Foster collaboration 

Valuing the gifts each individual brings, with a perspective that is global and a spirit that is inclusive. Deepening understanding, awareness, and knowledge through diversity. Encouraging participation from those who are often overlooked.

Leaders welcome others to the work of leadership.

Dr. Lori Wieters is an Industrial Psychologist and co-founder of the Wi2 Co-Lab, a business co-laboratory in Northern Phoenix. Individuals who own small and medium-sized businesses come to the co-lab and are provided with resources to propel their business to the next level. The co-lab team is comprised of experienced business professionals and contracted specialty consultants who serve more than 35 clients from a variety of industries. In addition to consulting, the co-lab sponsors a Toastmasters group and a doctoral learning collaborative each month.

Lori lives in Glendale, Arizona and also works for Grand Canyon University as a Doctoral professor guiding dissertations, teaching classes, and research projects. Lori is trying to close the gap between the universities that are graduating professionals who are interested in the betterment of businesses, and where the new graduate does not have access to real-life consulting experience or internships. Lori’s legacy will be that she is a grand connector of people and resources. She is exemplary in Fostering Collaboration to assure the success of others.

When asked if she were presented with the opportunity to change the perception of others, what would the issue be, she said: “Most of the time we have an inability to communicate with people who are different from ourselves. Last year, our family and friends started a community garden at a Romanian church. We worked with the pastor and congregation to build five garden beds, plant fruit trees, paint a mural, and decorate the garden. We learned to communicate across the five garden beds. This is how I operate naturally—trying to find ways to connect people together across boundaries and borders. With the garden, we did not all speak the same language, but we learned quickly that we can sure shovel together! Where there is a will, there is a way!”

Fostering collaboration always includes being very authentic. For Lori this has been a difficult question this past year as her husband passed away in August. She stated, “I had to recalibrate who I am without my life partner of 33 years. I decided to continue our tradition of going on a cruise the end of December. But this year I went by myself. It was a journey in discovery and reflection. It is really interesting that my longest conversation on the cruise was with a three-year-old at breakfast when her mom asked me to keep an eye on her while she grabbed her coffee. I am still discovering that I don’t need all the answers, and even at this age, I am in a self- discovery process that is driven by a strong faith and understanding that this part of my journey is on my own.”

According to Lori, “Living in a world where there are no boundaries on the power of connection and collaboration is thrilling.” Her goal is to learn things about the people she meets and then connect them to one another. “Helping people find their way in the world with other people can change the world as it is known today. The possibilities are endless when you connect the right people together, to do the right work, at the right time.”

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