Julia Maier is a lifelong Maryland resident living just outside Washington, D.C. She attended Mount St. Mary’s University where she studied communications with a concentration in public relations and event planning. Throughout college, she spent three years planning and executing campus events as well as coordinating conferences hosted by the university. After graduating in 2014, she has worked for an industrial insurance company, wearing many hats ranging from office admin to executive assistant and, most recently, business analyst. Julia is excited to join the Powerhouse team as a freelance writer and social media strategist. In her free time, Julia loves spending time with her family on the Eastern Shore, cooking, and attending concerts.
Jessica Yost is thrilled to rejoin the Powerhouse Planning team as a project manager. After working with Powerhouse in 2016, Jessica continued her freelance career in social media strategy, copywriting, and digital content creation along with starting a small business, Electra Lane, where she teaches makeup lessons.
With a B.S. in psychology from Towson University and a master’s in strategic public relations from The George Washington University, Jessica is passionate about streamlining processes and creating clear communication channels no matter the task.
Jessica enjoys running and baking, and she is learning how to play golf. She lives with her active-duty Navy husband and two beagles, Clark and Kent, in Alexandria, Virginia.
Maria is a lifelong Maryland resident now living in West Virginia where her husband is a firefighter at the Air National Guard base. Much like she learned to adapt to military spouse life, Maria adapts to new work situations quickly and is excited to be part of the Powerhouse Planning team.
With more than a decade of marketing experience and an undergraduate degree in marketing, she is looking forward to completing her Master of Science in integrated marketing communications at West Virginia University later this year. In addition to strategic marketing skills, she added the HubSpot SEO certification to her arsenal in 2022 and is anxious to put her experience to good use.
Thinking Bigger Allowed One Small Business Owner to Achieve Her Dream
By: Meredith Flory
Part of healthy leadership is being healthy in other areas of your life. Setting boundaries and reasonable expectations, creating a healthy work environment, and fostering other important aspects of leadership are easier to model when you are taking care of your own well-being outside of work.
Christy Miu is the owner of Healing Hippies at Creekside in McMinn County, Tennessee, where she not only practices healthy leadership as the head of a small business but also helps her customers find their best wellness practices. Miu is a licensed massage therapist, Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) 500 and meditation teacher, Reiki master and teacher, Warrior Goddess Facilitator, and personal wellness coach. She is also a mother, grandmother, and member of the community where her business is based. After she had started her own yoga journey to help herself, she shares, “I saw the need in the community for what I had to offer.”
She explains that while there are many places to do yoga as an exercise, “There is more than stretching our muscles. We need to learn to breathe correctly and how to come out of our toxic headspace.” As she looked to start her business, she was not sure a yoga studio would survive on its own in her location, so she started brainstorming what other services she could offer that paired well with yoga. She says, “I had wanted to be a massage therapist when I was younger, and I thought they would work well together.”
3 Tips to Cultivate Healthy Business Partnerships
By: Julie Kirchner
“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”
– Mother Theresa
In your journey of leading a team or a small business, have you ever entertained the thought that you could accelerate growth by embracing a business partnership? We hear you—it sounds challenging. But paving a path into new partnership territory can also come with substantial rewards like diversified skill sets, access to new networks, and newly discovered bandwidth (brain gold) for strategic planning. You likely have a dream partnership already in mind. So, how do you set the stage for a healthy partnership so you can stress less and grow more?
- Make a contract. Ground rules set everyone at ease. Establishing even a simple contract demonstrates that you take the partnership seriously and sets a standard for professionalism. Formstack and HelloSign are two resources that offer free trials and monthly plans starting at $15-16/month while giving you access to contract templates and mobile document e-signing capabilities.
- Model healthy communication practices, and others might just follow your lead. In the early stages of a partnership, devote ample time to onboarding. Use this time to clarify expectations and preferences, identify and model important boundaries, and ensure you are on the same page at each step. This time investment can help reduce stress later by preventing miscommunication, averting unrealistic timelines, and avoiding unmet expectations. Provide an approachable framework for your accessibility and set a positive and responsive tone.
Healthy Partnerships and the Business of Meetings
By: Nicole Keeny
“Here’s the long and the short of it. I hate hockey, and I don’t like kids.” So says new coach Gordon Bombay in the cult classic movie The Mighty Ducks. A similar sentiment seems to sum up how most people feel about work meetings: I hate meetings, and I’m often not fond of the people in them.
Business leaders agree, however, that face-to-face meetings continue to be one of the best ways to motivate and lead. Meetings are inevitable, and often partnerships are fostered or damaged as a result. Whether you are the leader of the meeting or simply an attendee, you play a role in the partnership. How can you contribute to its health?
- Arrive promptly. The meeting is set to begin at 10:00 a.m. Sure, swinging in at 9:59 is technically arriving on time, but you are then left with no opportunity to connect with the other meeting participants prior to getting down to business. Building healthy partnerships starts in the moments before the meeting begins, where you can chat about your families, show an interest in one another’s lives, and generally be human. Yes, that will require talking rather than checking your email in the minutes before the meeting. Yes, you may need to break the silence of the room to start an actual conversation. Yes, if you are leading the meeting, you will need to be prepared early so you are free to focus on attendees as they arrive. We believe in you.
By: Julie Clark
“There was a ‘me’ before there was a ‘mom.’” This statement encapsulates the lifestyle and message of Bert Anderson, creator of her lifestyle blog entitled Me Before Mom. Anderson is a wife as well as a mother of three, and her mission is to equip fellow mothers as they adjust to parenting and figure out how to keep a sense of self while in the throes of motherhood. We sat down with Anderson to get to know her better and to glean some of her wisdom.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your life, and how Me Before Mom (MBM) came to be.
My dad is retired Air Force, so that makes me a military brat. It’s a label I wear proudly because it dramatically defines how I view life, how I process problems and any kind of uncomfortable situation. I met my husband in college in Minnesota; he’s from Minnesota, and well, you can’t take a Minnesota boy out of Minnesota, so we’ve been here ever since. I have three kids, Brennan (13), Kendall (10), and Keira (7). I am a social media manager, that’s my consistent paying job. I like being able to figure out how to create a community for a brand without being the face of the brand. I have my website, bertmanderson.com; a podcast, Me Before Mom, with Matriarch Digital Media; and I’ve self-published a book, Me Before Mom: Putting Your Oxygen Mask on First.
The concept of MBM came up when I watched my friend go through a divorce. She had been married for 20 years and was a stay-at-home mom for 16 of those 20 years. When her husband asked for a separation, it came out of left field. She found herself alone, having to figure out a career and starting over in her 40s. I remember her telling me she felt like she had given so much to her family that she didn’t know who she was anymore. I took that in and started looking to friends and family members who had older kids leaving the nest. How did the moms feel? There seemed to be a pattern of feeling lost for many women, and I didn’t want that to happen to me. I didn’t want to get to the end of Keira’s high school career, look at myself in the mirror and say, “I have no idea what I like or what I do or anything anymore.” The only way to prevent that from happening was to start practicing this concept of “me before mom” because there was a “me” before there was a mom and there will be a “me” after the kids leave. (more…)