About Jessica Bertsch

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So far Jessica Bertsch has created 368 blog entries.


Gulfside Healthcare Services Supports Local Families When They Need It Most

By: Julie Kirchner

Founded in 1988, Gulfside Healthcare Services (Gulfside) is a community-based, nonprofit healthcare organization providing hospice, non-hospice palliative care, and skilled home health care throughout Pasco County and the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

Powerhouse was recently blessed with an opportunity to partner with Gulfside to support business growth and help expand Gulfside’s capacity for local community impact. When Powerhouse President Jessica Bertsch first learned about the nonprofit’s work and mission, she knew she had to get involved with this amazing organization and its people.

Gulfside President and CEO Linda Ward speaks passionately about the team of nearly 400 staff and over 200 volunteers at Gulfside. She shares, “Our people are what make this organization magical. We can share story after story of the compelling effects that every single person makes on patients and families.” (more…)

2022-07-07T11:13:31-04:00July 1st, 2022|

New Powerhouse Team Member

Amanda Thurn is the daughter of a retired airman, a veteran spouse, and a lifetime resident of Brevard County. Amanda understands and values the significance of serving and is excited to join the Powerhouse team as a business development specialist. She brings a passion for service before self with over 10 years of experience supporting nonprofits in leadership, coordinator, and volunteer roles. Amanda is a passionate advocate and a strong connector, and she is gifted in the development of effective and genuine relationships. In her free time, Amanda enjoys reading, spending time with her family, and finding the best seafood in town.

2022-06-21T23:51:25-04:00June 21st, 2022|

Spotlight on Powerhouse’s AJ Bengoa

Spotlight on Powerhouse’s AJ Bengoa

This month we’re shining the spotlight on one of our talented graphic designers and grant writers, AJ Bengoa. AJ, short for Anne Jeanene (she’s named after her mom), will celebrate her first year with Powerhouse in August. While she works on graphic design and grant-writing projects for Powerhouse, AJ prefers to identify what she does as “making other people, and companies, look and sound better. And I love research and data!” That last bit is probably why she’s so good at what she does.

AJ’s favorite thing about working at Powerhouse is “the camaraderie and positivity of all the people! At first, I thought, this cannot be real all the time, but it so is . . . Everyone is so kind and supportive. It warms my soul just thinking about it!” This atmosphere, unique for in-office companies and virtually unheard of in fully remote companies, is why AJ believes the sky is the limit for Powerhouse. “[Powerhouse President and Founder] Jess has created the perfect environment for thriving employees, and the only limit is what the employees are willing to pursue. With this team, the possibilities really do end with what we can dream up,” she says.

As someone who prefers to focus (and talk about) anyone other than herself, it was hard to pin AJ down to any self-description, but she finally said, “I believe I’m a generally positive person, and my kids say I don’t ever give up and I always finish what I start even if it kills me. Though clearly nothing has yet!” Speaking of her children, AJ was quick to brag on hers. Son Akiva is a trombone and piano player who composes music and participates in competitive fencing. He’s also, according to AJ, “one of the best fiction writers I know. He’s just so good, and he’s placed top in the state for his storytelling two years in a row, so it’s not just my biased opinion.” Daughter Ainara is also a musician (percussion being her instrument of choice), a poet, and an accomplished dancer. “She spends at least nine hours a week in the dance studio both taking and assisting classes of all kinds,” AJ adds.

Married to her husband, Alex, since 2004, AJ loves that their family spends time camping, hiking, and participating in all kinds of water sports. Her priority is family time, so the whole family will load up the beach buggy and head for the beach (a whole two blocks from the house) or toss the appropriate toys from the garage into the camper to head out for destinations a little farther from home. When not playing out on the water or going camping, she and Alex hang out in a home office that would make many of us envious. With a Cricut, two 3D printers, an engraving machine, a laser cutter, welding tools, jewelry-making tools, and a heat press, they’re pretty set up to tackle any of the creative outlets they enjoy.

AJ is proud of her extended family, too. While happy to point out that she is descended from the McCoy side of the famous Hatfields and McCoys (she has great stories to tell to anyone who is interested), she’s most proud of her father, Clyde McCoy, and his part in the Civil Rights movement. “He gave up his position as a minister because he came down on the opposite side of the Civil Rights movement from his congregation. Instead, he spent his time sponsoring the black students’ council at the University of Cincinnati when they needed a sponsor and working as the campaign manager for the first elected black mayor of Cincinnati,” she states. Her mom was the first person in the state of Kentucky, and one of the first in the country, to learn to use computers when they were first developed by IBM. “She was the only professor in the business department in the late 1960s willing to learn,” AJ says, “so she learned and then taught others how to use and program computers for the next 40 years. She taught me a few things over the years, too,” she adds with a smile.

That computer savviness must run in her blood because AJ does great things for Powerhouse in the graphic design department and is always willing to lend her creative mind to developing ideas for other projects. Her creative talent combines seamlessly with her computer knowledge, but she still says her favorite Powerhouse projects are “all the amazing products my fellow designers create. It amazes me how many other things and what a variety of talents are accumulated under the Powerhouse umbrella.” She’s hoping to continue to be under that umbrella for a long time. “I’ll be transitioning to an empty nester in five years and Alex will retire a few years after that, but I’m hoping to still keep on with Powerhouse as we travel the Americas in our camper,” she says.


As always, we asked AJ to tell us something not many others know about her, and we just had to laugh at her response, given her avowal that she is a water sports addict. “I’m scared of ducks!” she says. A bad early childhood experience was compounded by having to cross a bridge surrounded by “quacking, pecking, sharp-beaked, feathered swarms” every day in college. Ironically, her son’s first word was “duck” and he still has a soft spot for them—“Mainly the rubber duckie variety, which I don’t place in the scary category, but still!” she laughs. Luckily for AJ, there aren’t any real ducks associated with Powerhouse (that we know of), but the next time we all get together via Zoom, we may just have to bring out any rubber duckies we have floating around our home offices. All in the name of continuing that positive camaraderie we all enjoy so much, of course.

2022-07-09T13:53:29-04:00June 14th, 2022|

Spotlight on Powerhouse’s Emily Anderson

Spotlight on Powerhouse’s Emily Anderson

Emily Anderson, one of the newer freelancers to join team Powerhouse, has been with us for the last nine months. As one of our marketing specialists and grant writers, Emily is currently working on behalf of two of our clients. In the short time she’s been with Powerhouse, she has impressed all of us with her support, exceptional work ethic, and talent.

That feeling is mutual, according to Emily: “My favorite thing about Powerhouse? The people most definitely! I work with an amazing group of people that I have come to admire and look up to so much.” She goes on to say that she learns so much from everyone at Powerhouse and feels privileged to work “with such a kind, driven, caring, and intelligent group of people.” What can we say? Emily fits right into that definition!

When she’s not working on behalf of her Powerhouse clients, Emily loves to challenge herself or find a new adventure. For example, her first job in high school was working in a tobacco field. “I was challenged to go into the tobacco fields and work,” she explains, “so I accepted the challenge and technically that was my first job.” Emily is all about the adventure, the challenge, and the discovery of new things about herself and the world around her. “I love having fun,” she says. But even more than having fun, Emily loves spending time with her friends and family. “They’re the most important things in my life,” she says. That connection to others, and deep desire to see others happy, is what sparks her enjoyment in helping others. “I just enjoy watching them grow and succeed,” she says.

Emily and her new husband got married just the two of them at the courthouse in 2019 (“Yes, we’re COVID people,” she says with a laugh) and then had the big family wedding in 2021. (We’re not kidding when we say she’s a family person.) This outdoors-loving couple lives in the city but right next to a park they take full advantage of along with their dog. When not outdoors, they enjoy cooking and trying new things. “You might find us playing real-life food ninjas in the kitchen when it comes to cutting fruit and vegetables,” she says by way of explaining that while they have no children themselves, they act enough like children to feel like the family is complete.

Emily is passionate about the work/life balance that Powerhouse strives so hard to achieve. She believes that when you work remotely it’s important to create boundaries. “One thing I do,” she explains when asked about maintaining a positive work/life balance, “is I have my ‘work hours’ and my ‘no-work hours.’ I make time to sit at my computer and work, and I schedule time to spend with friends and family. Create boundaries and don’t feel guilty for not always being readily available to work.” She points to some fantastic free resources one of our clients, HelloHealth, provides designed to help achieve positive work/life balance as well as the free resources Powerhouse has created.

Another work passion project Emily has discovered is working with nonprofit clients. In her time with Powerhouse so far, Emily cites working on grants for Camp Cranium as her favorite: “Being able to find grants for such a great cause really makes it worth every moment we work on the project. Being able to make an impact and help really means a lot to me.” Which may be why she says that one of her favorite things about Powerhouse is our grant library, a resource those who work for our nonprofit clients have access to in order to save on research time and streamline the grant-writing process. “Powerhouse sets you up for success at every turn,” Emily states. Still, her absolute favorite resource at Powerhouse is the people. “The women at Powerhouse are a great resource for any project and bring their past experiences and current to the table,” she says. Emily just adds to that collective knowledge.

As we always do, we asked Emily if there was anything others might not know about her that she could share. Most often, we get fun trivia or unbelievable personal history anecdotes, but Emily shared that she’s lived with a chronic condition for over 20 years, which can be extremely challenging. But after only a short time with Powerhouse, she has felt comfortable sharing her journey with us, which, she says, “has meant a lot to me.” That, right there, is exactly the kind of work culture we strive to cultivate every day, and we’re honored Emily is a part of it.

Want to know more about how Powerhouse can help your small business? Contact us today or visit our website. Want to see if you can bring your skills to our dynamic team? Check out what a Powerhouse career could look like for you.

2022-06-14T20:24:46-04:00June 14th, 2022|


The Bautista Project: A Conversation with Co-Founder and CEO Marla Bautista

By: Meredith Flory

Marla Bautista is a successful military spouse. As an author, blogger, speaker, and co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit The Bautista Project Inc., she’s been decorated with awards such as Armed Force Insurance 2018 and 2019 Military Spouse of the Year Base Winner, and her family was named a 2020 General H Norman Schwarzkopf Military Family of the Year from the Central Florida USO and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

While extremely accomplished, Bautista is also eager to give encouragement and advice to other military spouses and is honest about her earlier struggles. Throughout our interview, she discussed her journey to be an author, her passion for making an impact on homelessness, and how to make event facilitation a success. Of course, she also had specific advice about writing and other military spouses working to pursue their passions.

Bautista has been telling stories and writing since she was a little girl. She recalled, “I used to sit in my closet, I had a little walk-in closet, and I would read books and write short stories and poetry.” Much of her childhood and young adulthood was challenging and traumatic with facing the death of her parents, abuse, and homelessness. Writing was a way to “imagine words that were safe and fun and inviting,” she says.


2022-03-01T10:31:29-05:00March 31st, 2022|


According to Verified Market Research, the global events industry is valued at around $886.99 billion and is expected to grow an estimated 13.48% between 2021 and 2028. While those numbers may seem mindboggling, remember that we are all still returning to normal after the pandemic. As we move past the critical stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be attending or planning more and more events and brushing off those rusty, in-person corporate social skills.

If it’s been a while since you have had the opportunity to plan a business event, or if you started your business during the pandemic and need assistance on entering the event-planning world, Powerhouse Planning can help. Whether you are looking to provide some team-building experiences for your company or are ready to host your first conference, we offer a wide range of services that can help you bring your business to the next level. Contact us today for details.

2022-03-01T10:31:39-05:00March 31st, 2022|


3 Tips to Maximize on Virtual Events in Your Marketing Strategy

By: Julie Kirchner

From convenience to cost, virtual events pack a big bang for both businesses and event participants alike, and “many companies are planning to host even more online events in 2022 than they did in 2021,” according to an Inc.com article. You’ve got a green light to level-up your marketing strategy in 2022 using virtual events to your advantage. So, how can you maximize your return on events?

  1. Webinars are a winning strategy.

Video and events are positioned to be the top two content marketing-related investment areas in 2022, and the investment in these events is expected to grow. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) “12th Annual Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends: Insights for 2022,” among the survey respondents including marketers and professionals, “51% rated webinars, webcasts, and web series first when it came to producing results.” Highly successful marketers “prioritize the audience’s informational needs, differentiate their content from the competition, and craft content based on specific stages of the buyer’s journey,” says CMI. (more…)

2022-04-22T16:35:24-04:00March 31st, 2022|



Events with Heart: The Kelly Principles

By: Nicole Keeny

“Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.”
– Meg Ryan, You’ve Got Mail

Meg Ryan may just be a business maverick. Okay, not Meg Ryan herself, but the character she plays in the movie You’ve Got Mail—Kathleen Kelly. Here is this young woman who finds herself fighting to keep her children’s bookshop afloat when a large bookstore chain moves into the neighborhood. A classic David and Goliath scenario.

Now, if you have seen this movie, you are probably thinking, Wait a minute. She lost that fight. Goliath won. How exactly do you want to hold her up as a successful business example?

Because she teaches us that business is personal. Because she shows the big corporation that small, intentional acts of hospitality are what set businesses apart and turn consumers into lifelong customers. Because she demonstrates that business is not merely a matter of checklists but rather a matter of heart.

And Kathleen Kelly has a thing or two to teach us about hosting events, no matter what size or scale they may be.


2022-03-01T10:32:35-05:00March 31st, 2022|


Powerhouse Service Provided: Business Growth and Content Creation

“Our vacation rental business grew pretty quickly, and we struggled to keep up with the guest needs, so we hired Powerhouse Planning to take over the role of guest experience manager. Even though Jennifer has never been to any of our properties, she handles guest booking requests and needs better than we ever did. Powerhouse treats my business as if it’s their own and takes pride and initiative that is really hard to find these days.”

– Kirby Atwell, Founder and CEO, Green Vet Homes/Living Off Rentals/Dune Dwellings

2022-03-12T09:58:48-05:00March 31st, 2022|


Event facilitation encompasses a lot of things in the business world. From small, in-company events to large corporate conventions, event facilitation takes on many diverse forms. For an overview of event facilitation, covering everything from what constitutes an event to how to devise a event budgets, check out Cvent’s “Must-Know Guide to Corporate Event Planning.”

Have you been tasked with planning your company’s next event? Need a primer on what to think about and the types of questions you need to ask while planning? Maybe you need to figure out what to delegate to the others on your team. Social Table’s how-to guides can help you with that; our favorite is “How to Plan a Corporate Event: 8 Tips to Know”. It helps you jump-start your planning brain by giving you a fairly extensive list of things you will need to consider.  

Need to consider COVID-19 protocols when you plan your next event? GlueUp’s “Guide to Corporate Event Planning” includes checklists and tips for navigating events during the ongoing pandemic.

As always, Powerhouse Planning has resources and services to help. We can plan and implement your next event with our total team solution, freeing you up to be the perfect host without having to worry about all the behind-the-scenes moving parts. Want more information on how we can help? Check out this case study, which details how we helped one of our clients with their event facilitation needs. Or contact us today to see how we can help you create the event you’ve been dreaming about.

Have you?

Have you checked out Powerhouse online recently? Our website has undergone a facelift! And it’s more than “skin deep.” New (free) resources, case studies, and more can help you determine how Powerhouse can best help you. Not only are we constantly updating our website, but we are also ever-present on social media as well. Check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. You never know what we have going on there! Who knows, you may even get a chance to interact with our president. She’s currently scheduling one-on-one 30-minute sessions where she will speak directly to you and offer advice/mentoring on any of those thorny business issues you might be facing.

2022-03-01T10:33:09-05:00March 31st, 2022|
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