Welcome to Vellamo Leadership Institute

A community of confident, decisive, resilient, authentic, badass women who want to be better leaders

About Vellamo Leadership Institute

About Vellamo

Vellamo's mission is to bring together professional women who want to be more effective leaders, so we can learn together, build a network of support, expand our influence, and have successful and fulfilling careers. 

Step Into Leadership!

You are already a leader! Leadership is not just about a job title. It's about stepping up and making a difference! You don't have to be in the C-Suite or own your own business to step up and make a positive impact on your workplace, your community, and your family. 

Join the Vellamo community! Invest your time in your career and your future!

FREE community membership includes:

  • A network of badass women leaders who will become your advisors, mentors, and friends
  • Access to live and recorded workshops and webinars on a variety of leadership topics (some free, some for a small fee)
  • Separate discussion rooms for various leadership and career-focused conversations
  • Specialized industry groups with separate discussion rooms for networking and conversations about relevant topics
  • Access to participation in a mastermind galaxy - a small group of peers that meets monthly with a mentor to discuss individual business, career, or personal issues and support each other in addressing challenges 
  • Monthly business book club with author Q&A sessions
  • Access to in-person retreats and events
  • Be first to hear about and sign up for exclusive new programs and activities
  • Plus more to come...

About Our Founder

Molly Gimmel is the CEO of Design To Delivery Inc, an award-winning government contracting firm that she co-founded in 2001. She is also the author of the Amazon bestselling book "Master Your Mindset: How Women Leaders Step Up" which is based on her leadership experience running her company and from serving in a variety of leadership roles within the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), as well as several other non-profit organizations. You can contact her at [email protected]

About Our Name

There’s a story in leadership circles that goes like this:

There was a really big storm and the next morning, a man went to the beach, and as far as the eye could see in both directions, there were thousands and thousands of starfish that had washed up onto the beach. He started walking down the beach, and in the distance, he saw what looked like someone dancing. As he got closer, he realized it was a young woman, and she wasn’t dancing, she was picking up starfish and throwing them into the ocean. When he got to her, he asked, “Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean? There’s so many, you can’t possibly make a difference.” She looked at him, stooped down, picked up a starfish, threw it into the ocean, and responded, “I just made a difference for that one.”

This story was the inspiration for naming the company. I wanted the people we serve to be like the starfish – we make a difference for each one. I researched names of mythological water deities, and discovered Vellamo, the ancient Finnish goddess of the sea. The Vellamo Leadership Institute is named after her.

Advisory Board

There's a bunch of really awesome people who are helping Vellamo provide the best leadership community, courses, and programming available.

Melanie Thomas Armstrong

is the Founder and owner of ThroughLine Consultants, where she uses genetic genealogy to generate investigative leads that help law enforcement close cold cases. She is a retired PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) partner and a senior executive with eighteen years of experience at the partner and C-Suite level, seven of those as a Chief Operating Officer (COO). She has been a Partner at four firms: PwC, Guidehouse, Unisys, and Arthur Andersen. She established and led PwC’s (now Guidehouse’s) US International Development practice focused on social impact work addressing critical challenges faced by underprivileged people around the world. She began her career as an auditor and spent two years working in the Czech Republic as it converted from communism to capitalism. She sits on the boards of two international NGOs: Mercy Corps and Leadership Mission International. She is also working on her first book about her time in the Czech Republic. 

Lynda Bishop

is the Founder and CEO of Summit Alliance Solutions, an international coaching/training/program development firm. As a master’s-level mental health therapist and certified empowerment and executive coach, Lynda has developed and facilitated groups across the United States and China for more than sixteen years. She currently contracts with national women’s leadership organizations and entrepreneurial support organizations in program creation, management, and impact expansion. As Vice President of National Programs for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), she spends her energy and talents doing what she loves most: supporting women leaders.

Diana Dibble 

is the President of Design To Delivery Inc, and Molly's long-time business partner. Prior to co-founding D2DInc, she worked for several companies in a variety of roles in business development, marketing, corporate communications, capture management, proposal management and development, recruiting, human resources, and training. She is a past president of the NAWBO Greater DC chapter and serves as a mentor and competition judge for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

Steve Genn 

is the Defense Portfolio Manager as well as a Leadership Development and Executive Coach at Markon Solutions. He has served clients across the DoD, Intelligence Community, federal civilian, and commercial healthcare markets. Steve’s expertise includes leadership development, project and program management, strategy, process reengineering and public-sector business development. He co-created and facilitates Markon’s Leadership Development Program and he frequently blogs on leadership. As a management consultant, Steve has primarily supported public sector clients for over 25 years. Prior to consulting, he served in the US Air Force as an Air Battle Manager, flying strike control missions in the EC130E aircraft. Steve retired from the Air Force Reserves as a Colonel. He received a BA from Louisiana State University, where he was commissioned through Air Force ROTC. He received an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and he’s a graduate of the USAF Air War College. Steve is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) through the International Coaching Federation, a Board-Certified Executive Coach (BCC) through CCE, a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) ® and Myers-Briggs practitioner. He enjoys spending time with his family, cycling, skiing, running, SCUBA diving, traveling and reading. He is a certified USA Ice Hockey Level 4 coach and still plays weekly.  He volunteers with Rebuilding Together, a non-profit that provides free home repairs for those in need.  


Glenn Richardson 

is the founder of LeaderSages, a leadership coaching and executive consulting firm. His career journey has included numerous opportunities to lead, influence, inspire and develop – from the US Army, to admission to the partnerships of two professional services firms, to serving as a company president, to advising other companies and organizations, and to his current role through LeaderSages and helping others with their leadership journey.

Causes We Support

We are helping to develop the next generation of women leaders by supporting the following causes:

National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) NextGen initiative - works with young women who want to start their own businesses

Girl Scouts teach girls how to be a boss, which is more than simply being in charge. It's about making smart decisions, working with a team, and being fair and responsible. And whether they’re deciding which badges or awards to earn, making (cookie) boss moves through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, or engaging their community through a service project, Girl Scouts discover how to reach the goals they set for themselves and overcome their fears of failure along the way.

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