Joe Yao

Joe’s background is in high-growth technology startups and computer programming. He has worked with start-ups in education, consumer goods, wellness, and international non-profits. His expertise is in creating instructor training programs, and program-managing key computer engineering projects that increase business efficiencies.

Jenny Woo

Jenny has experience in scaling start-up training programs with high growth needs.  Her areas of focus include team building and leadership development for fast-growing organizations.  Jenny has a background in education and program operations and has worked within the edtech, DEI and non-profit sectors. 

Laura Wolfley-Payán

Laura Wolfley-Payán
Hiring Specialist

As a Hiring Specialist, Laura helps us hire world-class humans to join our team by creating an effective, delightful, and values-aligned candidate experience. Laura has a background in project management and quality control.

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The LifeLabs Learning value that most resonates with me and why: Courage Over Comfort is a value that resonates with me the most because it’s a value that I strive to incorporate more of in my own life. Often times, we choose comfort because it is a safe-space, a defense mechanism. Nonetheless, within this comfort zone, there is very little room for growth – growth is the most rewarding yet challenging thing any person can experience. It’s a value and quality that I admire and cherish because it shows that you are invested in your own personal growth journey to be the best you. I say, if you are scared or are fearful of doing something, accomplishing something, aspiring to your goals, etc., do it with fear! Do it anyways.

Pronunciation guide: Laura (La-oo-rah) Pronounced in Spanish. The “rah” is not a hard ‘r’ like in Raw. It’s a soft roll of the tongue. Check out “Laura no está” (Spanish Version) or “Laura non c’è” (Italian Version) by Nek for a fun audio on how to pronounce Laura.

Pronouns: she/her

Languages spoken: English and Spanish (fluent), Italian (conversational)

Fun fact: I was born in Colombia, moved to Texas when I was about a year old, then Connecticut, then back to Colombia, then to Maine, then to Denmark, then to Italy, then back to Maine and then to Austin, TX and maybe soon Denver, CO.

Nickname at LifeLabs: Don’t have one, yet, (new here!!) but friends and family call me all sorts of nicknames. The list is a little exhaustive but a snippet is Lali, Lala, Wolf, Lauris, Laura Maria.

Matt Williams

Matt specializes in leadership development, diversity & inclusion, and collaboration. Matt has spent the past 10 years working as a manager, researcher, and leadership consultant. Matt has spoken at TEDx and SXSW, and his work has been featured in a wide range of media outlets, including Fast Company, Fortune, and NPR. He holds a Master’s degree in communication from Wake Forest University.

Megan Wheeler

Megan Wheeler
Facilitator Lead

Megan has a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. She specializes in managing distributed teams. Before LifeLabs Learning, she led L&D at Huge and managed the leadership development program at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Leadership Academy. She has spoken on management at SXSW and published on individual assessments and job selection in the Journal of Applied Psychology. She also supports the development and direction of our facilitation team.

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The LifeLabs Learning value that most resonates with me and why: The value that most resonates with me is Be Kind to Your Mind. I love how clearly LifeLabs encourages turning off work at the end of the day and weekends so I can spend time doing other things for myself that fill up my tank and allow me to be a better version of myself back at work.

Pronunciation guide: Megan (MEG-an, meg rhymes with leg)

Pronouns: she/her

Languages spoken: English (fluent), Spanish (conversational)

Fun fact: I was once a Junior Olympian and I appeared in two MTV reality shows.

Nickname at LifeLabs: Mama Megs

Michelle Wells

Michelle Wells
Digital Coordinator

As Digital Coordinator, Michelle makes sure website, SEO, PR, and marketing efforts run smoothly. Her area of specialization is in event planning and management with a background in a wide range of industries and event types.

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The LifeLabs Learning value that most resonates with me and why: The LifeLabs Learning value that resonates most with me is Find a Way to Play. A little bit of levity can sometimes switch a stressful work moment to a funny one. We spend too much of our adult lives at work for it to be boring, no fun, and for me not to “Remember Rule Number 6.” (For anyone unfamiliar with “Rule Number 6,” take a look at The Art of Possibility.)

Pronunciation guide: Michelle (mi-SHEL), Wells (welz)

Pronouns: she/her

Languages spoken: English (fluent)

Fun fact: I love watching cartoons! One of all-time faves is Animaniacs, to the point that I can sing Yakko’s World and am using Wakko’s America to teach my daughter the U.S. states and capitals. Right now, I’m very into Teen Titans Go! and We Bare Bears.

Nickname at LifeLabs: Meme Queen, mw

Shawn Welch

Shawn Welch
Facilitator

Shawn’s areas of expertise include leadership development, organizational culture, and employee engagement. He has provided HR and management consulting for a broad range of industries, ranging from technology to hospitality. As an executive coach, he has also helped leaders rapidly develop their skills and their teams’ performance and engagement.

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The LifeLabs Learning value that most resonates with me and why: For me, it’s Find a Way to Play. One of my favorite quotes is “Take your mission seriously, not yourself.” Bring passion and energy to your values and goals, but never stop laughing and celebrating what makes you unique.

Languages spoken: English (fluent)

Fun fact: I’ve been bungee jumping.

Jeremy Weinberg

Jeremy Weinberg
Facilitator

Jeremy has a background in higher education and has extensive crisis response experience. He learned the incredibly nuanced nature of language and the importance of reflection and listening when he spent time working with students. His current areas of focus are DEI and communications. Jeremy has a Master’s degree in College Student Development and Counseling from Northeastern University and an MBA from Boston College.

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The LifeLabs Learning value that most resonates with me and why: 80% is Better Than 0% resonates most with me because it is an important reminder that I am a work in progress, and doing my personal best is more important than being perfect in all things. This is a difficult value to master as an ex-perfectionist, but one that is so important and informing my approach to work and life!

Pronunciation guide: Jeremy (JARE-uh-mee) Weinberg (WINE-burg)

Pronouns: he/him

Languages spoken: English (fluent)

Fun fact: I was a classically trained vocalist from grades 6-12, and then became an a cappella music director in college – so music is very much an important part of my life!

Nickname at LifeLabs: JerBear

Ryan Vukelich

Ryan has an BS in engineering from Northwestern University and a background in psychology. He has trained managers around the globe in the science of negotiation and cross-team collaboration, including working for 7 years in learning and development at Google. Ryan’s areas of specialization are conflict resolution, communication, and influence. He also supports the development and direction of our facilitation team.

Chelsea Villareal

Chelsea Villareal
Facilitator

Chelsea’s expertise is in cross-cultural communication, with a focus on helping leaders and teams cultivate community and belonging. She has been a facilitator, curriculum developer, translator, and university lecturer and led educational programs in the US, Jordan, Egypt, and Spain. They have a Master’s degree in Arabic linguistics and have conducted research on language and gender identity.

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The LifeLabs Learning value that most resonates with me and why: For me, Open the Circle is the value that underpins all the others. My work and overall mission in life centers around my commitment to a vision of a world in which people are free to live authentically and experience deep connectedness to themselves and others.

Pronunciation guide: Chelsea (CHEL-see) Villareal (VEE-yah-rae-al)

Pronouns: they/them or she/her

Languages spoken: English and Arabic – MSA and Levantine (fluent), Spanish (conversational)

Fun fact: I worked in the food industry for 10 years and have done it all, from latte art to whole animal butchery.

Neli Vazquez

Neli Vazquez
Facilitator

Neli specializes in DEI and diverse culture learning, with a focus on building high-performing teams engendering inclusive cultural transformation. She has deep experience having served as an inclusion, agility, and innovation coach to mid to C-level executives. Neli’s background includes working for ​​Fortune 100 companies, start-ups, and in higher education.

Priti Trivedi

Priti Trivedi
Facilitator

Priti’s background is in consulting for scaling startups. She has designed and run numerous programs around leadership, culture, and inclusion, and has co-created educational curricula for companies and individuals in the technology field. Priti holds a Juris Doctorate and has published research on technology law.

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The LifeLabs Learning value that most resonates with me and why: I truly love and embrace them all, but if I must choose, it’s Be Kind to Your Mind. The world is a big place and there are so many fascinating things learn and people to meet and things to accomplish! I have to remind myself that pushing too hard slows healing and growth instead of accelerating it, and Be Kind To Your Mind reminds me to do that!

Pronunciation guide: Priti (PREE-thee) Trivedi (Triv-ED-i)

Pronouns: she/her

Languages spoken: English (fluent)

Fun fact: I write, perform, direct, and improvise. Storytelling is a core part of how I connect with the world.