If you have been involved with CWEE at all over the past 10 years, you have likely heard mention of Anna Tekippe and the incredible work she has done to provide mental health counseling to CWEE participants and help the organization evolve to be trauma-informed in its practices. As an integral member of CWEE’s team, Anna has had a tremendous positive impact on our career seekers and the entire organization.
So it may come as no surprise that Anna has been named CWEE’s Director of Organizational Wellness, a new leadership role focused on supporting the well-being of our organization, our participants, and participants’ families. Anna’s new role is a core member of CWEE’s People Team, which unites key functional areas in the organization including HR, Operations, Wellness Services and Engagement.
People matter most in any business, and people are central to all CWEE does. Over the past few years, the organization has made investments in supporting the well-being of our team, and Anna’s new role is another exciting step. As Director of Organizational Wellness, Anna will foster wellness across the organization, not only supporting the mental health of CWEE career seekers and their families, but also recognizing the risks of burnout and compassion fatigue for CWEE’s team and informing policies and practices to support the sustainability of our work.
CWEE’s People Team is pictured above. Clockwise from top left: Anna Tekippe, Michael Berlin, Jennifer Gabriel, Elizabeth Robertson, Kate Redweik.
Summing up Anna’s unique qualifications for the role, Chief People Officer Elizabeth Robertson said, “Anna has spent the last decade working closely with and listening deeply to CWEE participants and staff. She first began providing individual psychotherapy and group workshops to CWEE participants as a Lead Counselor with a partner organization. In 2015, she joined CWEE as our first-ever on-staff Clinician. Over the last eight years, Anna has spearheaded CWEE’s commitment to being a trauma-informed organization through the ways she has impacted policy and practice, the countless trainings and supports she has provided for staff, and, most importantly, the way in which she shows up to do the work.”
Anna brings 25 years of experience in trauma-informed mental health settings. She has a unique understanding of the interdependencies of the participants, staff, and organizational experiences. In addition to her work at CWEE, Anna provides trauma-informed training and consultation to local and national partner organizations. Digging into Anna’s commitment to trauma-informed organizational practices, she explains that after spending the first part of her career providing services and support to survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and gender-based violence, she saw how people who were seeking support were also frequently harmed by the systems that were there intended to support them – the criminal justice system, the health care system, and how many barriers there were to access support.
It was that experience that drew Anna to social work and to her commitment to both supporting individual people’s healing and helping to change systems so that they are more responsive.
All of this makes Anna uniquely qualified for this new leadership position, which will oversee CWEE’s growing wellness services. As part of our partnership with Caring for Denver Foundation, CWEE is able to expand our mental health support for participants and family members and add another experienced mental health counselor to our team.
The entire CWEE team is thrilled to see Anna move into this important role. Her compassion, wisdom and kindness are true gifts – to our team, to our participants, and to our entire community.
“I come to this work from a place of love – for our community, participants, and staff,” said Anna. “And the knowledge that it is through relationship that we are able to mitigate the harm caused by economic injustice and its ripple effects and, thusly, create the foundation for safer and more joyful lives, stronger communities, and more responsive systems.”