Showing Up

“Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen.”
– Brené Brown

By: Nicole Keeny

Jennifer Hacker lives her life in vulnerable spaces. As a life coach and grief specialist, Jennifer walks hand in hand with those who need to be seen—in their grief, in their challenges, in their darkest moments. Because if anyone knows the landscape of grief, has seen the darkness of it deeply, has felt its sharp edges with her fingers, it is Jennifer herself.

As the owner and founder of her own private coaching company and the founder of a nonprofit organization, Jennifer spends her time immersed in coaching individuals who are dealing with some of the toughest parts of their lives, not only because she cares deeply for her clients but also because she herself has been there. “I help people in grief heal and transform their lives after loss—to let go of their pain without letting go of their connection to their loved one. And I know a lot of people in grief kind of push back on that because they don’t think that’s possible. But I know from experience that it is,” Jennifer says.

Jennifer has not always worked in this arena. “I was a CEO and CFO of a construction company, so I basically ran the whole place except for the crew. While I worked for that company, that was when my son passed away in 2003,” she says. “Life was just totally different. There’s the before and there’s the after, and I had to go figure out how to live in the after.”

In the wake of losing her three-month-old son, Jennifer came face to face with a realization. “My business job was not going to satisfy me or my new passion or my new interests, so that’s what set me off on this path,” she says. She admits that her initial approach to her nonprofit and her business may have been a bit unconventional. “First, I actually started a nonprofit organization, which is totally backwards because you’d think the coaching would come first. But I was just so called to help women going through all of the most difficult things alone. So, I started a nonprofit organization because I was like, ‘I’m going to help these ladies. I just don’t know how.’ And then I figured out the how. I went to get my certification to be a life coach, and that was what made me go, ‘This is what I was born to do and now I know how,’” Jennifer says.


2023-03-20T21:18:55-04:00January 1st, 2023|CEO Highlight, PowerTips e-newsletter|


PILLAR: Supporting Military Families, One Deployment at a Time

By: Julie Clark

We’re excited to feature the founders of PILLAR in this month’s newsletter. As an organization dedicated to supporting military families, PILLAR is near and dear to many at Powerhouse Planning because we are comprised of veterans, military spouses, retired military spouses, and super fans of military families. PILLAR’s next digital retreat is coming up soon, and our very own Jessica Bertsch will be speaking once again this year. Needless to say, it’s the perfect time to talk with PILLAR founders Joanna Guldin-Noll and Becky Hoy.

PH: As far as leadership, do you feel you both were natural-born leaders, or did you fall into this role and find it suited you to lead, inspire, and support others?

PILLAR: We stepped into our roles to support military families (Joanna with Jo, My Gosh! and Becky with Brave Crate) to fill specific needs we saw in the community. We came together to work on PILLAR for the same reasons.


2023-03-20T21:25:03-04:00October 1st, 2022|CEO Highlight, PowerTips e-newsletter|



If you read our CEO Spotlight, then you know that Powerhouse President and Founder Jessica Bertsch will be speaking again at PILLAR’s 2022 Digital Retreat for Deployment, November 4-6. Following up her presentation last year, “Finding Joy Even When You Count Down,” she’ll be sharing even more tips, tricks, and lessons learned from her experience as a Coast Guard spouse, mom, and entrepreneur.

PILLAR’s absolutely free digital retreat is a great way to find inspiration, resources, and real-life tips from seasoned military spouses. If you or anyone you know would like to participate in three days of fun, great advice, and tons of giveaways, sign up here. Want to listen to Jessica’s presentation from last year? Access the recording here.

2022-10-02T16:52:31-04:00October 1st, 2022|PowerTips e-newsletter|


Since the COVID-19 pandemic became our new “normal,” more than $119.2 billion has been donated on a global scale. In fact, according to Zelle’s Consumer Payment Behaviors reports, just about 3 out of 4 Millennials have donated money since 2020. With Millennials making up half of the work population these days, it’s important for employers to understand how passionate the generation is about making philanthropy an everyday part of their lives. Gen Z isn’t far behind Millennials with a 66% give rate. Clearly, if companies want to be relevant and relatable to their employees, they need to implement robust philanthropic enterprises.

Philanthropy in the workplace makes sense. Not only do businesses have an opportunity to support their local communities, but they can also build a work culture that fosters employee engagement and make work a place people want to be. Moreover, charitable giving generates great business value and enhances consumer relationships. When people see businesses actively engaged within their communities, public image soars.

Curious about how to up your philanthropy game? Continue reading for more tips and suggestions. Or contact us today to see how Powerhouse can help you hit your giving game out of the park.

2022-10-02T16:52:31-04:00October 1st, 2022|PowerTips e-newsletter|


Aligning Your Philanthropic Program with Your Company’s Mission

By: Meredith Flory

For many companies, philanthropy and marketing are tied together. Employees wear company branding at volunteer events, and monetary contributions are posted on brochures and websites. There’s nothing, at first glance, ethically wrong with these practices. It makes sense that companies would want their customers to know about their efforts to help the community, and many consumers want to support companies whose work aligns with their values.


2023-03-20T21:24:14-04:00October 1st, 2022|Marketing Buzz, PowerTips e-newsletter|


2022 Powerhouse 10-year anniversary retreat “Share the Goodness” workshop

Three Tips to Help Establish a Culture of Giving Within Your Business

By: Julia Maier

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give” – Winston Churchill

Fact: Almost everyone needs to work or will work in their lifetime. If you’re lucky, that work is born out of a passion. A desire to help people, to make lives easier, or to share a gift or skill with the world. Take Powerhouse Founder and CEO Jessica Bertsch, for example. She has a passion for helping clients grow their businesses, but she also has a desire to make a difference outside of the office. So, she set a goal from the beginning to “Share the Goodness” and dedicate no less than 10% of annual revenue to making a difference in our communities and around the world. In time, as her company grows, so too will the impact they can have on the world. Being a fully remote company, Powerhouse has used service to bond as a team. What started as a holiday gift to staff in the form of a gift card to buy their holiday turkey transitioned into asking employees which organizations mattered to them and then donating to those charities. While this level of involvement may not be feasible for larger companies, it does provide proof that no matter where you are you can give back to the world if you find creative ways to get your team involved. Here are a few ways to foster a culture of giving in your company.


2023-03-20T21:24:34-04:00October 1st, 2022|Business Etiquette, PowerTips e-newsletter|

CLIENT PROFILE: Cape Henry Associates

With Powerhouse celebrating its 10th anniversary this fall, we thought it only fitting to highlight the client who has been with us the longest. Powerhouse has been providing our successful remote team solution for Cape Henry Associates (CHA), headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA, for eight years now.

CHA is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business that specializes in Manpower, Training, and Analysis. As a small business operating in both the military contracting and civilian enterprise sectors, CHA is paving the way with their innovative, at-the-point-of-need curriculum and training products powered by their Lighthouse technology stack, capable of endless configurations to process and analyze data at the fastest speeds.


2022-10-02T16:52:31-04:00October 1st, 2022|Client Profile, PowerTips e-newsletter|


Getting started in the corporate philanthropy world can be daunting. Here are a few resources to help you plan.

The CEO of Bright Funds, an organization that helps companies give back, has written an article for on how to build a workplace philanthropy program. From reasons why it’s crucial to give back to tips on how to build and develop your own program, this article is a great place to start. (more…)

2022-10-02T16:52:31-04:00October 1st, 2022|Business Resources, PowerTips e-newsletter|


Camp Cranium Empowers Kids Living with Brain Injury to Enjoy Life to Their Fullest Potential

By: Julie Kirchner

Imagine a world where kids with brain injuries splash in a swimming pool and captain paddleboats around a lake. A world where they fly down the zipline one minute and create works of art the next. Where a kid in a wheelchair climbs a rock-climbing wall. A world where kids of all abilities can dance, ski, and play.

This is Camp Cranium’s fight song, and the impact made by the Pennsylvania-based, volunteer-led nonprofit organization founded in 2008 with a mission of empowering children with brain injury. Camp Cranium is dedicated to providing one-of-a-kind experiences for children ages 6-18 with brain injuries.