The Success Up Life Team


Direct, Engaging & Outcome Driven 

Dr. Candice McDonald is the founder of Success Up Life, LLC., a consulting firm bringing focus and purpose into life and organizations. Success Up Life empowers corporations, associations, government entities, and not-for-profits to create better relationships, strategically plan for the future, and recruit and retain strong team members while building better stakeholder relationships.

Dr. Candice’s engaging and honest approach to achieving outcomes in life and business has led her to contribute to numerous publications, and speak all over the United States and Internationally for over twenty years.

Community Service

Dr. Candice McDonald has served her community for over a decade as a firefighter, EMT, and inspector. She is the Vice President of the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association (CVVFA) and co-chairs the CVVFA Reputation Management Committee. She serves on the ResponderSafety.com outreach team and is a trustee of Women in Fire. She is a member of the FDIC/Fire Engineering Advisory Board and serves as an alternate on the Congressional Fire Services Institute National Advisory Committee.

She was identified in 2018 by the U.S. Fire Administration as a subject matter expert in recruitment and retention. Another organization she passionately serves is the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC). For the NVFC, she has served as the appointed Fire Corps State Advocate for Ohio and in other capacities as called upon since 2009. She is an active member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, in which she is currently working to develop solutions to address bullying in the fire service. She also proudly serves her alma mater as a member of the Malone University Alumni Executive Board.


Candice currently works for NASA in the Office of Protective Services as a special agent, physical security specialist and contracting officer representative. She also works for Eastern Gateway Community College as an adjunct faculty member.

Prior to working at NASA, she was the program coordinator for the Research Center for Educational Technology at Kent State University.  Before joining the Kent State family, she spent six years working for the State of Ohio in marketing. Prior to that, she spent ten years working as a mental health case manager and drug and alcohol counselor.


She holds a doctor of business administration with a specialty in homeland security, a master’s in organizational leadership, a bachelor’s in organizational management and an associate’s in health and human services. McDonald also has a certification in project management from Kent State University and is a NASA Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

Yvette Graham, LISW

Yvette has over thirty years of clinical experience working with struggling families as a licensed clinician and officer of the court. She is recognized as a subject matter expert in mental health and substance misuse by numerous federal agencies. She has a specialty in secondary trauma and is a key partner in Ohio with the health department’s community improvement plan. She has contributed to past USFA publications and has served as an international speaker. In addition to her vast experience in the helping profession, Yvette is also a professional photographer. She started her career with a local newspaper and now owns Two Sisters Photos. 

man in white dress shirt holding suit jacket

Alex Steele

Meet our amazing Administrative Assistant, Alex Steele! Alex is ready to connect the dots on all projects, training and speaking requests for Dr. Candice. Alex is currently pursuing a degree in organizational management. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking with his dog, Ralph!

Get in touch

Success Up Life, LLC

PO Box 177

Damascus, Ohio