A very abbreviated tale...
Let's start with 1995, when I moved to Seattle with engineering degree in hand and ready to live out my rockstar dreams of being in the coolest city in the world at that time.
After seven years as an engineer, I decided to return to school and get my master's degree in Environment & Community. During this time, I worked as a private consultant to local government departments including fire stations, conservation offices, and planning departments as a sustainable building advisor and policy developer.
But it would be an economics-paper-turned-business-plan that would catapult my entrepreneurship journey. Because I would end up inventing a recycled-content building material in my garage. And then I went on to build a full manufacturing business with nationwide distribution. I found myself featured in magazines and television and life seemed pretty good for several years. Until the Recession.
Knocked down but undaunted, I bounced back. I saw an opportunity in a backyard wedding venue operation and grew it into an award-winning, multi-location, six-figures a year business. I would be hired by other companies to come in to help with business development, branding, or run their businesses as their General Manager.
But when my life came apart again in 2017, there wasn't a Recession to blame. Instead, it was obvious to me I needed to know what was going on and why. And once I did that, I knew my life would never be the same.
I became a podcaster and advocate for mental health, self-improvement, and parenting out of a despair that turned to outrage. This in turn rekindled my activist nature and my sense of purpose to help people.
And now I am a leadership and business coach because I am committed to helping people see the connections between our professional lives with the quality of our histories because they are linked. But most importantly, I want people to see the heavy role work plays in the quality of all our lives in the here and now.
So I am on a mission to transform our communities and lives through our workplaces and cultures.
who i work with and how i do it
I have long career creating and working with purpose-driven businesses. That is, ones with leaders that know that businesses can be drivers for positive changes in our communities and society overall.
It can be a mission as simple as having an employee-focused company culture or as large as reversing environmental damage on the planet. The companies can have 50 employees or 500.
The only requirement I demand is that the CEO's, leaders, and bosses all want to do the work, be the models, and lead the change. Without support and heartfelt efforts at the very tip of the spear, it's pointless. Because employees are looking for vulnerability, honesty, and transparency from leaders now, more than ever.
In fact, a McKinsey Global Survey pinpoints psychological safety as an important feature in companies that thrive.
But I know just as well as anyone how much harder that is to cultivate in ourselves let alone our companies. And unlike many consultants or trainers, I have sat in the seats where business decisions are made and understand the complexities that exist in making real world choices. This is why I'm here to help as a human resources and leadership consultant, speaker and corporate trainer, as well as an executive or personal coach.
Me speaking at "Women on a Mission," Seattle, Washington 2012
most importantly, why i do it
If I'm going to be honest, in 2017 I discovered that the biggest thing I had been failing at was at being a mom.
Sure, I sucked at my personal relationships. And yes, I had business successes undermined by self-sabotage.
But it was seeing that I was passing down intergenerational trauma to my own kids and essentially robbing them of a decent future that really scared me straight. Because I love my kids.
So I did the work for them and for me.
And I continue to do this work for the countless other families out there with parents undergoing stress, trauma, poverty, or working at jobs with companies that keep sending them home to their families, abused and drained. Or for the men and women without children who feel unsupported or taken advantage of at work and don't have the privilege's many of us take for granted.
But I believe there are business leaders who care about their employees and want to do right by them.
The truth is that 50% of us have experienced some forms of adverse childhood experiences. And...
2 out of 3 children are still experiencing trauma today
50% of businesses begin and end quickly
Gender gaps in power and pay keep hurting women
Suicide is rising by the startling rate of 40% in less than twenty years
Those are not coincidences. Trauma is already at work, whether we acknowledge it or not. And I want to see that change. That's why I do this.