New Powerhouse Team Member

Melissa is overjoyed to join the Powerhouse team as an office administrator. Having found success in team sports, she feels like she can contribute her energetic, loyal, and organized self in assisting with all the needs of the admin team. With over 15 years of customer service-based roles, she has found that leading with a positive attitude, being willing to take on any task, and always giving your best will lead to success! Raised in Oregon, she earned a B.S. in sociology while playing for the University of Oregon Division I women’s soccer team. Shortly after graduating, she married her husband, a newly commissioned Marine Corps pilot. After stops in San Diego and Corpus Christi, they landed in New England, where they currently reside with three active children. Melissa has over 20 years of milspouse experience with several different branches—the Marine Corps, Navy, Marine Corps Reserve, and currently Air National Guard. If Melissa had free time, she would love to be hiking outside or enjoying a freshly squeezed margarita.

2023-09-29T10:11:06-04:00September 29th, 2023|


Growing Community with Liza Rodewald of Instant Teams

By: Carolyn Rawson

Co-founded by software engineer Liza Rodewald in 2016, Instant Teams’ talent marketplace has consistently grown and facilitated more than 5,000 direct hires. Beyond their remarkable success, we wanted to know more about the launch of their new app, Twelve Million Plus, and how it’s designed to support the military spouse community.

Liza Rodewald was busy writing government software when she met and married her husband, an active-duty Army officer. Immediately enveloped in military life, she found herself surrounded by fellow military spouses wanting to know how she remained so gainfully employed. For most military families, moves are frequent, making it challenging for dependents to find and maintain jobs.

Approaching her, they would often ask, “How are you working from home? What are you doing? I’ve been struggling with getting a job for so many years . . .”

Liza sympathized, admiring their tenacity. “I love the fact that military spouses build community,” she says. “They are productive with their time, they are appreciative of opportunities, they want to keep [those opportunities], and they’re going to perform.”


2023-07-03T09:21:04-04:00July 1st, 2023|


Powerhouse President and CEO Jessica Bertsch will once again be lending her expertise to the annual PILLAR conference. PILLAR is a once-a-year online retreat designed for military spouses of all branches of service. Full of wisdom, tips, and sympathetic ears, PILLAR is a fantastic way to grow your military spouse community and get access to information and resources available to you. For more information on PILLAR’s founders, check out this interview we did with them last year.

If you are a military spouse and have not already registered for PILLAR 2023, don’t wait! Spots fill up quickly. Save your spot today. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

2023-07-03T09:21:49-04:00July 1st, 2023|

Did You Know?

According to, online sales were responsible for $5.2 trillion dollars in global sales in 2021. While online commerce exploded during the pandemic, it is still growing and is expected to become an $8.1 trillion dollar industry by 2026. In 2023 alone, online purchases are projected to account for 22% of all retail purchases.

In addition to the importance of online commerce to business growth over the next few years, social media isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it is expected to increase in importance over the next five to ten years. So, if you don’t have an online business presence yet, now is the time to get on board.

Two other hot topics in business growth include creating/offering hybrid work solutions (or fully remote work scenarios) and utilizing AI applications. With the rise of AI technology like ChatGPT, companies will be looking to increase effectiveness without a lot of overhead costs. A word of caution: Some companies aren’t sure about the efficiency of remote work, and AI technology currently does not offer capabilities such as copyright.

At Powerhouse, we have perfected the remote team solution and the ability to help you grow your business for less than the cost of a full-time employee. Interested in learning more? Check out our website or contact us today.

2023-06-09T11:19:43-04:00July 1st, 2023|


Business growth starts with a plan—and is followed by lots of hard work. For ideas on how to grow your business, we’ve compiled a short list here. As always, Powerhouse Planning is well equipped to help you grow your business through our total remote team solution.

For proven business growth strategies (with examples) check out this article. While the article isn’t geared specifically toward small businesses, it does give a great overview of the strategic thinking behind business growth and the elements to consider when crafting a growth plan.

The Harvard Business Review’s oldie-but-goodie article “The Five Stages of Small Business Growth” is a thorough overview of the life cycle of a business development plan, complete with charts and explanations that still ring true. It’s a good primer on what goes into developing a business strategy.

If you are in the retail industry, check out Thryv’s top tips for short-term business growth that might just turn into long-term gains. This super quick read may jump-start your business growth brainstorming.

Want more? Powerhouse Planning can help. From free resources, such as this one on building partnerships, to full-scale business growth services, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today for more information.

2023-06-09T10:39:06-04:00July 1st, 2023|


The Case for Common Courtesy

By: Heatherlynn Akins

Just a quick Google search for “business growth + business etiquette” results in page after page of sites dedicated to how important business etiquette is to grow your business successfully. Click on any site that comes up in that same search and no matter how it’s worded, it all boils down to this: If you want to succeed, you must practice common courtesy,

As GCFGlobal puts it, common courtesy is all about “adopt[ing] the ‘you’ attitude—consider[ing] others’ needs and feelings first.” Really, as small business owners, no matter what our industry is, we are in the business of customer service. If our clients don’t like us, we don’t retain them, and they don’t refer others to us. First impressions matter, as do second and third and twenty-third. By practicing common courtesy, we are creating a professional atmosphere that makes our clients feel respected and our employees feel heard and important—and that translates to business growth and success.

Though business etiquette changes given the times (especially given the technological advancements of recent decades), social mores, and culture, what remains timeless is treating others with dignity and respect. So, what are some easy things you can do to improve the common courtesy culture in your organization? Consider the following tips:


2023-06-25T19:28:07-04:00July 1st, 2023|


Ready, Set, Grow! Marketing Tips Sure to Drive Growth

By: Julie Clark

So, you’re ready for growth. Relevant marketing strategies are a must. Acknowledging and setting your intentions and defining “growth goals” are the first steps. So where should you begin? Because no two businesses are exactly alike, you should start by determining exactly how and where you would like to experience growth and then go from there.

Grow your numbers. Not every business is sales focused; however, they all have one thing in common: numbers. Increase your number of followers, your number of views, your number of subscribers, your number of listeners, and more.

If you are a podcaster, perhaps it’s time to partner with a new guest speaker you can cross-promote with. You will benefit from the exposure to their audience, and they will be introduced to yours.

Need to increase your social media following? Platforms are adding new features every day. Make sure you are up to date on the latest and greatest trends. Many legitimate platforms even offer excellent, and often free, social media boot camps that will help you ensure that you are getting the most from all the hard work you put in to creating content.

Word-of-mouth marketing is an inexpensive and often overlooked method for growing your business organically. Make sure your Google Business listing is up to date, share your unique link, and encourage reviews. Word-of-mouth marketing will help you shine a spotlight on your positive brand reputation and reach new audiences with ease.


2023-06-09T11:16:05-04:00July 1st, 2023|

CLIENT PROFILE: Transformations Coaching & Consulting

“Thank you, ten times over, for all the work you donated to creating our Giving Tuesday campaign. I can’t fully express my gratitude. I would never have attempted a campaign like that on my own. Now that I see how it’s done and I have the graphics I can repurpose, I’m certain I’ll do it again in the future. The Powerhouse team is terrific! I’m so glad to work with you professionally. I’m so very grateful for our partnership. Together we make a difference for women and families in need.”

– Jennifer Hacker, Founder and CEO, Transformations Coaching & Consulting, The Center for Help & Hope

Transformations Coaching & Consulting is the brainchild of founder Jennifer Hacker. Having experienced profound grief and the ways it can derail your life, Jennifer took her 20+ years of experience in the business world, combined it with her training and certification as a life coach and grief specialist, and transformed her career into one centered on helping women and families in need navigate through their grief and “move forward without moving on.” Her flagship coaching program helps individuals dealing with loss heal and embrace life without needing to let go of their loved one.

2023-06-15T13:01:18-04:00July 1st, 2023|


Overcoming Barriers – Babs Sefiane and Life’sWork

By: Meredith Flory

Business growth can come in a variety of ways. An organization can grow larger in number of employees as its client base increases, or it may offer more services or products and expand its mission. Businesses may grow into new territories or simply have the means to invest back into their employees, operations, and community.

Life’sWork of Western PA is a longstanding nonprofit that focuses on helping people overcome barriers to employment, such as physical and mental disabilities, substance abuse, or family crises. Babs Sefiane is their chief development officer, working with clients, businesses, and the community in all aspects of business growth.

Babs has worked at Life’sWork for over five years, but prior to that she had 20 years of employment success in the energy industry. Then she decided she wanted a change in her career. She says, “I knew I wanted to give back, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do; and then when I came in and toured Life’sWork, I was like, this is the perfect fit.”

She has a unique and personal perspective on the work they do. Babs shared how years ago she was in a car wreck, facing major injuries and a long recovery period. She says, “It gave me that personal connection that I realized at any point, I could have been an individual that was receiving services here at Life’sWork.”


2023-06-15T14:36:39-04:00July 1st, 2023|


Megan Biddix—Event Facilitator Extraordinaire

By: Heatherlynn Akins

When Megan Biddix first joined West Monroe five years ago, she came from a varied professional background. Having worked for an international travel company just out of college, where she paired leadership with teams, Megan also spent time as a teacher and coordinated events for the leading foster care provider in Illinois before landing at West Monroe. Though she started with internal events facilitation at West Monroe, she quickly transitioned to marketing and working with top-level clients coordinating, strategizing, and executing different styles of events, including West Monroe’s annual marquee events.

West Monroe is a national management and technology consulting firm headquartered in Chicago that helps clients “adopt, adapt, and use digital technologies differently and more effectively as it relates to what really matters within their specific industry.” Unlike other firms, they bring together multidisciplinary experts who have experience working together to deliver solutions for their clients. Megan is aligned to the Chicago headquarters of West Monroe, where she works to ensure high-quality, highly effective client-facing events are planned and executed.

West Monroe makes Megan feel like a valued member of the team, with keen insight into how to provide career equity, professional growth, and rewarding connections. “It’s exciting to be onsite with clients,” Megan says. “It’s personally rewarding to know you’ve created a seamless event for someone to simply arrive and enjoy, especially if you’ve created a space for busy people to leave feeling refreshed, educated, and connected.”


2023-04-04T10:05:11-04:00March 9th, 2023|