About Quanita and Tenneson
Since 2013, Quanita and Tenneson have been growing a body of signature work and offerings that invoke their unique approach to groups in connection, learning, and journey. To help senior leaders, teams, organizations, communities, and individuals shift from isolated to integrated, from life-depleting to life-affirming, from confused to clear.
I am the promise of forgiveness and reconciliation in the world. I haven’t always known this but I have always been moving toward it. I started my healing journey at a young age. I am a shaman. It has taken me a long time to grow into this...to grow into me. Mostly because I never quite understood why a person would choose this life. Now I understand that it chooses you.
I believe we are in a time that is calling us to remember. Remember what really matters. Remember the truth of who we really are. Remember that we belong to each other.
I am a facilitator dedicated to addressing embedded trauma. I am a spiritual teacher, speaker, author, life coach, and a storyteller. My work over the past 20 years has been focused in the areas of healing, initiation, grief, leadership, diversity, and inclusion. I have worked on a couple of national projects including work with The Kellogg Foundation’s, Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation Program and People’s Action’s Heartland Initiative: A Listening Tour of Rural and Small Town America. I am currently working on projects with the International Centre for Conscious Leadership the National United Church of Christ Board, University of Cincinnati Foundation, and Cradle Cincinnati.
I have a background in Organizational Management and Development with a concentration in Integral Theory which has supported me in looking at the world in a more holistic way. I also have had the privilege of studying with some amazing elders. Including Sobonfu Some and Jojopah Maria Nsoroma, keepers of ancient indigenous wisdom from the Dagara Tribe of Burkina Faso, Fanchon Shur in Embodying Creative Leadership through Growth in Motion, and Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea of The Circle Way.
I have authored three books, Soul Growing: Wisdom for 13 year old boys from men around the world and Soul Growing II: Wisdom for 13 year old girls from women around the world, and my newest book The InnerGround Railroad: A 40 day journey to remembering self and spirit that I have co-authored with Amy Howton.
I was born, raised and currently live in Cincinnati, OH with my two children. I am inspired by the Ohio River and the stories of freedom that were birth from here.
I love that I get to work with Tenneson in this work. I once said to him, “We think a lot alike in very different ways.” I believe this adds to the diversity of skill and wisdom we are able to bring to Fire & Water and our other offerings.
All of my life, I’ve been the kind of human being with as much interest in the "unseen" as I have in the "seen." I’ve had interest in the mystery and the mystical, with an inherent hunch that things are not as they seem, despite the human tendency to concretize and calcify belief systems and leadership practices. It is only for a little of my life that I’ve been able to articulate any of that. Some of my hunger for the unseen comes from a despair native to times such as these -- I continue to learn that many of us are feeling it. My hunger for re-storying of who we are as human beings and what we are up to in our work, family, and community, comes from an innate desire to evolve myself and the systems I’m part of.
I am a facilitator, workshop leader, teacher, writer, coach, and guide committed to improving the quality of collaboration and imagination needed in groups, teams, and organizations — to help us be in times such as these with consciousness, kindness, and learning. My work over 20+ years has been to design and lead meetings in participative formats. From strategic visioning with boards, to large conference design, to communities learning to listen again to one another. I've worked extensively with faith communities, educators, and foundation leaders.
I post a daily blog, Human to Human, on my website, in which I offer reflection on varied aspects of participative leadership practices, insights, and human to human depth. I'm a poet that finds enormous value in prosing words and images to meaning. My most recent collected publication of poems is Most Mornings (CentreSpoke 2022). These poems sample practices. They sample learnings. They sample insights and discoveries. They sample dilemmas and concerns. They range from simple and clear appreciations to more complex and murky wonderings about how to be in the world of these times. My first publication of poems and reflections was A Cadence of Despair: Poems and Reflections on Heartbreak, Loss and Renewal (CentreSpoke 2020) which invites and maps relationship with the deeply personal that so often is surprisingly universal.
Three orientations -- living systems, self-organization, and emergence -- inspire and inform all of my work. So does emptiness, breath, and a fresh-picked garden tomato. My education background includes an undergraduate degree in psychology and a graduate degree in organizational behavior. My work lineages include The Berkana Institute with Margaret Wheatley, The Circle Way with Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea, and The Art of Hosting with Toke Moeller and Monica Nissen.
I live in a small town where urban meets rural in Lindon, Utah, in a valley at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains. I’m originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I am a father to three children (and father-inlaw to one son-inlaw and one daughter-inlaw), all who continue to teach me about exciting and tender aspects of life. I like to kayak, cycle, and grow a small garden of vegetables.
I’m glad to be in colleagueship and friendship with Quanita. Together we encourage each other in wisdom and soulfulness. Together, through our range of offerings, we welcome others to find their wise and soulful paths.