Heather Wochele (she/her)
Hello day coaching, Owner & Life Coach

Do you have a specific area of sustainability that interests you the most? Why do you CARE about that specific area? (i.e. energy, water, waste, transportation, etc.) 

I am specifically interested in companies who are dedicated to creating products from environmental waste and creating sustainable fashion. I am especially interested in companies who are able to use their power to clean up the oceans and recreate usable items from the waste. Not only does this protect our waters but also the animal life that resides in them. Often these animals are forgotten about because they are unseen. There are only so many water ecosystems that are sustainable for certain animal populations and we are continuing to cause harms to these ecosystems. Companies that make it their mission to reverse this impact have a special place in my heart.

What interests / excites you most about being involved in (Women in) sustainability? I am most excited about learning from and being part of the other WIS community members’ journey. There are so many incredible members doing AMAZING work and it inspires me daily to be better.

Finish this statement: I CARE Because … Though I may not have the most sustainable lifestyle, I am always trying to be more aware and conscious of the sustainable choices I make. There is no going back to not caring or bringing awareness to my actions.

How do you like to give back to your community? Why is this important to you? 

I volunteer my time at local water clean up events and the Denver Animal Shelter, as well as sharing my life coaching practice with the community. Giving back and volunteering my time connects me with the community and reminds me of the importance of the space and people around us.

What are one or two of your favorite sustainability tips or tricks that you like to share with others?

If you don’t already compost, I highly recommend it. It cuts down on your trash tremendously and you can easily sign up for it in the city of Denver.

If you have a lot of difficult to recycle items, sign up for Ridwell. They are a great service that offers additional recycling in such an easy to use system.

What inspires you? I am constantly inspired by the WIS community and by others who seek to be and do better. We can all make simple choices, whether that’s to wave at another person or utter a friendly hello, that will change our world one action at a time. If you are doing this, being better, you inspire me!

Connect with Heather:
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Community Voices Webinar September Topic:
Manifest Your Sustainable Impact

Join the WIS sustainable community and HelloDay Coaching to discuss and manifest your sustainable impact. During this session, we provide an opportunity for participants to collectively learn about sustainability challenges, solutions, and best practices through reflective exercises and peer discussion. We will also define clear sustainability goals that align with participants’ values and aspirations and then outline steps to take to accomplish those goals.

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Erin Gaskins (she/her)
Room Redefined LLC, owner

Do you have a specific area of sustainability that interests you the most? Why do you CARE about that specific area? (i.e. energy, water, waste, transportation, etc.) 

As a professional organizer, I help clients let go of items they no longer want/need. It can be much easier for clients to be able to decide to let items go if we can relocate that item in a way that aligns with the client’s values. We are passionate about increasing our knowledge of places and resources where we can take items for sale, donation, and recycling so that we are eliminating waste for ourselves and our clients, and, ideally, putting items to good use in a new way!

What interests / excites you most about being involved in (Women in) sustainability? As the company owner, I have always felt the responsibility to guide my clients and my employees in ways that are most environmentally responsible. However we deal with so much “stuff” it feels like we will never be able to take care of it all in a sustainable way. In my first conversation with WIS I was given grace! To have other women commiserate that it is impossible to find a place for it all, but a worthy investment to keep pursuing new solutions was relieving. It was such a relief to hear I didn’t have to be perfect at this to be making a difference- and then to find a group that can help me continue to learn and grow.

Finish this statement: I CARE Because … everyday I visit client homes and see the overwhelm that too much “stuff” has on our lives and the planet. People are drowning in things, but don’t know how to make a change. I believe it is vital for our planet, and our health- collectively and individually- to continue to improve our relationship with our things, our spaces, and our planet.

What are one or two of your favorite sustainability tips or tricks that you like to share with others?

The organizer in me knows how important systems are to your success in things you want to accomplish. So- if sustainability is important, setting up systems within your home to support that process is key. For example, we hep clients of ours to set up an efficient place in which to store the categories of items they wish to recycle or donate. There might be one bin for clothes, one for clear plastic, and one for technology/cords/etc. Then, it is easy for the client to grab the bin and take it to their recycling drop-off location when full, or for us to clean out and take with us at each visit.

Have more to get rid of than will fit in your car to be dropped off? We love to recommend companies like Gone For Good. Gone for Good is a haul-away service that also runs a thrift store. Before taking anything to a landfill they will sort through your unwanted items to determine what they can sell or donate to others. Next they work with hard-to-recycle companies to dispose of as much as possible. This way only a very limited amount of stuff actually is taken to a landfill!

What inspires you? I am inspired by helping people feel in control of their stuff, and their space. If I can help individuals do that, they can focus their energy and time on what they love to do best!

What is your favorite quote? “He who dies with the most stuff- is still dead!”- a coffee mug

Connect with Erin:
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Community Voices Webinar July Topic:
Redefine your Sustainable Life: How Organizing Your Space Can Help Save the Planet & You

Today’s society tells us that we should be able to balance careers and family, have space for home life and active pursuits, and take care of ourselves, our loved ones, and the environment. We should be able to do it all, right? As a professional organizer, Erin is in constant conversation with clients who are feeling the stress of trying to do it all and do it well. Really our message to ourselves needs to be, “Do what you do best, and find people who share your values to help you accomplish the rest.” That is where Room Redefine steps in with its services. Room Redefined uses a relationship-based approach to get to know clients’ “pain points” and help create strategies for them to feel in control of their stuff and their space in a way that honors their needs and takes care of the environment around us. Wherever you are in your journey to living a more balanced and sustainable life, living a more organized life can help you and your family continue on that path in a more focused and productive way. In this Webinar, Erin is excited to share her tips and resources to help you start or continue in that journey in a way that aligns with your needs and your conscience.

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June 2023
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“What have you done today to make you feel proud?
It’s never too late to try
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
You could be so many people
If you make that break for freedom
What have you done today to make you feel prouder?”
~”Proud” ~ Heather Small

Hello WIS Community –

A couple of weeks ago, a few of us community leaders met to discuss ways we could support one another. As part of the intro, we had to talk about ourselves, not what we do, since most of us already knew each other. Whew. How many people struggle with that? I found it challenging to introduce “me” and not what I do. (Note I still found myself talking about the “do”, which I 100% got called out for!)  

So that got me thinking about identities and how we show up in life in different places. So I did a journal exercise and started writing down, “Who Am I”?

I am an entrepreneur. I am a Connector. I am a friend. I am a Significant Other. I am a Rheumatoid Arthritis warrior. I am an activist. I am a Buckeye. I am a hockey fan. I am a trash talker and waste lover. I am a speaker. I am an educator. I am a hiker. I am an environmentalist. I am a cat mom. I am a “Second Act” woman. I am a volunteer. I am a (reggae) music lover. I am a community organizer. I am a learner. I am a PAL (Pledgettes Accountability League). I am an event planner. I am a party host. I am a Woman in Sustainability. And more …

In addition, I have shed some “I am” titles to make way for new and better titles. (Ex: I am a smoker … today it is I am an EX-smoker! 😳 Yup, I’m not always proud of that, but it’s still part of my life story. I am PROUD that I learned to overcome that challenge and open my life up to better health and environmental choices. Also, sorry Mom!)  

I have many “titles” in this life and they can show up in many ways and places. This exercise forced me to realize that I am a person with many layers. It made me realize that I am PROUD of all those layers that make me unique. When I show up in a space, I try to show up as me – no matter who “I am” at that moment. It’s not always easy to share everything about myself. Some days I want to stay hidden. Some days, I don’t want to reveal specifics about myself and find it challenging to show up. I want to blend in. Some titles are easier to say than others. However, I find that when I share the hidden layers, I do feel more free. I get to be me to discover authentic, honest and genuine connections with others. I remind myself that with all the “titles” I carry, there is usually one that helps me connect with another person. This can lead to at least a meaningful conversation, if not something more. Sometimes, we think we have to talk about what we do and not who we are. Perhaps, we can make the world a better place if we start sharing more about our lesser known “titles” in life. Who knows – maybe someone will change your life. Let’s be PROUD of all our titles. I know I am (even if embarrassed by a few too). I challenge you to go outside your comfort zone and connect in a different way this month.

I also want to acknowledge my privilege and that my titles don’t have the same weight as some others. This PRIDE month, I stand with everyone in the LGBTQIA+ Community. I see you. I love you. You can always share your “titles” with us and I work to create a safe space for you (and marginalized communities). I challenge myself to speak out against hate so that you can shine your light and love for all to see. I challenge our legislators to ensure a safe future for you. Your love lifts me and I am thankful for all those that can show up as their true selves. We all deserve to be ourselves in this crazy thing called life.

And always, be PROUD of you! We are! Thank you for showing up as your authentic self, even on days when it’s hard. We are here for you on those days too,

If you’re looking for connections this month, we have several opportunities including volunteer events . Volunteering is an excellent way to spend time with others and give back to the community! It’s something to help you feel PROUD. In addition, we are partnering with CohoUS for our June networking event. We’ll talk about co-housing and how it benefits the planet. This will be a great conversation that truly embraces community! Plus, we’ll wrap up the month with our book club and learn how to bridge the gaps to truly be inclusive in our lives at this month’s Community Voices webinar.

Oh, and we couldn’t be more PROUD to partner with our friends at CampExperience and The Pledgettes to host the first-ever BetterTogetherFest! This event is about collaboration, community, friendship, learning, and more! A huge shout out to Lara and the Smedley Events team for bringing this idea to life. We hope you’ll join us to spend time together and learn from our excellent speakers throughout the day. More info is below and check out to join us on June 24!

We look forward to connecting with you soon. Thank you for all you do and we’re so PROUD of you.

If you have a moment, share with us your “titles” in the comment section. Who are YOU? We want to know! Be Proud of YOU!

the idea that when everybody is equal, we are all more free.” ~ Barack Obama

with CARE,
Chief CARE Connector / Founder


jodi fischer (she/her)
Adelante Foundation, Senior Director of Development

Do you have a specific area of sustainability that interests you the most? Why do you CARE about that specific area? (i.e. energy, water, waste, transportation, etc.) 

It’s impossible for me to pick one, but some of my favorites are energy efficiency – 1st fuel!, food systems, climate finance, and the nexus between women empowerment and climate solutions.

What interests / excites you most about being involved in (Women in) sustainability? I love being surrounded by like-minded women who are committed to lessening our carbon footprint and making a meaningful impact in this world.

Finish this statement: I CARE Because … because I want a livable planet for my child. I care because this wild world is worth fighting for. together we can accomplish great things. I care because together we can accomplish great things.

What interests /​ excites What are some of your favorite podcasts, books, documentaries, etc that you recommend to those looking to engage more in the environmental space? most about being involved in sustainability? 

Drawdown by Paul Hawken

What are some self – care tips you like to share? Breathe fresh air outside every day, even if it’s only for 15 minutes, even in crummy weather.

What is your favorite quote? “There is always light. If only we were brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” – Amanda Gorman

Connect with Jodi:
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Community Voices Webinar March Topic:
Empowering Underserved Entrepreneurial Women & Improving Climate Resiliency

Educating women/girls & family planning are top solutions identified by Drawdown to reduce worldwide carbon emissions. Microfinance is the combination of small loans to start or grow businesses plus training to aid in financial literacy and increase business success. Women in developing countries are statistically more likely than their male counterparts to reinvest earnings to benefit their families. Access to microfinance resources enable women to break through intergenerational cycles of poverty, send their children to school, become less dependent on other family members, gain access to low carbon emitting tech like clean cooking stoves and solar, and improve their homes so they can better withstand weather events. Jodi will share stories about her experience working with hardworking entrepreneurial women in Honduras benefitting from Adelante Foundation programs.

Adelante client cooking

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April 2023
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“And the daffodils look lovely today!”
~ “Daffodil Lament” by The Cranberries

As I write this note, the sun is shining and yesterday’s snow is slowly melting away. This past week I loved being able to get outside and enjoy the warmer days. I went for walks in my neighborhood where I saw the daffodils popping up and showing their bright yellow smiles. The second I see a cluster of daffodils, I take a deep breath and take in their sweet scent. I always did this growing up and it floods my mind with memories. The smell brings me so much JOY and a reminder that spring is here (even if we did get snow in CO yesterday) and that like the spring, my world is ready to for renewal as this new quarter begins. It’s a reminder that we can ebb and flow with Mother Earth as she shows us signs of growth these next few month. I love that she gives us these subtle signs at the start of Earth Month. It’s a reminder that we are connected to her and that we too experience seasons throughout our life, but growth is always right around the corner. It’s a reminder to find JOY in the small things. These past few weeks, I’ve been finding moments of JOY from extra snuggles with my cat, to finding my great grandmother’s engagement ring that I thought I lost forever, to connecting with WIS members, friends and getting ready for our annual tradition of opening weekend at the ballpark. As people in sustainability, we sometimes forget to take in moments of JOY throughout the month as it is our time to shine. It’s when the world is paying attention to our voices and words that we scream from the mountaintops every day. However, I encourage you this Earth Month, to take moments for YOU. Find some time to take in your favorite experiences in the spring – smelling the flowers, feeling the sun on your face, dancing in the rain or connecting with your community. Whatever it is, find those moments of JOY throughout this month as a reminder why you work so hard every day to strive for a better planet for all of us.

How will you find JOY this Earth Month?
Share with us here!

We will be finding JOY this month through our events from your bundle of joy to celebrating all of YOU with our annual EarthYAY Celebration at Odell Brewing Sloan’s Lake on May 4. This is our big celebration that we throw in YOUR honor. It brings us JOY to take the time to celebrate YOUR hard work and accomplishments. It’s a time for you to find JOY by letting us take CARE of you for an evening! We hope you will join us.

Oh and don’t miss our special announcement below for our new annual fundraiser – it’s gonna be F-U-N!! (I also know this is bringing our board chair, Beth, a lot of joy in planning it for you.)

I hope that you have a JOY-filled Earth Month and find time for you to enJOY too! Thank you from all of us at Women in Sustainability for your dedication, passion, commitment and CARE to this world. We are so grateful for you.

with CARE,
Chief CARE Connector / Founder
My virtual door is always open – Calendly

“Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life. Earth teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall. Earth teach me courage as the Tree which stands all alone. Earth teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring.” ~ William Alexander


March 2023
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“Girls, just wanna have fun!”
~ Cyndi Lauper

Hello WIS Community –

Happy March and Women’s History Month. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to tell February (and this winter) goodbye! As we head into the spring and look ahead to sustainability experts’ busiest month (hello Earth Month), I’m reminding myself to take a moment and LAUGH. While this past month found many challenges from sickness to snow (and more snow), I have felt 10 steps behind the whole way. I suppose it doesn’t help that we had 8 events in 7 days, but hey who needs sleep anyways, right?! (I’m just kidding. Please sleep; it’s good for your health.)

While the days seemed long, I was always given reminders to relieve stress along the way. Our Book Swap on February 22 brought me back to COMMUNITY and a reminder that when all in life seems tough, COMMUNITY just makes it better. I walked in that evening in a funk and left with my heart so full. I am so thankful for all who joined us – you didn’t know it at the time, but you were healing my soul. My other reminder was from my friend (and pastor) Rev. Emily to LAUGH — laugh at yourself, laugh at the world, laugh just to laugh … however you do it, remember to not take life so seriously and laugh. I am REEAALLY bad at this. Ask anyone close to me. It’s even a running joke in our house that I can be at a comedy show and not know it was comedy. I take life seriously. Sometimes (okay, a lot of times) too seriously. So this month, as I look ahead to April and May (extremely busy months for all of us), I’m reminding myself to LAUGH and not take life so seriously. (PS you can call me out when I’m being too serious too! 😉 )

According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter is good for you – physically and mentally! It can help improve organ function, relieve stress, and improve your immune system. It can even help relieve pain! It turns out that you can learn how to laugh, too!

So how am I learning laughter this month? By kicking up my heels and looking a little silly to bring me back to my roots. I’ve always wanted to try polka dancing (I’m Slovak and polka is in my bones. My Dad even produces one of the largest polka fests in the U.S.) and I’ve convinced my partner to do it with me. Even the thought of that is making me laugh. Yes, pictures and videos are to come. Now is a great time to step back from oh-so-serious life to enjoy some time for not-so-serious fun, lean into laughing about it and maybe learn something new. Remember, we all look silly learning new things, so laugh at yourself and be proud of taking the steps to look silly!

I’m also excited to spend time with the WIS Community this month as we celebrate Women’s History Month. Every time I’m with this community there are tough, real, honest conversations, and yet there always seems to be a sigh of relief as we end the evening and we all leave laughing, smiling and hugging one another. While we know the world of climate and sustainability can be tough and exhausting, we lean into one another for support. It’s a reminder that we don’t have to walk this path alone. We can do it together through tears, frustration, love and LAUGHTER! Before life gets too serious in April, I hope you take time to LAUGH this month. Do something outside of your comfort zone, see a comedy show, or find a friend and just laugh for no reason. Maybe turn up the stereo and blast “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and badly sing over Cyndi Lauper as you dance around the room. While I may not have the jokes, I’m still always willing to help you laugh and hope you will join us this month as we celebrate all those identifying as women who work hard to make our world a better place, like you!

What are you doing to LAUGH this month? Share with us or tell us a joke (keep it clean) here!

Chief CARE Connector / Founder


Sydney Jackson-Clockston (she/her)
Citrine Unlimited LLC, owner & founder

Do you have a specific area of sustainability that interests you the most? Why do you CARE about that specific area? (i.e. energy, water, waste, transportation, etc.) 

I am really interested in the overall etymology of sustainability and how sustainability can be applied holistically within a business. I also have a Master’s in Tourism Management with an emphasis on sustainable tourism development. So I have spent a lot of time thinking about sustainability within the Hospitality and Tourism sector.

What interests / excites you most about being involved in (Women in) sustainability? I am most excited about beginning as a Women in Sustainability Member because I automatically know that other members have a common shared value of sustainability and a general care about the impact they leave on the planet. I really enjoy the conversations and knowledge that we share as a community with each other.

Finish this statement: I CARE Because … I CARE because I value sustainability/restoration and building a legacy. I know it sounds corny, but when I pass away, I want to leave knowing that I personally did my part in creating an equitable future for those who come after me.

What interests /​ excites you most about being involved in sustainability? 

I love sustainability because it is a narrative that I get to rewrite. Most folks have been trained to think that sustainability is only about turning the lights off or recycling (the environment). But I love showing folks how sustainability can be applied to everything from the way you build a culture within an organization to the supply chain.

How do you like to give back to your community? Why is this important to you? I give back to the community with my time, money, and overall business. I love volunteering with young adults, and I spent the last two-three years supporting teen leadership development and civic engagement (community service) through Colorado Young Leaders. I also just ended a three-year board term for Guided by Humanity, which is an ALL-abilities yoga studio. I recently made my first big business investment by supporting (check out their Wefunder). I work part-time with a non-profit called Rocky Mountain Micro-Finace Institute. This allows me to offer my coaching/training services to the community for a fraction of what it costs privately through Citrine Unlimited LLC. Then my work overall is stepped in the purpose of empowering and mobilizing my clients. All of this is important to me because, at the core, I have the blessing of knowing and living out my purpose. I truly believe that I am on this planet to uplift others, and I have the pleasure of waking up daily knowing that I did that. The trickle-down effect is amazing. By empowering just one person, that person turns around and pays it forward, and so on.

What are one or two of your favorite sustainability tips or tricks that you like to share with others? 
1) I recommend checking out George N. Wallace’s work on sustainable tourism development and thinking about how that can apply to your industry.

2) Sustainability battle fatigue is real. Remember that you are one person doing your best, and it’s ok to rest and unplug when needed.

What are some of your favorite podcasts, books, documentaries, etc that you recommend to those looking to engage more in the environmental space?

What is your favorite quote? Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”: FDR

Connect with Sydney:

Community Voices Webinar March Topic:
Imposter Syndrome & Releasing Limiting Beliefs In Sustainability

Ever feel like you are not qualified enough to be a sustainability expert? How about feeling like you are not doing enough to be sustainable? When speaking with women in the community, these two comments thoughts pop up. Join Sydney Jackson-Clockston, MTM Owner of Citrine Unlimited LLC., for an interactive workshop addressing imposter syndrome and reframing negative thoughts when it comes to sustainability. This is an interactive workshop, so come ready to have conversations. RSVP here.

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February 2023
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“You can count on me like one, two, three
I’ll be there
And I know when I need it, I can count on you like four, three, two
And you’ll be there
‘Cause that’s what friends are supposed to do”
Count on Me by Bruno Mars

Hello WIS Community –

Happy February! I’m hoping that your month is going well and treating you kind. While we know that February is full of love with Valentine’s Day, did you also know that February 17 is Random Acts of Kindness Day? This is a great reminder that big and even small gestures (a smile, holding the door open, letting a person merge in traffic, etc) are easy ways for people to connect. It’s also about being KIND to yourself as we continue to navigate a continuously changing world.

KINDNESS is my word for this month. I’ve been thinking lately, can acts of kindness help us create a more sustainable world? When we practice kindness to others, or kindness towards ourselves, there are countless positive outcomes. We create a ripple effect of kindness that goes beyond the person it was intended for, creating compassion within our communities and beyond. When we can count on each other and kindness is shown everywhere from the rooftop to the workplace to our personal groups and even amongst strangers on the streets – then, kindness starts to become collective effort with infinitely repayable results!

We use so many words when it comes to sustainability (carbon offsets, climate neutral, etc) that the average person can feel lost in the conversation. What if we moved towards more messaging around well-being instead of statistics for a positive and motivated reason to CARE? Let’s try it this month! What are ways that you can provide random acts of (green ) kindness into your routine? (Remember this doesn’t require spending a lot of money or time.) Need some ideas? Check out RAK’s website or this list here. Share with us how you plan to incorporate KINDNESS into your month. How does it make you feel? Do you think we can change the world with one small act of kindness at a time? Let us know!

We hope you will be KIND to yourself and join us this month at an upcoming event. We have a lot going on from book club, swaps to webinars about money and diversity, equity and inclusion. we are excited to partake in CO Environmental Film Fest as we support our members‘ world premiere of “A Good Neighbor” based on environmental justice in Commerce City, CO. We are also looking forward to partnering with Let Em Have It Salon for our unique networking event to kick off Women’s History Month on March 1. Check out all the information below.

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”~ Fred Rogers

Chief CARE Connector / Founder


Sarita parikh (she/her)
glow + gather / Women in sustainability DEI chair

Do you have a specific area of sustainability that interests you the most? Why do you CARE about that specific area? (i.e. energy, water, waste, transportation, etc.) 

The intersectionality of social, environmental, and economic justice and how it is all connected drives me to look at not only the bigger picture of sustainability, but also how to compassionately break it down into its parts to more effectively address sustainability on a micro and macro level.

What interests / excites you most about being involved in (Women in) sustainability? Women in Sustainability has created a safe, compassionate, and purposeful environment to create connections, spread knowledge, and encourage activism. I always feel supported, welcome, energized and the warmth of community.

Finish this statement: I CARE Because … I CARE Because I believe we should leave the planet a better place than how we found it and always reach out to help each other thrive.

What are some self-care tips you like to share? 

To me the biggest tips for self-care are more about mindset – giving yourself permission to slow down, take a moment to yourself, to enjoy simple pleasures. Giving yourself and others grace, is to me, one of the biggest things you can do to find more peace within yourself and your life. And also to surrender and live in the flow of life. If you can find what brings you grounding, brings you to your center, it opens up so much more flow and abundance. Meditation has always been important to me. There is no right or wrong way to meditate, no rules to it. I think people put too much pressure on how it should be done or what should happen during it, and it shouldn’t be that way. And, some form of movement and exercise, even if it is for 15 minutes, always makes a difference. Creating rituals, however small, makes an everyday activity more centering, more in the present moment, more an act of self-care – use a favorite mug for your morning coffee and really appreciate it, use the expensive glasses for your wine, light a candle when you sit down for a meal, celebrate the moments large and small.

What is your favorite quote? 
I love our glow + gather tag line: glow to light your soul | gather to light the world; it embodies how I believe life should be lived. Finding and embracing what brings you joy, peace, and purpose – whatever that looks like for you, truly filling your soul, and from that place of fullness and light, reaching out into the world to connect, to gather, to lend a hand to help each other thrive, to make a difference in whatever way you can, in a way that inspires you and others, because together we rise. We have to take care of ourselves first and release the guilt and the glorification of busy, so we can not only find our joy and fulfillment, because we all deserve that, but also so we can take care of others and our planet with compassion and empathy.

What are some things that bring you joy? 
I love finding joy in the everyday moments as well as the larger moments that last forever. Cherishing that morning chai in a favorite mug, a quiet walk in the woods, gathering around a beautifully set table for a good meal with friends and family, a favorite drink in a beautiful glass, a dress that fits perfectly, my morning yoga practice, travelling – anywhere and everywhere, reading, stargazing, the view after and during a challenging climb, knowing I’ve made an impact in someone’s life.

Connect with Sarita:

Community Voices Webinar February Topic:
Beyond DEI Basics – Why incorporating authentic diversity, equity and inclusion policies matter

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are buzzwords in today’s society. Many organizations (for profit and nonprofit) have updated their organizational policies to include a DEI statement. However, these policies tend to fall short of implementation and practice. Why? Many are created as part of the buzz and not a part of the plan. To truly be a diverse and equitable organization, we must look beyond the basics. Join this webinar as Sarita Parikh dives into the importance of incorporating authentic DEI practices, why it matters and provides tips on creating DEI policies that are embedded in the organizational culture. You’ll leave feeling inspired to move beyond the DEI basics to create a more authentic space where all are welcome.

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January 2023
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“Meet me in the crowd, people, people
Throw your love around, love me, love me
Take it into town, happy, happy
Put it in the ground where the flowers grow
Gold and silver shine

Shiny happy people holding hands”
Shiny Happy People by R.E.M.

Hello WIS –

Happy new year and welcome to 2023! I hope it’s been a riveting start to the year, or perhaps (like me), you’re just tip-toeing into it. Either way, I hope the first ten days have been amazing for each of you! Over the past few weeks there has been one word that seems to keep circling around me. That word is HAPPINESS. What does it mean? How do we achieve it? This past Sunday I was watching CBS Sunday Morning and a segment came on titled “Friendships, the key to Happiness”. Is that the answer? Then I read an excerpt from “Adrift: America in 100 Charts” that gloomily noted, “Community connections are fraying. Friendships are fading. In 1990, 40 percent of men and 28 percent of women reported having ten or more friends. By 2021, deep into the age of social media, a staggeringly low 15 percent of men and 11 percent of women said they had that many friends.” Galloway provides hope in his book and his first key idea is to find COMMUNITY by joining a club or organization. That’s why I’m SO excited to kick off our year with a “Just Be-Cause Happiness Hour” event on February 1 at Raices Brewing Company. Raices Brewing Co is rooted in COMMUNITY so a perfect spot to gather. Maybe together, we can find the key to happiness (hand holding not required) as we continue to navigate our daily lives in this strange world. I hope that each of you can find your happiness this year, whether it’s within the WIS community or elsewhere. We all deserve to find it!

We had so much fun in December wrapping up the year at our Holiday Beach Celebration at Wah Gwaan Brewing Company (photos below). We laughed, sang, ate and had merry ole time. Thanks to everyone that joined us. We’ll be bringing back this celebration again this year with even more beachin’ vibes!

We will also be bringing back our monthly Community Voices Webinar Series. This is a series that highlights our members and the work they are doing in sustainability. It’s a great way to get to know more about the WIS Community members and learn something new. We hope you’ll join us at one (or more) throughout the year. Who didn’t love recess as a kid? (That was my happiness!) Have you ever thought about the importance of recess as an adult? Well, Ashley DePaulis can tell you why recess is still important in our lives and some tips to incorporating it into your busy schedules. Join us as we kickoff this series with Ashley’s talk “Give Your Mind A Rest With Recess: Purposeful Play to Thrive in Business & in Life” on Wednesday, January 25 at 12:30pm MT.

We are finalizing our volunteer schedule with We Don’t Waste and other opportunities throughout the year so stay tuned. These are great events to gather in COMMUNITY and give back to those in need. (Fun Fact: Researchers have found a connection between happiness and the performance of selfless acts.)

Does money bring happiness? That’s for you to determine, but there is an importance of understanding your relationship with money to be (feel?) financially well. Meghan Lape with Conscious Impact Financial Planning will be taking us through a “Money Mindfulness” conversation and providing us with some tools we need to have a good relationship with money and why it’s important in our lives. According to The Pledgettes, “when more women take individual action or make money moves, our collective impact grows, leading to healthier, wealthier communities.” Financial health is a key priority for me this year, which is why I’m excited to be a member of The Pledgettes too. Want to learn about financial health? RSVP for this webinar and check out The Pledgettes. Oh and please do hold me accountable! I think more women should ask “how’s your investment portfolio” instead of “how’s the weather”.

Finally, this year is about books! Did you know that “people who read books regularly are on average more satisfied with life, happier, and more likely to feel the things they do in life are worthwhile” according to a 2013 survey by the Book Trust. Plus, it’s much more fun to read a book and share your insights with a COMMUNITY! That’s why we’re launching our quarterly WIS Book Club (thanks Zhuli for supporting this effort.) We’ll read 1 book a quarter but have opportunities to meet monthly to hold each other accountable and discuss our viewpoints. Our first book is “Braiding Sweetgrass” which is one of my favs! We’re also teaming up with Stephanie Vail and Jacki Carr for our first book swap on February 22. Bring a book, take a book and maybe find a little happiness (and friendships) along the way! Check out all of our book information below.

I keep saying I’ll keep these shorts, but we just have so much to share and I’m so excited (and happy) to be in this COMMUNITY with all of you. Thank you! The Board and I are working up great plans to bring you more ways to CARE this year. We can’t wait to share with all of you. Stay tuned for more events, resources, and so much more.

As always, my virtual door is open and I love to connect with this community. If you have ideas, thoughts or just need to chat, feel free to set up a time on my calendar. And remember to take care of YOU, too!

Wishing you all health, wealth and HAPPINESS this year!

Chief CARE Connector / Founder