Episode 25: The Future of Mental Wellness at Work with Cherrie Lonkar

Feb 20, 2021 | Community Connections Podcast

E25 The Future of Mental Wellness at Work with Cherrie Lonkar

In this episode we are joined by Cherrie Vierra Lonkar, educator, counselor, mom of 6 and business owner. Cherrie shares her personal story and what drove her to start Branching Out Family Services. Our conversation provides insight on how she manages her own mental health while being a mother to 6 and running a large organization and ensures there are resources for her team.

Cherrie encourages leaders to embrace mental wellness as a part of the organization benefit plan. She also shares a concept of Community Care in addition to self care. This is a concept of showing people in our community that we care and are here to help. We discuss many examples of what that can look like in leadership. Cherrie also provides examples of ways to bring empathy in leadership. If you are a leader wanting to connect and care for your employees in a deeper way, tune in!

Branching Out and their non-profit The Good Works Project work in tandem to provide life-changing support for Arizona’s most vulnerable children in the foster care and special needs communities.

Branching Out provides community-based developmental services, while The Good Works Project provides year-round programming to ensure that the most at-risk children get the support and community inclusion that they deserve, all while being hailed as one of the most fun organizations to volunteer with.

They have recently had the honor of becoming one of only a handful of organizations to be named a Qualifying Foster Care Tax Credit Organization by the State of Arizona.

Cherrie Lonkar is a stellar example of what a “Mama Bear” can do. Cherrie and her husband adopted three of their six young children through the Arizona foster care system. They subsequently discovered that their children had developmental disabilities.

While Cherrie was a beloved educator and counselor, her role as a mother called her into action. She joined forces with other mothers who were facing the same challenges that her family was and Branching Out was born.

Follow Branching Out on Facebook.

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Kyle McIntosh

With a background in marketing, in various for profit and not for profit companies, Kyle McIntosh wondered, “How can I pair the passion and commitment to community progress of a non-profit with the sustainability and reach of a for profit company?” From this question and perspective a mission evolved to tear down the false distinction between the two sectors and to promote companies with Conscious Capitalism® business models through MAC6.

Kyle is the President and Creative Excitant of MAC6.  Day to day, his main operational role is on the “spaces” side of the business, focusing on creating thriving communities in the commercial office buildings, the co-working space, and the co-manufacturing space.  The other role that he plays is that of EOS implementer, working with clients to bring the Entrepreneurial Operating System, from the book Traction® to their businesses.  Additionally, he sits on the boards of Conscious Capitalism Arizona, telling the stories of good businesses in Arizona, and The Tempe Chamber of Commerce, sustaining Tempe’s quality of life and keeping our community and economy vibrant.

Kyle loves Arizona and wants to see us all collectively find great success based on the awesome things that are happening here every day.

Follow MAC6 on Facebook and Twitter.

Jennifer Burwell

Jennifer Burwell joined MAC6 in 2013. Jennifer is their VP and Director of Programs. She uses her experience in real estate, team development and management to seamlessly integrate each of the MAC6 business units to assure they are all focused on the long-term company vision. She is also a student of human behavior.

As a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst, she uses her knowledge to facilitate culture-focused leadership programs with organizations of all sizes to integrate the company’s values and create higher-performing teams.

To learn more about MAC6 Communities, call 480-293-4075 or find them on Facebook.



MAC6 offers flexible spaces and programs to help your team grow, and a community of thriving businesses, just like yours.  Advocating Capitalism as a Force for Good, MAC6 is Accelerating the shift to Conscious Capitalism (where Purpose and Profit Unite) through Creativity, Collaboration, Community and Change.