Clear Harbor

Lead with confidence, integrity, compassion,
and vision.

Feel calm, work well with your team, and stay aligned with your values while you lead toward social change.
Clear Harbor is a place to cultivate your leadership practice without burning out inside a diverse collective committed to racial & economic justice. 

If you want to deepen your commitment to well-being, equity, and belonging, grow as a leader, and have a community outside the day-to-day for when the going gets tough, Clear Harbor is for you.

In Clear Harbor, we believe you can be a leader from any position in an institution. If you improve systems, support others to use their strengths, and move toward a greater collective purpose, you are a leader. 

You can rejuvenate and find calm while building toward a more just vision.

You will find new equitable solutions while remaining joyful.

Leadership is not lonely or exhausting if you do it together.

You make critical decisions that impact your co-workers, teams, clients, customers, community, mission, and bottom line. You implement work with lasting impacts, sometimes with little control over the decisions made or the methods you are asked to use.

Our current systems are built to isolate and silo groups and individuals from each other. We are constantly working hard with decreasing resources and support. Our options are to run until we burn out or give up. We are working inside larger systems initially built to create wealth for a small minority while suppressing, harming, and denying access to resources, health, and well-being for the majority. We continue to navigate narratives and stories that pit us against each other, making it difficult to find common ground.

You balance collaboration, decisiveness, boldness, and vulnerability when you lead with a commitment to inclusion, equity, racial & economic justice, belonging, joy, and care. You need a community and tools that allow you to access joy, possibility, and strength. 

You want everyone to receive fulfillment from their work without exhaustion while impacting the mission. You are committed to building an inclusive culture and equitable policies. You want each team member to feel a sense of belonging in their multitude of identities & experiences. Even though you are aware of and planning for the future, there can be many issues and needs calling for your attention now.

This commitment to cultural change, action, and caring, visionary leadership requires more than any one person can do. 

As we build toward a different future – we each need a place to be in community together – to learn and practice how we want to lead with other courageous leaders. 

Clear Harbor gives you a supportive community & continued skill-building so you can lead from a place of connection, rest, reflection, joy, and wisdom.
Caring visionary leadership requires a diverse sounding board & supportive learning.

Clear Harbor offers:
Deep support and togetherness
  • Rejuvenate with a community built for the long haul with fellow leaders committed to just social change.
  • Increase your creativity and initiative and reduce isolation.
A container to create solutions
  • Engage with problems and strategies in new ways outside of your day-to-day work.
  • Hear different perspectives from peers in various sectors and roles and with coaching support.
Ongoing learning, tools & practices to
  • Lead while centering racial justice,
  • Build creative, cohesive teams,
  • Foster a strength-based, strategic, equitable culture,
  • Increase well-being for you and your team.
Hi there!

My name is Annie Von Essen. Wesley Morris, Sashya Clark, myself, and a handful of incredible consultants, coaches, artists, and fellow social change leaders support Clear Harbor.

I started Clear Harbor for three reasons:
  • Leaders asked me to facilitate a small group they could confide in and build strategies with.
  • Over and over, I’ve witnessed how tiring & lonely it is to lead social change from any position or sector, whether you work in direct service or are a CEO.
  • I know when a small group of humans gathers around shared values, a desire to learn, and a willingness to be vulnerable – we are able to gain strength, courage and confidence and positive action happens.
When you work to change structures and behaviors, you need a committed community that holds you accountable in love. A place for care and support while you grow and expand into your potential.

As an organizational development consultant, over the last 12 years, I’ve been behind the scenes with leaders (in all different roles and positions) as they build institutions that improve the well-being, educational access, financial access, and care of our communities.

I witnessed thoughtful, courageous, visionary leaders building toward social change. And those same leaders feel exhausted, isolated, overwhelmed, and doubtful.

This is no one leader's fault. These leaders work in larger systems that discourage collaboration, increase isolation, and maintain power for only a few.

However, there is a different way to lead – from a place of support, spaciousness, gratitude, collaboration, and joy.

Clear Harbor creates the space for you to lead and learn in community.

It feels really good to connect with other people who are leading and dealing with their own challenges, you know every challenge is different, but I feel like there's similar threads you can learn from. It is the connection and the space to not feel like you have to show up as just a leader, like you can just show up as a human, and talk about the challenges of leadership.  I also appreciate intentionally carving out the time. You could do a whole bunch of different learning opportunities, but those things fall off when you get busy. I like the pace of doing it once a month throughout the year. And I love my cohort - with the variety of work and lived experiences and the ways everyone showed up. And I enjoyed the extra learning sessions each quarter too!

Dana GuyDana GuyExecutive Director & Clear Harbor Member

The benefits for me have been listening to people as they bring up their leadership challenges. When I think about the folks I work with, a lot of them have been in the same organization for a long time. It's been a great way to get outside perspectives. And hear what other folks are doing. It's great to see that some of the struggles are the same. But it's also great to hear some of those other strategies and even, even hearing bold action folks can take in their positions... the different perspectives have changed how I think and challenges how I think.

Andrew ChinAndrew ChinPublic Sector Executive

Why take the time to join a leadership community outside your workplace?

When you are a in supportive, reflective community, you can make a significant impact with less stress and more care.
  • Build long-term connections & relationships that are nourishing and mutually supportive.
  • Learn leadership practice by example and from real-time stories, not curriculum.
  • Reflect on solutions outside your work environment & hurried schedule.
  • Make strategic goals & have support completing your goals.
  • Continue to practice and improve the skills needed for equitable leadership through peer stories,  guest speakers, and workshops in areas including team development, planning, building a culture of belonging, courageous communication, inclusion & anti-racism, workplace well-being, & more.

Your membership includes:

  • Group coaching – Reflections & partnering with you to problem solve. Online group coaching sessions Clear Harbor coaches and fellow leaders. 1 hour every other month.
  • Guest talks – Gain real-world stories and insights with leaders and consultants experienced in leading with racial justice, equity, and inclusion. Live gatherings and past recordings.
  • HR & Equity Support – Learn equitable HR procedures, and practice in Q&A sessions with Andrea Paull, HR & Equity coach & consultant. 1.5 hours, bi-annually.
  • Anchor Down sessions – Gather techniques for renewal & burnout prevention you can use with your team and in your work. Led by Sashya Clark, a clinical social worker. 30 minutes live online every month + audio library.
  • Lead Together for Change Workshop series – Learn the essential habits of courageous leaders and dive deeper into personal vision & values, team development, decision-making, courageous conversations, and talking about race & identity.
  • Collab & Create Sessions – Problem-solve and strategize with peers. Plus, learn an artist-led creative practice. 1 hour every other month.
  • 5-day Leadership Camps – Practice leadership & equity skills in community space. 5-day audio offerings live bi-annually.
Usually, people leading change have two choices for support:
  • Either coaching 1on1, which costs up to $1000 a month and will not offer multiple, diverse perspectives from leaders in the work, or
  • No community or coaching supporting your leadership - so you cobble together advice from late-night emergency calls to colleagues.
Clear Harbor costs a fraction less than 1-on-1 coaching; delivers you a diverse community, workshops, and tools; and reduces late-night desperate calls to your colleagues.

Note: Clear Harbor membership is fully online to support community building across geography and to allow for ease of access.

Clear Harbor offers small coaching & peer support groups for leaders in positions of high accountability, and decision-making authority. 

Refuel Together cohorts open one time a year. Leaders apply to join.

Leaders in Refuel Together cohorts are also a part of the full Clear Harbor membership.

The next Refuel Together Cohorts start in spring 2024 (March & April). Apply here!
Your membership includes: 
  • Monthly, online 2-hour energizing, confidential small group coaching & support (MAX 9 people at a time) for 1 year.
    [Value: $4,950.00 a year]
  • AND all online optional offerings, workshops, guest speakers, and group coaching in the Clear Harbor Community.
    [Value: $8,110.00 a year]
Clear Harbor's small cohort members are:
  • C-suite, Executive, or Director level leaders who oversee a team, manage a budget, and deal with complex decisions daily.
  • Accountable for business, organizational, or departmental decisions and outcomes.
  • Accountable for a vision of positive community change.
Apply for Refuel Together here

Have questions? You can meet directly with Annie or email us.

How much does Clear Harbor cost?

Exclusive “masterminds” and high-dollar coaches are cost-prohibitive for most leaders. Clear Harbor created a high-value coaching and community experience that individual leaders across sectors can pay for and join.

We set Clear Harbor membership on a sliding scale. You choose what is possible for you and, simultaneously, can give and receive from what other members can pay.

Our Clear Harbor membership options range from $47 to $197.

The Refuel Together cohorts include small, curated, confidential coaching groups. They are also available as an accessible, sliding scale much less than mastermind groups. The Refuel Together yearly cohort option ranges between $297 to $697 monthly.

Many organizations with large budgets do not actively invest in their leaders' development, staff support, or measures that support equitable change. We recognize this and have set the prices in ranges so individual leaders can invest in themselves.

I had never been in this kind of leadership program because it's coaching and it's a small group, but it's about leading, it's not training, so I wasn't fully sure what to expect, but it exceeded my expectations from the beginning.  One of the biggest things that I think has been really helpful is developing the competence in my leadership skills. I feel like one of the really amazing things that Clear Harbor has given me is the confidence in what I bring to the table and the way that I show up in this work. I really love the the cross sector piece of it.  I already have a network of fundraisers that I go to - a really amazing group of fundraisers of color. There's something about folks who have no idea what it's like to fundraise, being able to give their insights in a really different way.

Rehana LanewalaRehana LanewalaChief Communications Officer + Clear Harbor Member

There was just this reciprocal relationship of giving and receiving and giving and receiving. These are other real leaders facing real challenges that are being vulnerable enough to say, I need help. And here's my challenge. And helping someone else to process their issues, and come to a solution - being solution oriented just was amazing. And then for that to be reciprocated such that when it came my time and it wasn't fluff. What I received in the moment I actually implemented and got results. They were things that resonated in me, things that were actually doable and real.  It was significantly high level, well thought out feedback.

J.R. NoblesJ.R. NoblesExecutive Director & Clear Harbor Member

Wondering what we mean when we say leader?

You can be a leader from any position in an institution.

You may work directly with the community and clients or manage a team. If you improve systems, support others to use their strengths, and move toward a greater collective purpose, you are a leader.

In Clear Harbor, we support leadership across the structures of an organization, AND we talk about access to decision-making and power and address strategies based on your position within a system.

Clear Harbor membership is for you, if you:

  • Lead in order to make your community and country a better place for the next generations, regardless of your sector or position.
  • Commit to creating belonging and inclusion in your workplace and with clients/customers.
  • Want to be a part of ending racism and other forms of oppression.
  • Strive to create a caring, fair culture.
  • Crave more room calm and energy.
  • Want to stay aligned with your values and integrity.
  • Enjoy learning from different experiences and perspectives.
  • Lead from your role by supporting the greater purpose of your organization’s work and use your strengths to support the potential in people and processes.

Why have a trained facilitator and ongoing community instead of one-time networking gathering?

Quality facilitation and long-term community builds trust and supports vulnerability.

  • Conversations stay focused away from knee-jerk advice-giving and on listening & sharing.
  • Thoughtful questions and discussion allows for multiple, diverse perspectives while centering marginalized identities and experiences.
  • Increased confidentiality and accountability foster relationships and deepen dialogue.

Clear Harbor Facilitators

Wesley Morris

Cohort Facilitator

Wesley (he/him) is a dedicated coach, facilitator, community organizer, chaplain, and internationally recognized leader. His work for more than a decade with the Beloved Community Center of Greensboro, home of the nation’s first “Community Truth and Reconciliation Process” uniquely positions him to guide those interested in intergenerational learning, historical archiving, and community organizing. Currently, he is the Associate Director of Southern Vision Alliance, a justice-centered values-based “grassroots intermediary” organized to provide capacity building, coaching, and technical assistance to frontline organizing projects, leadership programs, and collaborations led by directly-impacted communities in the US South.

In high-pressure situations, he pulls from his formal training and practical experience to unlock clarity for those who are seeking to change the world we live in.

Wesley graduated from North Carolina Agricultural Technical State University and Union Theological Seminary (NYC).

In his free time, he enjoys traveling, reading, writing, listening to his vinyl record collection, playing basketball, and watching live sporting events.

Annie Von Essen

Cohort Facilitator

Annie (she/her) is a strategic and organizational development consultant, executive coach, and social worker. Annie is the founder of Vessel Strategy & Consulting. Vessel’s consulting work supports small businesses and organizations in building engaged teams, efficient systems, practical strategy, and more equitable & inclusive cultures to implement effective community change.

She is a diversity, equity, and inclusion facilitator for Social Design’s diversity & leadership firm. For five years, she was a part of the national youth facilitation team with the White Privilege Conference, an annual anti-racism conference.

Sashya Clark

Anchor Down Wellness Session Facilitator

Sashya (she/her) is a clinical social worker and therapist. She works to forge genuine connections to help clients and students feel valued, cared for and heard. She has a warm and relational style and integrates mindfulness, nurturing compassion for self and others, and deepening her relationship with intuition into her counseling work. She employs an integrative therapeutic approach using humanistic, collaborative, and feminist & multicultural perspectives. Sashya hopes clients can find healing through connection with others and with their authentic selves and inner wisdom.

Sashya received her MSW from the University of Washington.

In her free time, Sashya loves spending time with her partner and two children and is blessed with a robust and beloved community. She rests and heals through connection to nature, dancing, singing, yoga, reading, tarot, and knitting.

Collaborators & Guest Speakers

Jada is an engaging facilitator and speaker who has trained thousands in how to communicate clearly, how to become more efficient members of a team and how to implement inclusive policy and practices. Her specialty is catalyzing the growth of individuals and organizations. She serves as the lead consultant of Social Designs Consulting and is the author of three books.

Jada Monica DrewJada Monica Drew

Andrea has facilitated workshops centered on racial equity, managing for bias, building cultural capacity, and transformation for the past 16 years. She has dedicated her life to supporting leaders who are committed to creating extraordinary results for a just + equitable world. She is also certified by the International Coaching Federation. She offers Equitable HR, procedures, and practices Q&A sessions.

Andrea PaullAndrea Paull

Roberto specializes in facilitating creative conversations and healthy intercultural dialogue. He is a poet, performer, group facilitator and veteran master teaching artist.

In 2007 he co-founded local nonprofit FEEST: the Food Empowerment Education Sustainability Team.

Roberto AscalonRoberto Ascalon

Sara brings 20+ years of leadership experience to support organizations and individuals with big dreams and ambitious goals. She is passionate about the role that mission-driven organizations and socially conscious businesses have in strengthening communities.

She is co-founder of Shorthand Consulting.

Sara Lawson, MPA, PCC, CPCCSara Lawson, MPA, PCC, CPCC

Alessandra helps organizations develop insight into operations, workload, and performance and then use those insights to make smart, meaningful change for better results. She enjoys building sustainable and continuously improving systems and coaching individuals through every stage of the data and analytic life cycle. 

Alessandra PollockAlessandra Pollock

Clear Harbor Advisors

Clear Harbor was created out of the request of leaders working with Vessel Strategy & Consulting. It continues to be supported and held in accountability by a group of current and past Clear Harbor members. We thank each leader for their feedback and advice in the development of Clear Harbor’s community.

Andrew ChinAndrew ChinPublic Sector Executive

Shannon WoodardShannon WoodardAffordable Housing Champion

Rehana LanewalaRehana LanewalaChief Communications Officer

Elise EdwardsElise EdwardsUniversity Educator and Collaborator

Dana GuyDana GuyExecutive Director

You read the whole page… you must be intrigued.
Join us to be a part of a small, supportive, engaged group of peers working toward a more just world.

At Vessel Consulting, we value and believe…

Our creative potential is stronger together.

We believe the world needs spaces where leaders are supported and can collaborate to build a more just world.

We believe in racial justice, that Black Lives Matter,
and in equal LGBTQIA+ rights, gender rights,
and disability rights.

We work to increase belonging, inclusion, and equity and to dismantle false superiority, racism, and colonial ways of being and thinking. We recognize this ongoing change process requires humility, empathy, learning, forgiveness, and love.

At Vessel Consulting and in Clear Harbor, we strive to build together, lead with imagination, foster care & well-being, practice courage & understanding, and create joy-filled transformation for racial and social justice.

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