Meet the Puttyteam
Hi there! Puttylike and the Puttyverse community are run by a small dedicated team. Here’s a little about each of us.
Emilie Wapnick // CEO & Founder
Emilie Wapnick (they/them) is an award-winning author and community builder. They are the CEO and Founder of Puttylike, The Puttyverse and Wingtip Astrology, where they help multipotentialites (people with many passions and creative pursuits) integrate all of their interests to create dynamic, fulfilling, and fruitful careers and lives. Unable to settle on one path themself, Emilie studied music, film production and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University.
Emilie’s TED talk, Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling, has been viewed 8 million times. Their book, How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up, was published by HarperCollins in 2017. It has been translated into 13 languages and won a Nautilus Book Award. Emilie has been featured in The New York Times, Fast Company, Forbes, New York Magazine, BBC and The Atlantic.
Emilie hails from Montreal, lived in Portland, Oregon for a while, and now lives with their wife Valerie, their baby and their scottie dog on a remote island in British Columbia.
Joel Zaslofsky // Puttyverse Connections + Operations Guy
Joel Zaslofsky (he/him) is the community-animator, multipotentialite, and quantum biology fanatic behind a bunch of neat stuff. He’s the Connections and Operations Guy for the Puttyverse and has one overarching theme in life: bringing people together. You’ll often find him deep into a minimalist spreadsheet, making his wonderful wife roll her eyes at his antics, or playing with his two sons around Edina, Minnesota. Otherwise, Joel’s out walking on frozen lakes (when possible) and reigniting his personal renaissance.
Valerie Wernet // Puttylike Managing Editor
Valerie Wernet (she/her) very happily wrangles the brilliant team of writers at Puttylike. She also develops recipes and makes poems. Given the chance, she will rearrange the tchotchkes on your shelf, and it will look great afterward. During the summer, she makes and sells Glass Moon ice cream. Valerie lives with her spouse Emilie, their kid and their dog, in coastal British Columbia and a rotating list of other wonderful places.
Heather Ussery-Knight // Puttyverse Guide
Heather Ussery-Knight (she/her) helps people work with their Inner Critics (and other fun Inner Bits) to open up creative flow. She’s a writer (with blogs and at least one actual “published” book), into Integral/AQAL (Ken Wilber), Systema (Russian combat martial art), video gaming, psychology, ecology/environmentalism, languages, photography, WP multisite networks, jewelry creation, crochet, chainmail… you know how this goes. She hangs out with her super specialist husband, two parrots and a tiny hamster in the Bay Area, CA.
Neil Hughes // Puttylike Regular Contributor
Neil Hughes (he/him) is the author of Walking on Custard, a hilarious guide to life with anxiety, and The Shop Before Life, a novel about choosing who we become. He avoids answering the question “so, what do you do?”, and instead spends his time programming computers, delivering humorous talks about anxiety, writing bad songs, doing standup comedy and studying physics. He would like it if you said hello at walkingoncustard.com.
Mel Atkins // Puttylike Regular Contributor
Mel Atkins (she/her) is an educator, coach, public speaker, singer, dancer, classical pianist, and the co-founder of Strengths Within. Between earning an ARCT in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music and a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Western Ontario, she spent her most favourite summers working at seven summer camps after missing out as a very allergic kid. She loves fireworks, brunch, musicals, sci-fi, and coffee. Connect with her on Instagram @strengths.within.
Stephanie Gemmell // Puttylike Regular Contributor
Stephanie Gemmell (she/her) is a writer, multi-instrumentalist, and mix engineer. She earned her BA from George Washington University in 2021 and is an interdisciplinary MA student at Berklee College of Music. She teaches instrumental music lessons and loves to introduce her students to the wonderful worlds of jazz flute and analog synths. She also loves skateboarding, vinyasa yoga, existentialist philosophy, and any activities involving the beach. Connect with Steph (and her dog) on Instagram at @stephgemm. and at stephgemm.net.
Araba Ofori-Acquah // Puttylike Regular Contributor
Araba Ofori-Acquah (she/her) is a healer, writer and cultural curator, sharing an African-centred approach to wellness through content, coaching and community building. She writes non-fiction and fiction on the themes of healing, the female experience and the many shades of Black-ness. Her debut book “Return to Source: Unlock the Power of African-centred Wellness” will be published by Hay House in Spring 2023.