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Community Member Spotlights

It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them the fundamental questions about who they are and how they became the person they are today. Understanding and empathy are essential building blocks for a better, more compassionate world. We’re incredibly fortunate to be able to ask these questions each week through our interview series. Below you’ll find interviews from our community members and content partners – the folks who’ve been heavily involved with us, collaborating with us on content, sponsoring our mission and spreading the word about the work we do.

Jenny Usaj | Employing Broker and co-owner of Usaj Realty

When I was young, I would help my dad with “fix and flips” in Houston, Texas. I kept this time as a memory and pursued other career opportunities until my husband, Anton, encouraged me to get my broker’s license. This re-ignited my passion for this work and together, Anton and I opened Usaj Realty. Starting your own business is never easy, but the opportunity will present itself if you’re coming from a place of love and connection. Looking back at Usaj Realty’s success, the top three factors driving our growth are keeping our commitments, adding more value than expected, and producing the client’s desired outcome on time. We strive to create raving fans! My personal recommendation for other aspiring Realtors or business owners is to cultivate a habit of working out and meditation. I’m committed to balancing my life and prioritizing my personal wellness. This helps fill my cup so I can let the rest overflow. Read more>>

Matt Struck & Elizabeth Gauss | Filmmaker

I am an artist, with a focus primarily on abstraction, based in Denver CO. I currently teach k-5 general art at an elementary school in Commerce City. I began my creative journey as a classical french horn player but shifted my focus after an injury sustained in a car accident affected my ability to be competitive as a symphony musician. Read more>>

Courtney Besser | Reiki Master practitioner, Massage therapist, Yoga teacher, Soundbath facilitator

I’m Courtney Besser of Intune Wellness. I specialize in massage therapy, Reiki energy work, teaching yoga, and sound healing. I love to collaborate and hold workshops, events, and trainings with other wellness organizations in the Denver metro area. My mission with all that I do is to reconnect people to their intuition, support them in trusting it, and encourage them to let it lead the way in being their best vital self. Read more>>

Melanie Gruenwald | Executive Director, Kabbalah Experience

I’m Melanie Gruenwald, Executive Director of Kabbalah Experience in Denver, Colorado. I assumed my role in 2019 and have since led the growth of our organization. Kabbalah Experience is an adult learning center focused on the teachings of Transformative Kabbalah. By accessing and participating in these group learning lessons and practices, our goal as an organization is to help our students realize their purpose in life, contribute to the well-being of family and friends, affect positive change in their communities, and ultimately, radiate peace to the world. Read more>>

Cady Marsh | Cadydid Social Marketing

Hi There! I’m Cady, pronounced like Katie. I am a social butterfly with an entrepreneurial spirit and over 14 years experience working for both small and large companies of various industries. I was “that intern” in 2007 at a rapidly growing start-up when Facebook first launched brand pages for businesses. While obtaining my B.A. and MBA, I fell in love with the infinite possibilities of connecting with customers through social media and I have never looked back. Read more>>

Tami Kiekhaefer | Psychotherapist and Yoga Instructor

My name is Tami Kiekhaefer and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I’ve been in private practice for 20 years providing individual and couples therapy to men and women. Over the decades of working with people, I notice there are a lot of lonely people out there. People unable to find love, people who thought they found love but couldn’t be lonelier, and people who just keep finding one toxic relationship after another. Read more>>

Terese | Intuitive healer and Spiritual Teacher

I am a spiritual teacher, intuitive coach and energy healer. I work with people to empower and guide their lives towards their very highest good. I offer intuitive readings and soul coaching along with restorative treatments such as Reiki and Essential Oil and Angelic Healings. I also enjoy doing retreats and workshops teaching about intuition and the Angels! Read more>>

Deb Matlock | Nature-based Spiritual Arts Mentor & Guide

I grew up in the mountains of Colorado and am deeply committed to nurturing the connection between people, animals, earth, and spirit. I have spent twenty-five years working as a professional environmental and humane educator and naturalist. Additionally, through my business Wild Rhythms, I am a shamanic-style practitioner, spiritual life coach, and animal communicator, and assist people and animals through spiritual mentoring, animal communication, and shamanic-style journey work. I am passionate about helping people find connection and deep spiritual meaning where they live. To this end, I have created a body of worked call Nature-Based Spiritual Arts. I am experienced teaching indoors and out, offering workshops and presentations, and designing programs for groups and organizations. I also enjoy the academic realm and holds a Master of Arts in Environmental Education from Prescott College and am pursuing my doctoral degree in environmental studies from Antioch University New England. Read more>>

Erin Trumble | Lapidary Artist and Jewelry Designer

I’m Erin, owner and designer at Independent Mountain Jewelry Co. My family and I live in the Rocky Mountains right outside of Denver. I am constantly in awe and inspired by living in the woods. I’m a huge rock nerd, and love learning all about the way that our earth created all of the amazing materials that I work with. Working with stones and metal allows for me to create treasures for my clients. Read more>>

Stephanie Jensen | Owner & Maker of Do It For You Creations

My name is Stephanie Jensen and I am the owner of Do It For You Creations a small Etsy shop that specializes in Thoughtful and funny decor for any occasion. My shop is mostly known for Handwritten note items and funny tea towels. I am also a mom to two wonderful and busy kiddos, Layla and Logan. Read more>>

Lisa Gunshore | Founder and President of Spiritual Discoveries LLC

My name is Lisa M Gunshore. I am a Chef and Functional Ayurveda Practitioner, Yoga Instructor and Block Therapist. In 2018, I authored a book called; Enlightenment Pie. In the book I detail my debilitating experience with parasites and mold and how I was able to heal through my spiritual practices. My spiritual journey began as a young child. I am a multi-generational psychic medium and was born with the ability to connect with Spirit. I have shared insight with clients around the globe, assisting in their transformation since 2006. My mission is to support the healing of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies through the teachings of genetic transformation and ancestral healing. My practice is solely focused on supporting YOU, to remember your mission, heal yourself, and to blossom into the fullness of who YOU are. Read more>>

Samantha Schultz | Owner & Lead Travel Planner

Plan Your Perfect Vacation started over 5 years ago with one mission: To inspire people to see the world. Samantha Schultz, is the owner and lead travel planner, loves to connect with clients that prioritize experiences and know that personalized details make all the difference when discovering somewhere new. Her passion for seeing the world started during college when she took her first 6-week trip to Europe. From there, she has continued to travel and experience the world in a way she could never have imagined and has now traveled to over 60 countries and counting. Since 2002, she has continued to prioritize travel and couldn’t wait to start her travel agency after a corporate career, knowing that her job description would ultimately have to include traveling the world – each destination she explores is something she takes seriously to provide the most expertise to clients. Traveling the globe has and continues to change her in so many ways. This is why she loves sharing it with all of you. Read more>>

Samantha Joule Fow | Author, Advocate, & Entrepreneur

I am an author, advocate, and entrepreneur who is proud to call Denver her home. When I am not working hard running my technical writing and digital marketing business, Axiom Communications Inc., or publicizing my up-and-coming green tech thought leadership platform, Be Decent: Environmental Activism 2.0, I’m always either in the mountains or flowing through a moving meditation on my yoga mat. Compassion, humanism, feminism, and committed nonviolence color my perspectives, and I write often on how these topics intersect with our constant technological progress. Read more>>

Joseph Liberti | Artist

Hi, I’m Joseph Liberti jazz flutist, artist and bonafide treehugger. I create digital art inspired by the everyday nature of Colorado. Many of my images begin with inspiration of scenes in Garden of The Gods near my home. My art is expressionistic rather than realistic – An expression of my emotional and spiritual experience of the nature I love. I sell my art through Fine Art America online and in Colorado through Kreuser Gallery in Colorado Springs. I have not performed in public for about a year but in that time, I have recorded and published one album and have a second album almost completed. I work in a studio in my home that I share with my wife Carol, an accomplished abstract painter and two rescued cats who are accomplished at mischief, sleeping and being wonderfully lovable. Read more>>

Charla Harvey | Photographer

I’m a photographer in Boulder, CO, and I am also in grad school preparing to be a self-love therapist! With anyone who works with me, we work together to create the image/vision they want. I don’t ever want my clients to be unhappy, so I put a lot of effort into making sure they are happy! I love helping make a client’s vision come true and I will always help every step of the way, but I try not to make it my vision. I truly want it to be the client’s vision. I feel it is more empowering that way. I photograph concerts and band promos, engagements/proposals, weddings, events, anniversaries (all things couples!), senior photos, portraits, headshots, family photos, festivals, self-love shoots, maternity, birthdays, business events, real estate, album covers/bands, products, landscape, boudoir, pretty much everything! Read more>>

Lisa Fender | Author of a fantasy fiction series – the Lorn Prophecy

I’m basically like most people – I wear a lot of hats. Wife of Rick Fender, mother to Travis and Brandie, grandmother to Madison and Carson. But I am also a fantasy fiction author. I’ve always wanted to write, from the time I entered elementary school, but I let everything get in the way. I guess it wasn’t my time yet. At least that’s what I tell myself. When I was laid off in 2009, along with most of the people in this country, I decided to take advantage of the time at home and started my journey to the land of the Djen. Before I took this leap though my life was chaotic at best. Most of my working years were spent on waiting tables, or restaurant management. I did, however, go to school to become an aesthetician in 1999 and worked in a few spas. I did enjoy performing facials and waxing, though yet again, the walls came tumbling down. 9/11 happened and it pretty much closed down most of Cherry Creek and did cause the spa I worked at – Greenhouse Day Spa – to close its doors. After that, I ended up back in restaurants until the big layoff of half the country. Besides my work history and my family, I do enjoy hiking in the great Rocky Mountains and of course, a nice soak in the hot springs of Cottonwood. I love to travel and I love meeting new friends. But most of all – I love writing! Read more>>

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