Verhanika Willhelm, CEO
The road to this work was long and winding and is mostly because of difficulties I experienced in places I thought should be safe. From the voice teacher in college who caused irreparable injury, to the systems in our economy and social interactions that cause injustice and trauma, the pathway was paved with seeing and feeling harm, abuse, and trauma where there should be none.
My first love is always humans and people. Not a people person? Cool. I definitely am. Psychology was my field of choice so I could learn more about why people did what they did. I attended Florida State University, a major psychology research institution, so my degree program focused almost entirely on empirical observation and science, My work is informed and based in what we know to be true about humans and our interaction with the world around us.
I worked in the arts for years because it is an entirely people-focused industry. I became a financial planner so I could partner and support people in the intimate relationship we have with money. Then, after years of working in places with poor management and toxic culture, I decided the workplace was really where I could undo this harm I kept seeing. That’s when I received my Master’s degree in Organizational Development and Organizational Psychology.
We spend a minimum of a 1/3 of our life at work. Likely more, and, without a doubt, it is pervasive in everything we do. If work is hard, we hear about it in our romantic relationships, we see it in parent interactions with children, we hear about it when we’re supposed to be socializing and connecting.
Work is everywhere.
I want work to be a place for health and healing. I want people to be productive and useful and to do that without causing harm to themselves or others.
All parts of my life are brought to my work. My love of the arts, my experience as a parent, my new life as a widow, all of it informs how to create workplaces that are equal parts healthy and effective.
Master of Arts in Leadership and Organizational Development
Certificate in Financial Planning
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Management
What I do in my free time:
Planning my next trip
Hanging out with my kiddo
Talking to my many, many friends and loved ones (you might be one by the time we’re done working together)
Bethany Hystad, Executive Assistant and Communications Manager
Bethany Hystad is a swiss army knife of helping people. With over 15 years of experience in childcare, household management, & theatrical production, she loves being a part of “it takes a village.” In her spare time, she loves reading, gardening, and is an amateur beekeeper.