If you opened your own business, what would it be?  

I’ve got lots of ideas, but my husband and I are fairly risk averse, so I’ll spend my time investing my professional time and financial resources in other small businesses – preferably woman and person of color owned.

What advice would you give your younger self?  

Go for it. Follow your gut. Own your mistakes. Empathy is a strength not a weakness – use it. Listen more. Talk less. Find your people/community and take good care of that community.

Exceptional Skills- 

Figuring out what makes other people tick. Seeing a picture or scenario from variety of perspectives and pushing people to ask or answer just one more question.

What makes you feel fulfilled? – My professional motto that fulfills me professionally is - helping people and organizations BE better so they can DO better. (I also love to lift heavy weights, bake things and hike mountains – all also fulfill me to no end.)

When asked to describe yourself, what’s the first word that pops into your mind?  


Favorite Book- 

All-time favorite – 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Current favorite – Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi

What makes your heart race?  

My Husband (still after 15 years) and flying down the bobsled run at Olympic Park in Park City, Utah. (I’m an Olympics junkie! It was amazing!)

Organization or cause near to your heart- Planned Parenthood, Blank Park Zoo, National Parks Foundation

What keeps you up at night?  

The ongoing list of professional items that constantly runs through my head – for the organizations and people I’m working with and for my own professional growth.

What is a belief you once held but no longer do?  

I grew up in a family that loved all people, yes taught tolerance and used phrases like “I don’t see color” and “We have so much in common, why can’t we just find that common ground.” I now spend time listening, learning, understanding and working to respect individuals’ lived experiences and not minimize how that lived experience impacts their life every day.


What are you interested in connecting with other women about? 

Common interests. Professional connections. Mentors and being a mentor. A place to feel comfortable being myself and sharing my passions. Supporting other women in their professional and personal goals.

Emily Williams-Bouska

Vice President, Strategy and Organizational Effectiveness, Planned Parenthood North Central States

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