While Powerhouse Planning (Powerhouse) may be an entirely virtual company, we still manage to find ways to connect with each other, ensuring we know each other and work well together. We may be spread out across the country, but we were doing remote teamwork well before it became a thing this past year. It’s part of what makes the Powerhouse Team Solution so successful. So, imagine our excitement three months ago when we were introduced to our newest team member, Sarah Zerr.
Sarah, like so many of us at Powerhouse, is a military spouse. She’s also a Marine Corps veteran and helicopter pilot. After hanging up her active-duty hat, Sarah decided there was no better way to start her civilian career than as one of Powerhouse’s stellar project managers. In her first few months, Sarah has slowly been getting acclimated to the way we do things and taking more of an observer’s role while she learns the specific processes and structure here. Her “outsider’s view” of things has already been making an impact, one we’ll be seeing much more of soon.
Initially, Powerhouse drew Sarah in because we’re primarily made up of military spouses and veterans. “Having been both, I know and appreciate what type of person it takes to serve in those ways,” Sarah says. Being fortunate enough to call our founder and president, Jessica Bertsch, a friend was icing on the cake. “I knew any organization [Jessica] was a part of, especially one she founded, was going to be a great place to work and spend my time,” Sarah says. With only three months under her belt, Sarah says she’s already found a work home that speaks to her, one that allows her to fit work in at her own pace. She can have a heavy workday one day and the next shift to a light one to focus more on her young family. “At my current stage of life with two young kids (and now a puppy), work is what actually provides balance,” she says. Finding a company that not only understands but also actively promotes that work/life balance for its employees is key.
Speaking of that young family, Sarah and her husband are the proud parents of Ellie, 6, and Jack, 4, as well as a teething, four-month-old goldendoodle puppy. “He’s fun and cute, but it’s a tad hectic with a new puppy and little kids who aren’t the most trained themselves,” she says. Having recently transitioned from her Marine Corps career flying CH-46E helicopters is a change for Sarah and her husband who were married shortly after their graduation from the Naval Academy. Her husband, a Marine Corps major, recently made a minor career change himself, when he transitioned to the Marine Corps Reserve. Having a little more stability in their home life is something the family is looking forward to enjoying, along with experiencing all those daily little moments.
“I love photography,” Sarah says, “It’s a bit of a creative release, but has been awesome capturing so many memories.” She started her amateur photography hobby when her oldest was born and quickly learned that having the ability to capture those everyday moments spoke to her. She says, “I love looking back at older pictures of the same activity and seeing the obvious changes, even in a photo that is taken just months apart.” Sarah says that her favorite photos aren’t the posed ones, but the ones that record those “tiny details [that] make me stop and appreciate them more.”
That passion for capturing still images is something Sarah also uses to speak for her. In fact, when asked to describe herself she replied, “I’m someone who hates talking about myself. I’ll just give you extra photos for the blog article instead.” What those photos show is a woman dedicated to her family and one who truly enjoys spending time with her favorite people. Being a mom, Sarah says, is satisfying, and she hopes one day she’ll look back on these years as one of her greatest accomplishments. But she also finds “managing an idea that turns in to awesome physical content is a great small win that I directly see and feel good about.”
Which is why Powerhouse is such a good fit for her, and it speaks to the best advice she can give: “Decide what it is you need or are missing. For me, I needed something to be able to point to and say, ‘I helped achieve that.’ Once you identify what you truly are missing to feel fulfilled, it may take some sacrifices in other areas to achieve it, but it is worth it.” For Sarah, that was why Powerhouse was such a perfect fit. It allows her to be involved in content creation, taking a client from that initial idea all the way through to the “beautifully developed product.” That she can also work with nonprofit clients is a bonus. “Helping the helpers also has some pretty high job satisfaction,” is the way Sarah puts it.
It’s clear Sarah will positively contribute to Powerhouse over the years, and she’s excited for the roll out of our new website. While not quite ready for prime time yet, the website is one of Sarah’s first projects with Powerhouse, and she can’t wait for everyone to see what we’ve come up with. “At Powerhouse, we have helped with the branding of a lot of companies. I think our new website and content brings our branding up to the outstanding level we offer our clients,” she says.
We couldn’t leave without asking Sarah to tell us something about herself not many people might know, especially her new colleagues at Powerhouse. She says, “Although I was a Marine Corps helicopter pilot, I actually hate roller coasters and most amusement park rides. I am not looking forward to when my kids outgrow the kiddie rides and I have to go on the big roller coasters with them.” Don’t worry, Sarah, now that you’re with Powerhouse, some of us will volunteer to go on those rides with your amazing children so you can keep your feet firmly planted on the ground. Which is honestly one of the things we love about you.