, School of Education, Teacher Development Partnership

Relatable, honest, gracious and fun! Charlena sees the inner rock star in everyone

Candace Minnicks

Music Artist

One of the most amazing humans I’ve ever met. Strong, brilliant, driven, determined, genuine, and absurdly kind

Stacey Cosden

Freelance Social Media Manager

Positive, insightful, direct

Abby Sines

National manager

Charlena is a force to be reckoned with — when she sets her mind to something, you can be assured, it’ll happen! Her influence, passion, determination, and spirit of excellence is epic. Anyone who interacts with her can attest to feeling that “can do” energy that fills every room she enters.

Olivia M. Gonzalez

CEO and Chief Brand Strategist, OMG Brand Story LLC

Charlena is truly a genuine person. Easy to work with, but still pushes you to be the best version of yourself. 

Wannetta Puckett

Johns Hopkins

Charlena is driven with compassion, dedication, and joy. She sees the best in everyone she meets and has an uncanny talent for bringing it out. 

Jennifer Hooper

Public School Teacher

Charlena is kind, generous and so inspiring! And fun! Lots of fun! I often find myself inventing ways for us to work together just to be in her space. 

Cheryl Keffer

Boutique owner, entrepreneur

Charlena is a self motivated individual who gives her complete devotion to the task at hand. She is full of energy and can make any situation a positive one.

Bryan Shank

Engineer / SCA, Inc

Charlena is the epitome of the best type of person a human can strive to be. So positive and infectious. Charlena has the 'X' Factor everyone is looking for and the most amazing part is she shares it so freely.

Regina Barys

Director - finance

Charlena is kind, thoughtful, creative and has the biggest heart. She approaches clients with a kind of compassionate logic that I have yet to encounter elsewhere. 

Stacey Lounsbury

Attorney, Whiteford Taylor & Preston

Caring, kind, giving, strong willed, tenacious, hard working, and determined. Charlena won't let you give up on yourself - even when you want to. 

Christina Suit

Disabled Entrepreneur

Charlena is an amazing, upbeat, fearlessly optimistic force for good in the world.

Christina Ferrari

Veterinarian (practice owner)

Charlena is motivating, and encouraging. She's passionate about helping others be their best. I've seen her do it for me and for countless other homeschooling entrepreneurs. She doesn't see limiting beliefs. She sees possibilities, embraces them fully and paves new paths. 

Jessica Dixon

Homeschool Mother of 3, Entrepreneur

Charlena is one of the most professional fun loving individuals you could ever meet. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Charlena for more than eighteen years. She has a smile that will light up any room. Her generous ways and outlook on life is simply remarkable. Charlena strives for excellence and drives for results. Charlena is goal oriented and and she WILL get you where you want to go. Charlena's perseverance shows through her families values. 

Erica Quarles

Child Care Provider & Owner of E’s To Bee’s Cleaning Services

Charlena is an amazing human. She is motivated, dedicated and fun-loving. She has done incredible things in her career, business and personal life - and for MINE. She's never one to back down from a challenge (her own or her clients) and knows how to get things done. And yet she remains humble and kind and generous on top of all that.

Ami Youngs

Owner, Writing Her Life Services

Absolutely wonderful! Charlena is one hard-working parent. I’m pretty sure she juggles a zillion things but does it with grace and humor. She has an infectious energy and truly brings out the best in others. Very positive and so giving! Her family AND her clients are blessed to have them in their lives. She might say 'balance is bogus' but she seems to have a handle on it all!

Maureen Evans

Speech Language Pathologist

Charlena is a highly compassionate, enthusiastic, dedicated woman who pours her heart into her work and inspiring those around her. She is very knowledgeable and an amazing cheerleader. She WILL see you through to success.

Valerie Friedlander

Certified Life Leadership Coach @ Valerie Friedlander Coaching

Charlena is a key reason I am a best selling author. She is Awesome. So encouraging and practical! She never let me give up on myself. Not ever. And I'm so thankful.

Camila Arguello

Best Selling Author: Swipeable, Closing Gift Consultant - Cutco Closing Gifts

Charlena is super positive, friendly and hardworking. The balance she strikes with family and business - weaving the two together - is uncanny. Be in her space. It's worth it. 

Allison Tritt

Natural Resource Planner

Charlena is SO MUCH fun! Work doesn't feel like work when Charlena's coaching you - no matter how insurmountable the problem may seem. 

Cathy Topping

Founder of Your Web Toolkit

Charlena is exhubarent, kind, empathic, and a super badass. She sese people where they are and then helps them to see their true potential. It's an incredible gift. 

Yvonne Marcus

Family Scrum Master @ Your Agile Home

Charlena is super smart and relentlessly passionate about her mission to change the world through Guided Accountability and its power to change relationships and accelerate people toward their goals. She is strategic and creative and throws 100% of herself into what she does. Charlena is a lovely, caring, and devoted person - and one of my favorite people, ever.

Melissa Lehman

Self-employed, online course consultant

Charlena is inspiring, motivational, super solution-oriented, and a great listener. She has an enormous amount of tools in her toolbox and is able to apply a helpful perspective for any life challenge!

Nathalie Savell

LCPC & Mindset Coach at my private practice

Charlena is a force that is changing her community, both locally and globally. Her passion for helping women reach their goals is unmeasurable. She wants to assure that everyone around her knows their worth and makes them feel like they can achieve anything they set their minds to. She motivates me to become a better person and I'm honored to know and call her friend.

Shayna Hardy

Portrait Photographer, Owner of Shayna Hardy Photography in Baltimore

Kind, passionate, smart, fun, focused. Total champion!

Tatyana Vroman

Health Coach