A LITTLE BACKGROUND
We are a conscious content company committed to human development in the workplace. We provide programs, tools, books and resources to develop the skill of awareness as a business skill.
We were founded in 2008 with the intention to help teams, managers and leaders generate intentional, authentic conversations about behaviors that create imbalance, disengagement, distraction and erode productivity. These conversations serve to shift behavior and empower accountability and action at the individual and group level to disrupt patterns that sabotage desired outcomes.
Our programs have reached over 20,000 employees in more than 50 countries at multinational corporations such as Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Pearson Education, Simplicity Consulting, and other leading companies. Through content partnerships with Mindful Magazine, HuffPost and Thrive Global, our content monthly reaches over 1 million people who share a common desire to improve how people show up at and interact with “work”.
All we do at Simple Intentions is guided by five core principles.
- The client feels supported.
- The content is authentic.
- The process is easy.
- The impact is measurable.
- Everyone has fun.
OUR MISSION: EMPOWER ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE TO LIVE WITH AWARENESS
We are committed to delivering outstanding programs and content that allow people the opportunity to discover the skill of awareness and make new choices about how to live a more present, authentic and empowered life. Our programs and content are rooted in our philosophy, THE CHOICE IS YOURSTM, and supported by The Awareness Framework.
In an effort to make this content accessible to all, we have committed to donating quarterly workshops and to offering discounted program rates to eligible nonprofits in the Seattle area. Contact us for more information on how to bring Simple Intentions to your local nonprofit.
JAE ELLARD Founder
Jae Ellard is an author, speaker, and expert on developing the skill of awareness in the workplace. After years in senior communication roles crafting content for executives, Jae collapsed from stress-related adrenal fatigue. This life-altering experience propelled her to research human behavior, neuroscience, mindfulness, and organizational relationship systems. In 2008, Jae founded Simple Intentions and developed the Mindful Life™ Program to generate intentional conversations to disrupt patterns and create awareness, accountability and action at team and individual levels. Jae has taught the skill of awareness in more than 50 countries to thousands of employees at multinational corporations such as Microsoft, Amazon and Expedia. Jae is a columnist on workplace awareness for Mindful Magazine and Thrive Global, as well as the author of 7 books on the topic. She contributes to the Healthy Living section on HuffPost as well as the Simple Intentions blog. In 2013, she founded Seattle Wisdom, a community organization working to create and support conscious conversations in professional spaces in the Pacific Northwest. Jae has a master’s degree in Communication Management from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communication from Metropolitan State College of Denver. She holds certificates in co-active coaching and organizational relationship systems coaching. Additionally Jae is a long time student of Shambhala, and has completed a 6-month Mindfulness Mastery class via the Lotus Institute, (in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh). She is currently enrolled in a 400-hour certification with the American Institute of Vedic Studies focused on Mediation, Mantra and psychology of Ayurveda and yoga.
JENNIFER BROOKES Chief Marketing Strategist
Jennifer is a seasoned marketing communications professional with more than 15 years of success in designing and launching innovative campaigns that influence customers and target audiences in a variety of industries. Her strengths lie in leading robust marketing programs and managing international campaigns as well as conducting high-profile rebranding and designing inspired collateral. Jennifer is responsible for marketing and program management at Simple Intentions. In addition to supporting our clients and consumers, she focuses her time on brand evangelism and evolving the digital marketing strategy. Preceding her current role, Jennifer was the lead digital marketer at Microsoft. She led the design and delivery of the robust global digital marketing strategy for Holiday 2017 targeted towards consumers worldwide. She also collaborated on omni-channel initiatives to drive consumer sales, led workshops to evolve the customer journey, and was on the creative advisory board. Jennifer is involved in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as an event board member. She’s an advocate for the cause, an educator in the community, and a fundraiser to fight this deadly disease. She’s passionate about living life to the fullest, her family, travel, and wellness.
LARA GATES Managing Editor
Gates has a passion for storytelling and journalism and most of all people. Her attention to detail and deadlines combined with a love of learning and relationship building, are just the right balance of insight and experience for the Simple Intentions mission. Gates also works as Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences where she has been serving since 2012. The chapter manages the Rocky Mountain Regional Emmy Awards for Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. From news to business to labor, Gates has been storytelling for decades. She began her career in Washington, DC as an Editor, Project Manager and Producer. After covering business for five years, interviewing CEOs and business leaders, Gates kicked off a news-for-the-web video project for The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Upper Marlboro, MD. This project allowed her to report from all across the country, wherever labor issues were being debated. In 2002 Gates moved to Spokane, Washington where she joined the local newsroom at KXLY.
Sameer spent 17 years at Microsoft as a program manager and team lead shipping large scale software platforms, taking incubation ideas from concept to ship, and managing partner relationships. In addition to his engineering roles, he worked to drive culture-related initiatives across his teams focused on building collaboration and mutual respect. After his own participation in the Pathwise Leadership program, in 2012 Sameer joined the faculty to co-teach leadership cohorts and offer 1:1 advising to managers and leaders. In 2015 he joined Simple Intentions to teach awareness as a business skills and foster a greater sense of community and empathy in the workplace. Sameer is committed to helping managers and leaders increase the level of trust, understanding and connection within teams.
SHANA ERICKSON Affiliated Content Partner: Manager Immersion
Shana has a master’s in executive leadership and is pursuing her coaching credentials through the ICF. She has over 16 years of experience in the corporate world, currently serving as VP of Leadership Development & Effectiveness/Executive Coach with Columbia Bank. Prior, Shana was Head of HR for Global Finance at Amazon where she was on two inaugural leadership teams and helped bring awareness programs to the organization with Jae Ellard. In her current role, Shana focuses on the whole person in coaching clients on topics such as mindfulness, productivity, and organizational development.
RICK GAGE Affiliated Content Partner: Manager Immersion
Rick has practiced mindful leadership for more than twenty years working for premier international organizations, leading large teams at companies like AT&T, Oracle, Siemens, Hitachi, EDS and Wipro. His hands-on experience working in roles from front line manager to group vice president has given him valuable practical insight that he now uses as a leadership coach and mentor. In the last few years, Rick has focused on helping leaders understand their unique strengths and life purpose so they can find deeper alignment in their work and beyond.
DIANA GORE Affiliated Content Partner: Manager Immersion
Diana is committed to helping individuals and teams deepen their awareness to inspire conscious action and greater effectiveness in all they do. She brings over 18 years of academically-trained, experientially-honed leadership and organizational development experience to her consulting practice. She is a seasoned facilitator and leadership coach who served for five years as the Head of Consulting Services, US for Insights Learning and Development. Diana completed her BA at Brown University, received her Master’s degree in Human Resources Management from the New School for Social Research and is a certified somatic coach.
CHRIS MCKULKA Affiliated Content Partner: Manager Immersion
Chris spent twenty years in the software world and held multiple senior level leadership positions. He intimately know the joy, challenges and vulnerability of being a leader! In 2012, Chris shifted his focus to helping leaders and teams grow, succeed and transform their culture. Chris is certified as a Presence Based Coach™, a Leadership Circle™ practitioner, a Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder-Centered coach and through UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center as a mindfulness facilitator.
MELISA PORTELA Lead Consultant: LATAM Region
Melisa Portela is a Certified Coach from Newfield Consulting and has 16 years of experience in the corporate world: General Manager of Multitel Uruguay, Finance Controller of Microsoft Chile and CCG Controller for Microsoft Chile, Argentina & Uruguay. She drove the Culture & Climate Initiative while at Microsoft. Melisa was born in Uruguay, and has been living in Chile since 2005. She spent almost 10 years dedicated to the study of how language generates reality and its importance within human relationships, as well as how to grow with awareness and live a fulfilled life. She was inspired by Jae Ellard and her work while attending one of her workshops in 2013 and now is the Lead Consultant for Simple Intentions LATAM.
JOHN REX Affiliated Content Partner: Manager Immersion
As a former CFO of major divisions of Microsoft, Novartis, and Kodak, John brings real-world perspective to his clients’ leadership challenges. He understands the intensity of leading complex businesses because he has done it himself. As an executive coach and Simplicity consultant, his mission is to empower teams and individuals to realize their potential by tapping their deepest strengths and learning to live more consciously. Having lived in Latin America for twelve years, he is fluent in Spanish and holds a special appreciation for diverse perspectives. John holds an International MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
LARRY WARD Consultant: Mind Space and Manager Immersion
Deeply inspired by the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Larry has spent his life committed to non-violent social change, healing, and transformation on a global level. For over four decades Larry has provided corporate consulting, education and organizational development services to multinational corporations around word. In addition to his consulting with companies such as HP and UNESCO, Larry has served as Executive Director for Institute of Cultural Affairs, Director of Resource Management for Palomar Pomerado Hospital(largest public hospital system in Southern California) and Head of Organizational and Business Development for The American School of Bangkok. Ordained as a dharma teacher by Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh, Larry has spent two decades teaching awareness to a wide variety of audiences around the word. In 2015 Larry completed a PhD in Religious Studies with an emphasis in Buddhism and contemplative neuroscience.
CRAIG ELKINS Consultant: Leadership Immersion
Craig has spent part of his life working in the U.S. Intelligence community, been a professional bowler, wrote comedy scripts, been a Director of Quality Assurance at Boeing, and led his own successful consulting business, The Gatehouse Alliance. Searching for the unique contribution he could make to the world, he visited Ireland on his fortieth birthday and had an epiphany which led to his first book, The Gatehouse: A Book about Business, A Story about Life. Craig speaks and consults in areas such as communication, teaming, cultural transformation, leadership, creativity and innovation, and finding purpose, passion, and path in your work and life.
LEANN ELKINS Consultant: Leadership Immersion
LeAnn delights in reflection, conversation and sharing information on living mindfully to her peers, loved ones and the greater global community. LeAnn led a successful consulting business, The Gatehouse Alliance, for many years and is an expert at designing custom solutions in the moment as professional and personal challenges are uncovered. She artfully weaves the pieces together as they unfold to create an effective and meaningful learning experience and enabling authentic conversations to occur that make a deep impact on the company and each individual. LeAnn’s main focus is guiding others in finding their own best selves in health, fitness and overall mindful living.
CHELSEA ELKINS Marketing & Program Manager
With a B.S in Health Promotion & Disease Prevention and a passion for community development, Chelsea’s past experiences include working as a Health Coach focused on preventing chronic illness, as well as a Housing Specialist for those living with HIV/AIDS. Responsible for both marketing and program management, Chelsea also manages the editorial calendar and Simple Intentions blog. She heads the donated and discounted workshop program where she facilitates workshops focused on building the skill of awareness to local non-profits. She is dedicated to fully supporting Simple Intentions clients and consumers as they go through the process of developing the skill of awareness in the workplace.
We have tremendous gratitude for our advisory team, which helps us dance on our edge and reminds us that when it’s time to leap there’s always a net below. Thank you: Craig Elkins and Jeanna Peterson.