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 // Founder and Creative Director
Emilie Wapnick (they/them) is an award-winning author and community builder. They are the founder and creative director at 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 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, The Huffington Post, BBC and Vice.
Emilie hails from Montreal, lived in Portland, OR 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 and Entire Social Media Department
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 wife 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 and Puttyverse Moderator
Neil Hughes (he/him) is the author of Walking on Custard & the Meaning of Life, a comical guide to life with anxiety, and The Shop Before Life, a novel set in the prelife. His time is spent on humorous talks about mental health, standup comedy, physics, computer programming, music, video games, languages and pub quizzes. He struggles to answer the question “so, what do you do?” and is worried that the honest answer is probably “procrastinate.” He would like it if you said hello at enhughesiasm.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 media composer, multi-instrumentalist, and freelance writer currently living in Pennsylvania. She earned her BA from George Washington University in 2021 and is pursuing an MA in music composition and production at Berklee. 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.
Eshana Anand // Puttylike Regular Contributor
Eshana Anand (she/her) has consistently sought joy from two facets: material things and writing. After being furloughed from her job at 28, she realized that she could actually buy herself all the material things in the world if she pursued writing as a full-time career. Since then, she has not looked back. Her core strength lies in writing about relationships, wellness, entertainment, and culture at large. Eshana lives with her chronic health condition and irresistible charm in New Delhi, India. She loves Hello Kitty and French Fries and all her weekends are devoted to Formula One.
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.