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

I don’t know about viability as a business, but I would love to start a forum for working moms that is focused on work/life integration.  It seems like there aren’t a lot of spaces where we can foster this type of encouragement/support/accountability particularly for moms who are sitting in high responsibility positions (aspirational, entrepreneur, industry, position).  I’m also pretty interested in writing a children’s book or two.

What advice would you give your younger self? 

Oh dear… Where to start.  Keep moving forward- nothing worth looking at is in the rear-view mirror.  Your understanding of new life, resurrection, what renewal means will change and drag you along with it.  Keep running towards that.

Exceptional Skills- Fishing.  I love it.  Can this be my business?

What makes you feel fulfilled? I love to be part of a team and am thankful that my family identifies with that, too.  I’m never more encouraged or fulfilled than when one of my kiddos or my husband push me to do more or try harder.  Love it.  At work I love getting to celebrate successes as a team, particularly when we worked cohesively to get to that end.

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

Favorite Book- I consume a lot of books so this is a bit like asking me to pick my favorite child.  I love books that evoke a sense of empathy and read a fair amount of historical fiction. 

Some of my faves:

The One and Only Ivan (kids novel)

A Man Called Ove

Beneath a Scarlet Sky

Hillbilly Elegy

From Sand and Ash

The Midwife’s Revolt

The Halo Effect

The Stars are Fire

What makes your heart race? The prospect of getting to learn something new (fun) and singing in public (negative and terrifying).

Organization or cause near to your heart- The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center’s Women Helping Women initiative.  The funds raised in support of this go to women and girls who are in need of counseling but can’t afford the cost of these services.  The Center is doing important work right here in our community.  Everyone deserves access to hope and healing.

What keeps you up at night?  Feeling like I haven’t done enough, both personally and professionally.  There are somethings that you can succeed at by sheer force of will, but the ones that are beyond that really get to me. 

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

I used to think that failing or the prospect of failing was a worst case scenario... but that’s not true.  There are some pretty amazing things that happen along the way.

What are you interested in connecting with other women about?  I’m always up for a conversation around company culture, work/life integration and love to support and encourage other moms.  I also love to talk with people about their strengths or challenges they might be having with work relationships.  And fishing- I really like to talk about fishing.

Kate Juelfs

Director of Service

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