Chelsie McRae Kearney
Founder & Managing Director
Chelsie was born and raised in Murphy, North Carolina, a little country town in the heart of the Appalachian mountains. Having amazing parents who encouraged her to go after her dreams and the things that made her happy, she grew up reaching for the stars every chance possible.
Chelsie started her career by getting a BFA in Theatrical Design and Motion Pictures and Television Production from Western Carolina University. All throughout college she worked for professional regional theatres starting as an intern but quickly moving to entertainment management of the entire theatre. After college Chelsie has an incredible opportunity to run the entertainment for Norwegian Cruise Line but after her beloved father had a heart attack while she was on the other side of the world, she decided to move home to North Carolina to be closer to her parents.
This is where her entrepreneur spirit started to bud. Being used to having multiple projects on her plate, after about 24 hours back home, she started looking for something to do! Chelsie attending town council meetings and started networking and using her skills to help local businesses with their branding and marketing. She also started running a local farmers market where she would eventually meet missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and put her on a path to landing in SLC, Utah.
In an attempt to stay close to home, she landed a job with Caesar's Entertainment at Harrah's Cherokee as a VVIP Marketing Specialist for high worth clients. This allowed her to network and get to know some of the most amazing entrepreneurs and kindhearted people who further inspired her to work towards having her own business.
Through much prayer and inspiration, Chelsie decided to relocate to Salt Lake City, Utah in August of 2016 and met her amazing husband, Stewart, shortly after. Stewart, also very entrepreneurial, supported Chelsie in her goals to have time freedom and leveraged income in her life. After a few years of networking and learning, Chelsie launched Life Moments, an event planning and personal banding company, in 2018 and joined a movement of entrepreneurial women called The Butterfly Campaign. Through this journey, Women Enlightened was born. See "About Us" page for the entire story!
Chelsie humbled and thankful for curvy road that has lead her to this amazing group of women! W.E. is truly a team effort born out of love and support!
Ms.Janessa Lyn McNeill
Janessa is a passionate writer, blogger, and event coordinator with the biggest heart!
She helps keep everything in order as the Operations Manager for Life Moments, an event planning company, and loves working with the incredible women through Women Enlightened.
She graduated from Utah Valley University in Public Relations and Business Management. Her professional experience has largely been in social media management and writing, but helping people become better is what drives her each day.
Janessa has always had a tender heart and wears her heart on her sleeve. Right before graduating high school, Janessa's mother passed away unexpectedly. Learning to grieve has been a process, along with managing other emotions including extreme anxiety. This process has included going through counseling, working with health care professionals, lots of prayer, and many tear-filled phone calls to family members. Thankfully, Janessa is on a path of healing as she continuously learns and applies healthy emotional patterns.
When asked why she was so passionate about W.E., this is what she said: “I’ve always been a perfectionist, and what I give has never felt like enough. It’s scary to admit that is one of my weaknesses, but I’m coming to realize that I can change. We all can change. More importantly, I’m seeing that anything I tell the incredible women we get to work with applies to my own life.
Learning to give myself credit for progress, recognizing my negative thoughts and emotions… it’s all a process. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really hard, but I know it’s going to help me become a better woman, one that I’ve always dreamed of being. I am so grateful for the chance to give other women a safe place to grow and see that we are on our journeys together.”
Find her on social media @janessalynm or her blog, www.embarkingmylife.com!
Mrs. Julie Larson
Julie Larson is a daughter of God, wife, mother of 4, entrepreneur, and fiercely devoted catalyst to helping other people, especially women, recognize their worth, potential, and power.
She grew up in Southern California with an incredible family of seven kids. During high school, she played basketball and ran track, which began her love and drive for fitness.
Julie went to college at BYU Idaho, travelled to Israel for a study abroad program, and then transferred to BYU Provo. She served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Portugal. After coming home and starting a high school teaching position, she was introduced to a business opportunity that completely changed her outlook on how life could be lived and led her on the path of lifelong entrepreneurship, learning, and development.
Julie has always known she was meant to live an extraordinary life. She has felt this throughout her life largely due to her strong faith. Her faith is a critical part of who she is, and through it, she has felt many blessings poured out to her and her family. This has helped her dream bigger and to push others to do the same.
Julie loves the time freedom of being an entrepreneur. She and her husband have owned several businesses, including starting a direct mail company, and eventually moved to, and excelled, in the real estate industry. Throughout her business ventures, personal development and coachability have become the cornerstone of her success.
She loves learning and sharing her knowledge with others. She wants to help people remember who they are and their incredible power that can help change the world.
Women Enlightened is an important movement to Julie because she knows women struggle everyday, often without support or a safe space to grow and discuss the hard things in life. Her own battle with drugs, alcohol addiction and bulimia, among others, could have drawn her away from her family, her faith, and everything she knew; however, through what Julie believes to be a divine intercession, she was blessed to have her life course corrected. Julie hopes to provide other people support and understanding as they navigate their own journeys.
Ms. April James
April James is a wife and proud mother of 5 daughters, Step-mom to 2 sons and Grandma to 4 grandchildren. She grew up the youngest of 10 kids and learned at a young age about compromise, compassion and the importance of family.
She has had many opportunities to learn how to dig deep and rely on her faith and testimony. She has seen many miracles over the years as she has helped the people she loves, as well as herself, through affects of drug and alcohol abuse, pornography, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, mental illness, depression, anxiety, chronic health issues, the death of a loved one, divorce, rejection, failure and disappointments of all kinds.
In her 15+ years of being a fearless entrepreneur she has become a respected leader in her industry, business coach, personal mentor and cheerleader of all. Her global following looks to her for her passion, creativity and inspiration. While her journey hasn’t been an easy one, she’s known for her optimism and grit. She loves deeply, cries easily, and lives openly.
Ms. Marlisa Rock
Hi, I’m Marlisa Rock! I’m so thrilled to welcome you to this beautiful sisterhood of womanhood, here at Women Enlightened.
To ensure, we’re not complete strangers, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Marlisa (pronounced Mar-Lee-suh) and I was born in Lotopa, Western Samoa in the summer of 1990. Before I was born, it was arranged that I would be adopted. My adopted parents came up with my name on whim shortly after they were contacted that I was born. I’m named after my uncle Marlin. Classic!
I grew up in Utah where my childhood years were spent playing outside and letting my imagination run wild. Truly I had a wonderful childhood, but I did experience many hardships. As I reached my teen years, I so desperately wanted to be loved and accepted. I struggled with addictions, anxiety, emotional eating to name a few. After graduation, my adult years started off rough. It wasn’t until I was 24 years old where I hit rock bottom, that I knew that I needed to face everything and change.
Since 2014, I’ve been on a healing journey. I started with counselling to get help and it was fine for a few months, but then I grew tired of it and quit going. I turned to ecclesiastical leaders for help who encouraged me to attend an addiction recovery program. In 2016, I got involved in energy work, where I learned different energy modalities like reiki and emotion code .
May 2017, I stepped into the network marketing world, where I learned about personal development. In October of 2018, I had invested in a breakthrough coach, whose program helped me find limited beliefs within myself and overcome them. I made huge strides in my belief system and healed many relationships with others and myself.
All of this lead me to where I am now. I am the founder of Becoming Aligned Coaching where I work with individuals as a life coach. Truly all my trials became building blocks that brought me to where I am now. I am so grateful to love and support beautiful women, such as yourself, who are on their journey to becoming their best self!
Ms. Merliee Ford
Hi, my name is Merilee and I am a Health and Wellness Coach. My path to becoming a Coach is one I’ve been traveling for a long time, but I’m so grateful I'm here! I love helping people who are stressed out, busy and overwhelmed transform their bodies, minds….and their lives.
Health and nutrition have always been important to me but my world was turned upside down when I experienced the life changing effects of anxiety and a debilitating struggle with Chronic Epstein Barr Virus. These were experiences I never thought I’d be dealing with and honestly didn’t really understand at the time.
After struggling for several years, I thankfully found the right doctors, diagnoses and treatments, and I slowly began to heal. I also found the right support from amazing, empathetic, determined professionals who walked with me on this path of healing and who knew I could be healthy again even when I no longer believed it myself.
As a Health & Life Coach my mission is to support and to help others find the resources they need to live a happy, balanced and fulfilled life. That's why am so grateful to a part of Women Enlightened where women can come together, support one another, discover their worth and take a step towards a remarkable life all of us are meant to live.
Ms. Ashley Troncoso
If you had told Ashley a few years ago that she'd be part of a women's empowerment group, she would have laughed and said: "I have WAY too many issues to do anything like that."
Her whole life, she was pushed around by anxiety, self doubt, depression, OCD, and fear... Until recently, when she decided to push back!
She has learned that everyone has "issues". Everyone has times in their lives that they'd rather forget. But, those are the times that have shaped and molded us into the woman we are today. Without them, we would have no strength.
Her blog, This is Me Discovery, is a journey to finding joy in the NOW. She explores topics of art and religion, shares her love of gardening, adds a few wise tidbits she's picked up along the way, and dives deep into self love and self acceptance.
Her proudest accomplishment is being a wife and mother to two beautiful children. She considers this work to be the most important and sacred of her life. She is backed by the endless love and support of her husband and family, and knows she would be nothing without them.
To anyone who is struggling she says: Be brave. Face your fears. Don't let your fears hold you back from becoming the woman you were meant to be. If you're not where you'd like to be, THAT'S OKAY! No one else is either! Love yourself now, while daring to dream big for the future.