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. We want the people we serve to be like the starfish – we make a difference for each one. We researched names of mythological water deities, and discovered Vellamo, the ancient Finnish goddess of the sea. The Vellamo Leadership Institute is named after her and the starfish is our spirit animal.

About Our Founder & Chief Mentor

Molly Gimmel is the CEO of Design To Delivery Inc, a 4-time Inc5000 award-winning government contracting firm that she co-founded in 2001 after spending 8 years working for some of the big-name international consulting firms and realizing that she hated other people telling her what to do.

She is the author of the Amazon bestselling book "Master Your Mindset: How Women Leaders Step Up" which is based on her leadership experiences 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. She founded Vellamo in 2021 to help leaders learn to be more effective.

For more information on Molly's career and to connect with her, click here.

Molly speaks regularly to groups about leadership, entrepreneurship, business growth, and government contracting. Contact her at molly@vellamo-leadership.com to have her speak to your organization.

Causes We Support

We are helping to develop the next generation of leaders by supporting the following non-profit organizations:

Leadership Mission International provides educational and leadership development programs to young women in Honduras. Vellamo founder Molly Gimmel spent a week at their campus in March 2023 teaching business, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Their graduates are leaders influencing positive change throughout their communities and country. The Class of 2023 is currently participating in their own Growth Galaxy.

The Enterprising Women Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a mission to advance the growth of women’s entrepreneurship in the United States and around the globe. The Enterprising Women Foundation and sister organization Enterprising Women magazine, is hosting a series of mentoring events around the US to connect outstanding high school girls with an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) with outstanding women entrepreneurs in their local community.