In 2003, I was meditating after yoga and saw a beautiful vision of our future political system and culture, writ large. The blurry visuals of happy people and functioning politics as democracy was bathed in a warm, golden light. It reminded me of “the golden hour” that filmmakers refer to. And the feelings that I experienced were of contentment, generosity, pride and service to others. I wish I could capture the feeling in a bottle and share it with you today. But that moment is why we are here today. In that moment, I chose to work towards that vision and enact a vision of healthy self-governance, the likes of which we have yet to experience.
I am drawn to transformative stories and experiences like bear to honey. Whenever I start to lose faith in our nation, I turn to cinema therapy. I have a movie collection of miraculous stories with defined before and after themes. The before in the story is filled with despair and the after with wonder, gratitude and connection. These stories lift me up an restore my soul, deepening my neural pathways with the belief in transformation.
I am a transformation partner working on multiple levels from individual, interpersonal and systemic levels.
I co-founded and am CEO of the Bridge Alliance, harnessing the field of organizations towards healthy self-governance by shifting the underlying dynamics of power, politics, and participation in our country. I work with the staff, board members and other leaders of Bridge Alliance members in advancing the common mission of all 100+ organizations. I bring a passion to my work that is contagious to those near me. I also co-founded (and handed off), the National Conversation Project (a platform for all types of conversation across divides) and Living Room Conversations (with specific topic guide and tools) to assist people from all walks of life to connect authentically to those different from them.
Hailing from a conservative, agricultural community, I started her career as a small business owner, working with community businesses to promote and grow their own operations through advertising and marketing. After engaging other women business leaders, she attended a Women & Power conference. It was at this conference where the aforementioned yoga meditation changed my life. I was given a choice to participate and I enthusiastically agreed.
I was inspired to become more active in the political process. My own personal experiences — as a small business owner, a local candidate for office, and president of a national organization — have given me enormous insight into the challenges facing citizens who want to get involved and organizations that want to scale their impact. I continue to offer my insights to entities seeking to grow their participation and efficacy. I serves as an advisor to many leaders and organizations. I am an ontologically trained coach and am especially adept at guiding organizations in new ways to bring out hidden talents of volunteers and staff who become valuable assets.