Here at Powerhouse Planning we are surrounded by amazing talent. We really should spell that with a capital “T” because the talent is just that good. So is it any wonder that sometimes we just feel a need to throw a spotlight on some of that talent? Yeah, we don’t think so either.

This month we are pleased to celebrate the Powerhouse talent that is Ariana Detrez. Coincidentally, or not so coincidentally, Ariana is celebrating her first Powerhouse anniversary, and we could not be happier that she’s a part of our team. Ariana is one of our graphic designers, though she hasn’t always followed that career path. Ariana began her professional career as an art educator, but when life threw her a few curveballs, as it is wont to do, Ariana didn’t hesitate to turn her incredible talents to the equally artistic field of graphic design. You can currently see her artistic endeavors with Powerhouse clients like Jacey Eckhart, PayNet, and Gromelski & Associates, but we’re certain this is only the beginning.

As many of you know, Powerhouse is almost exclusively a military spouse and veteran organization. From our founder and president, Jessica Bertsch, to the array of freelancers we have on contract, Powerhouse is proud of our military ties. Ariana is no exception, though her military experience has turned out to be much shorter than she or her former Air Force husband ever anticipated. Though his military career didn’t turn out the way they planned through no fault of their own, Ariana credits their time with the Air Force with helping to shape who she is today. If nothing else, the adaptability required by the military has helped her deal with all the changes in her life this last year.

Since Powerhouse is also comprised of a virtual workforce, we asked Ariana what professional work relationships should look like in a virtual work space. She answered, “Effective communication is key here.” She went on to point out that it is especially important to have a connection to others when you work virtually. “Relationships are key when you’re living out your passion. You want to have a connection with the people you’re working with!” She adds that how you approach virtual work relationships is just as important. “Be authentic and, have I stressed this enough? Communicate effectively. It’s easy to misinterpret or not understand something through virtual chat—never hesitate to ask questions or for clarification,” she says.

She credits effective communication and the time spent building virtual relationships with helping her when her life was upended earlier this year and a cross-country move became necessary. Because she had built strong, clear relationships with Powerhouse’s Jessica Bertsch and Jennifer Kirkpatrick, Ariana says her move went much more smoothly than she expected it would. “Jess and Jen contacted me throughout to make sure I was okay and were open to providing any resources I needed,” she says. That kind of professional relationship, the kind that you know will survive whatever life throws your way, is why Ariana feels so blessed to be a part of Powerhouse and the virtual workforce. It’s why she’s so excited to continue to learn and improve her chosen profession and why she’s confident she’ll still be with Powerhouse in five years.

Ariana and her husband are dog parents to the adorable Professor, a nine-year-old Terrier mix, and Atlas, a one-year-old Australian Shepherd. While they currently call North Carolina home, they are eager to return to their home state of Florida next year, where they will be surrounded by family, friends, and all things Disney, which is a good thing because Ariana loves Disney!

We asked Ariana for a tidbit not many people know about her. Ariana shared that she was heavily into the art of paper crafting and has a YouTube channel with over 1,000 followers. While it may have started as a place to showcase her paper crafting expertise, it is now geared more toward design and art education. Is it any wonder that someone that involved with the arts has found a successful career as a graphic designer? We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty sure that on our lunch break here we’ll be heading over to YouTube and checking out a certain fabulous Powerhouse talent.