Member Spotlight - July 2018: Kari Mitchell

Each month, SEWI-ATD turns the spotlight on an active member who has been visible in the chapter by attending events and participating in other ATD functions. We are proud to acknowledge the important work of our members, provide additional career exposure within the Talent Development community, and help you to get to know a colleague just a little bit better! If you are interested in nominating another member for the spotlight, contact Lovina Akowuah at Lovina.Akowuah@gmail.com  or Meica Hatters at meicahatters@gmail.com

Kari Mitchell
Director of Organizational & Leadership Development

Outpost Natural Foods Cooperative, Yes to Me Coaching LLC


This month, we are pleased to feature

Kari Mitchell

Tell us a little about yourself. 

I’ve been working at Outpost for 20 years (yes I started when I was 9 years old :) ). I was their first HR Director and had the honor of building the HR function for the organization. About 5 years ago I moved into the role that I currently have as the Director of Organizational & Leadership Development, focusing on developing our leadership team and high potentials within the organization. Outside of Outpost, I started Yes to Me Coaching LLC, which offers retreats, workshops and one on one coaching for women.

In my personal life, I’m very family focused. I love spending time with my wonderful husband, two amazing children and a super cute black lab. We do a lot of outdoor activities like camping, hiking and kayaking, and spend as much time as we can outside. Pre-family days, I was adventurous - I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, stayed overnight and hiked back up the following day. I also lived on my own in Spain for 9 months.

What is your favorite quote?

My all-time favorite quote is, “Not all those who wander are lost”. I am very reflective and I like how this quote puts my wandering thoughts into a good light! Another one I like is, “She believed she could, so she did.” I use this one on myself when I need a little encouragement.

What are your hopes for our industry?

One hope is that talent development stays a strong focus for organizations going into the future. I believe that people are what make a company or business great. It’s important to invest in people so that they invest in and deliver for the company.

I’ve been lucky at Outpost because it has always been important to our CEO. When I proposed the leadership development role that I have now to her, she was very open and excited about it. She consistently sends the message that ongoing development is important and supported at Outpost.

If you weren't in Talent Development, what would you be doing ?

I’d be a life coach, which I actually do on the side, and when coaching at Outpost you can’t always separate the work coaching from the life coaching so it sneaks in there too. If I wasn’t coaching, I would probably be a therapist, a school counselor or maybe even a teacher.

How did you learn about SEWI-ATD?

I’ve been a member for so long that I don’t recall how I first learned about it… maybe from a colleague. I’ve always searched out the different organizations that could support the work I do. I have belonged to the Society for Human Resource Management and SEWI-ATD for many years. There are a lot of things I like about SEWI-ATD. The programming that I have attended has been wonderful. Even when I am not able to attend a program, I like seeing what topics are trending and important in the industry. When I do get to an in-person event, I appreciate the networking opportunity and exposure to what other great companies are doing. I always leave an event feeling inspired and with a few new ideas in my pocket which can be a good boost to my morale as well.

What is your favorite podcast?

My favorite podcast is The Life Coach School. I like learning techniques for coaching people and it gives me constant content and ideas to think about in coaching the people I work with and coaching myself. Another that I listen to regularly is Tools for Everyday Leaders. This is a nice, short, practical, thought provoking podcast to apply some of the same coaching tools in the workplace.

What's a question I didn't ask that you wished I had?

Q: What's the benefit of Coaching?

A: I feel that in and out of the workplace, everyone can benefit from getting a different view of themselves through the eyes of a coach, based on what a coach hears you say or observes in your tone and behavior. Getting a perspective you may not see in yourself can help you learn and grow into a more effective, happier person.


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