Celebrating 50 Years of FPSPI with Executive Director April Michele

By: Heatherlynn Akins

Future Problem Solving Program International (FPSPI) will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2024. Dr. E. Paul Torrance founded FPSPI in 1974 based on activities he and his wife Pansy introduced, and it has grown to an internationally beloved problem-solving program for students grades 4 through 12. We recently sat down with FPSPI Executive Director April Michele to discuss what makes FPSPI so successful and find out how they’re planning to celebrate 50 years of equipping problem-solving, ethical leaders.

Ms. Michele began her own career in education teaching elementary school and gifted education. While teaching, she was introduced to the benefits of Future Problem Solving and leading students to competition success. In 2012, she had the opportunity to serve FPSPI in an official capacity, and she hasn’t looked back. From developing curriculum and coordinating competition materials to serving in her current role as executive director, April has thoroughly enjoyed her time and experiences as part of a student-driven organization designed to promote students as leaders. “Our students inspire me and drive my work!” she says. This passion is clearly present in the challenging curriculum the FPSPI team has continued to develop during her time with the organization.

“I’ve taken my background in advanced curriculum studies, highly engaging learning techniques, and pedagogy and strategies for critical and creative thinking and applied them to the principles of FPSPI, along with [working with] an amazing, passionate team. I’m constantly amazed by the students in our program, and they’re the reason we’ve been around for 50 years,” Michele says. Which is why when it came time to think about how to commemorate 50 years of guiding and molding students to become creative, critical thinkers who can adapt and improvise well, FPSPI thought the best way to celebrate would be to create a program designed to reach even more students worldwide.


2023-10-01T22:51:22-04:00October 1st, 2023|Leadership Highlight, PowerTips e-newsletter|

Empowering the Homefront

We kicked off the final phase of our “Empowering the Homefront” (ETH) Share the Goodness initiative, and it’s our most popular yet! Our ETH Mentor Matchup program started last month. Military spouses looking for remote career/entrepreneurial mentorship are actively meeting with Powerhouse’s powerful mentors through February. Want to know more about ETH and how you can still be a part of all the goodness?

Check out this video that will answer all your questions.

Join our next ETH event in partnership with LinkedIn Social Impact in December! Looking for help in the meantime? Powerhouse has a free resource you can download to help you optimize your LinkedIn experience.

2023-10-21T17:05:41-04:00October 1st, 2023|PowerTips e-newsletter|


Powerhouse President Jessica Bertsch will once again be lending her years of military spouse experience to the online PILLAR conference. This year, she will be joined by her husband. After 25+ deployments, they have some tips and tricks to share! PILLAR was designed for military spouses and centered around creating a safe, digital space to meet and share tips, lessons learned, and all things military life. PILLAR has something for everyone, whether you’re a brand-new military spouse or a seasoned veteran.

If you are a military spouse, or know a military spouse, be sure to check out this year’s conference and consider signing up. The conference will take place November 17 – 19, 2023. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for Jessica and Fritz Bertsch’s guest appearance!

2023-10-01T22:50:45-04:00October 1st, 2023|PowerTips e-newsletter|

Did You Know?

Inclusive marketing is becoming more and more important for businesses. A 2022 study conducted by Amazon Ads with Environics Research shows 44% of respondents stated that diversity, equity, and inclusion are becoming ever more important to them, and 61% of respondents stated they buy brands that are acting on DEI efforts.

What is inclusive marketing? Simply put, it’s marketing that includes everybody. From language to images to how you craft your marketing strategies, inclusive marketing seeks to depict and relate to a broad audience. Not sure how to switch up your marketing strategy to be more inclusive? Powerhouse Planning can help! Contact us today to learn how we can help you create and implement a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive marketing plan.

2023-10-01T22:50:26-04:00October 1st, 2023|PowerTips e-newsletter|


“I started working with Powerhouse several years ago for marketing support for another company. I was immediately impressed with their work and the speed at which they got me deliverables. So, I knew when the time arrived to take my branding to a new level that Powerhouse was the company to call. During the project, they hit all deliverables on time and on budget. Their communication was clear, and they brought recommendations and solutions to projects as they were needed. I’m certain this isn’t the last time I will use Powerhouse.”

– Meagan Davies, Founder, Meagan Davies Therapy

Meagan Davies Therapy provides a unique therapeutic approach that combines business acumen with traditional counseling. All their counselors worked in other professional roles before transitioning to the helping profession. They focus on creating intentional spaces for women seeking to become the best versions of themselves, particularly professional women striving to balance the pressures of leadership, motherhood, relationships, and volunteer work.


2023-10-01T22:50:04-04:00October 1st, 2023|Client Profile, PowerTips e-newsletter|


Diversify Marketing Strategies with Workplace Inclusivity

By: Carolyn Rawson

Making a big impact as a brand means targeting a diverse market. But reaching a diverse market begins with inclusive etiquette in the workplace.

An inclusive work environment ensures a healthy mix of perspectives and a greater understanding of the customers your business has the potential to serve. It consists of employees of varying race, ethnicity, physical appearance, and abilities. 

More and more companies are cluing into the fact that inclusivity is not only ethical but also an integral part of a healthy, attuned workforce.

Trends in inclusivity have the power to keep your employees motivated, challenged, and engaged—all while keeping your brand on the cutting edge of an increasingly heterogeneous market.

Here are some of the latest trends in inclusive business practices. Their implementation will attract a strong and diverse workforce, one that will understand your customers because of their strong, foundational respect for one another

Training Employees to Recognize Unconscious Bias

Ongoing education is an important component of a healthy work environment. Many businesses already conduct seminars covering topics from sexual assault to personality assessments. Human resource teams should expand training to teach leaders and employees about unconscious bias.

In an environment where cooperation—not consternation—is key, preconceived stereotypes can become an obstacle. But acknowledging unconscious bias helps to break down these often-invisible barriers and make a diverse workforce more confident and cohesive.


2023-10-01T22:49:42-04:00October 1st, 2023|Marketing Buzz, PowerTips e-newsletter|


Inclusivity in Marketing

By: Meredith Flory

Diversity is a term often used in workplace settings, referring to seeing or experiencing a wide range of human experiences and identities represented within a group of people. Marketing for many companies has become more diverse, in hopes of reflecting our communities better.

In fact, an oft-told celebrity story, such as in this 2021 CNN article, is how Meghan Markle wrote a letter to Proctor & Gamble as a child about how their marketing was aimed only at women and pointed out the sexism inherent in marketing cleaning supplies only to women. She has continued to work for women’s issues as an adult public figure.

Over the past few decades, consumers have witnessed a shift in marketing, with many household product companies increasing their diversity in advertising to reach beyond just white, suburban moms to anyone who might need these products for the home, with varying racial identities and family makeups being represented on screen.

While this is more in line with our society, it’s also good business sense to increase your customer base. But what’s the next step?


2023-10-01T22:49:05-04:00October 1st, 2023|Business Etiquette, PowerTips e-newsletter|


Milspo-Owned Powerhouse Reflects on Year of “Empowering the Homefront”

By: Julie Kirchner

On a stormy September morning in 2022, a group of Powerhouse team members gathered in a hotel hospitality suite high above St. Pete beach. Powerhouse knows how to have fun together as a team, and no amount of rain could dampen the spirits of this group. The energy in the room was as palpable as the humidity. The company’s 10-year anniversary celebration had brought together Powerhouse freelancers and their spouses from all corners of the United States to commemorate the important milestone together. For many, it was our first time together in person, even having worked together remotely for years.

The focus of the agenda this particular morning was rooted in a core part of Powerhouse’s team culture—our mission to “Share the Goodness”—and the room quickly filled with stories, ideas, and plans to launch a program to help lift up other military spouses with career support. It was then that an official volunteer committee was formed, and Powerhouse’s “Empowering the Homefront” program was born.

“Empowering the Homefront” is a pilot program designed by Powerhouse Planning to empower and provide career support to military spouses. Through the program, military spouses have the opportunity to be selected through an application process to receive career kick-start prizes, including free resume makeovers, mentorship, and other career tools and support.

As a Coast Guard spouse, Jessica Bertsch knows firsthand the sacrifices and unique challenges military spouses face, which led to her creation of Powerhouse Planning, a company devoted to providing clients with remote team solutions through employment of skills and talents of military spouses and other remotely located individuals. We have lived and seen the amazing skills military spouses possess that are often underutilized as they support their spouses’ military careers, which require them to be flexible and adaptive.



With diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) becoming more and more important to consumers and employers alike, we’ve compiled a short list of online resources designed to give you a better understanding of what inclusive marketing is and how you can improve your own marketing campaigns.

For a broad overview of inclusive marketing, including information on what consumers are thinking about it, check out Amazon Ads’ guide.

Looking for resources to help you get started on making your marketing more inclusive? Google’s Inclusive Marketing site is for you! Complete with helpful tips, audience insights, and more, this site will give you a great base of knowledge from which to build.

For a great read on why inclusive marketing needs to become our default, check out Forbes.com’s article.

Want more? Powerhouse Planning can help. Contact us today for more information.

2023-10-01T22:48:17-04:00October 1st, 2023|Business Resources, PowerTips e-newsletter|