Tune in today as Lance, Rob and Adrian interview Kathryn Gerhards with Rise Services.
Kathryn was born and raised in Portland Oregon. She has a BA in Psychology, with a minor in American Language Studies. Since graduating in 2012, she has worked in non-profits providing supports to underserved communities. Join us in part 1 of a 3 part series.

Connect with Kathryn:

[email protected]


Links & Resources Mentioned:







ROI Disclosures

Episode 53 Transcript

Guest Kathryn Gerhards 1 of 3

Adrian  00:02

Hello future millionaires. Welcome back to the get rich slow podcast. We are your hosts, Adrian Shermer, Robert Delavan and Lance Johnson. Good morning, gentlemen.

Rob Delavan  00:11

Good morning, everybody.

Adrian  00:14

We are joined today by Kathryn Gerhards. Hello, Kathryn.

Kathryn Gerhards    00:16


Adrian  00:19

Am I pronouncing that right?

Kathryn Gerhards  00:21

Nailed it right.

Adrian  00:23

Love it.

Lance Johnson  00:24

So excited about this. Can’t wait to interview.

Adrian  00:28

We got some links here on a bunch of different platforms. You may use your own personal flavor Spotify, Apple podcasts, audible and Amazon music. I think there’s actually a few others that were on as well and we’re going to be posting this on YouTube if you’d like to see our smiling faces. Kathryn is with Rise Services Inc. Well, we’re going to let her explain exactly what Rise is. So, Kathryn is a born and raised Portland orgonite and she has a BA in Psychology with a minor in American Language Studies.

Rob Delavan  01:05

We should dig into that. Let’s get details.

Kathryn Gerhards  01:08

You should say sign language studies.

Adrian  01:12

Gosh, awesome and looks like you graduated in 2012 and you’ve worked with nonprofits providing supports to underserved communities, we’re going to dig into that today.

Lance Johnson  01:23

That’s exciting.

Rob Delavan  01:25

As usual, you can go to ROI-fa.com, for backslash events, for everything that we have going on for the calendar for the rest of the year and that is on the slide deck here as well as in the details below. So, today, we’ll be getting to know Katherine learning about her and her story and this is where I really want to encourage all of our listeners go to the YouTube site.

Lance Johnson  02:02

The camera.

Rob Delavan  02:09

Man, the duo is pretty incredible. So, I love this picture.

Adrian  02:15

So ready for the picture. He looks like he knows that he’s taking a picture, 100%

Lance Johnson  02:21

The actual dog that did the movie?

Kathryn Gerhards  02:26

Long lost relative.

Rob Delavan  02:28

He only is having slight allergies at the moment, heavy breathing and so forth. But we’re looking forward to this. This episode is all about Kathryn and everything that she’s doing and what has brought her to where she is today.  Okay, so, the first question I have for you today, Kathryn, tell us your story. No big deal and how did you get where you are today? So, let’s start.

Kathryn Gerhards  03:17

Sit back, relax. Pull up a chair. Get cosy

Rob Delavan  03:19

Should I get more coffee?

Kathryn Gerhards  03:23

I think I’ve had more than enough. So, we’ll see how this goes. Well, I guess it’s just the first thing that came to mind is, when I was little people would always ask, what do you want to be when you grew up? I never had a great answer. I’m the youngest of six. So, it was just kind of assumed that you would go to college and you would just figure it out. But I always was interested in psychology. They say you get into psychology to learn more about yourself and it’s really about other people. So, what’s wrong with me/family dynamics. I originally went to school, I wanted to be a sign language interpreter. and Western Oregon has the best sign language interpreting programme on the West Coast and that’s what I did. I took sign language and call high school and then transferred it, I worked in a Deaf office in between as well. So, everybody in the office communicated in sign language and then when I went to Western, I just got disillusioned with it. Being an interpreter is really hard and it’s a hard community to serve. There’s a lot of bias and astigmatism. Astigmatism is not the right word with that community, and I just was like, man, maybe this isn’t what I want to do forever. So, I switched that into my minor because I really still love the language and the community. But then went back to psychology as my major and it was just fascinating. I loved learning about psychology. Everything is new and different and exciting. Getting and what they don’t tell you is what the heck do you do with a degree in psychology? It’s not like a degree in finance, where you know what the next step is going to be or you don’t graduate like with a job, it’s just great. You can people go be free. So, after I graduated, I started working mostly with disadvantaged youth. So, youth in DHS, or Oregon Youth Authority custody, and a couple of different programmes, and those programmes were all high crisis.

Rob Delavan  05:35

So, can you define high crisis?

Kathryn Gerhards  05:37

Yeah. So, one of the programmes that I worked at is called sub-acute. So, acute is considered hospitalization level crisis, for psychosis, suicidal ideation, self-harm, kind of everything else that you can think of. So, it’s sub-acute. So, people would be discharged from the hospital into this programme and it was a 24/7 lockdown facility, where we’re trained on physical restraints. So, people who are experiencing physical aggression, suicidal ideation, how are you with your body going to stop that person from harming themselves or others. That was probably the most intense job that I had. So, you’re physically restraining people, five or six or seven people to hold one person to keep them safe.

Adrian  06:32

You were getting your degree, were you like, I’m probably going to be doing this.

Kathryn Gerhards  06:36

Yeah. I’m going to get fit for a living.

Rob Delavan  06:40

Wow, that’s a picture in my mind. When has that happened, more than once?

Kathryn Gerhards  06:52

Yeah. So, one funny story from there is that you get Crisis Response trained. So, if there’s a loud noise, you go towards the noise instead of away from the noise. I was meeting with a family one time, they’re talking about their kid, and there was a really loud thing, and I was like, I got to go and she was like, you’re going to run towards that. I was like, wow, another good story. If this is the time for stories, it’s might be too long. But yeah, no worry about it. I was pretty good at it, we had walkie talkies, where we would communicate and the kids would sometimes like, they didn’t have a lot of control or power over the situation. So, what they could do is like refuse to go to bed or refuse to move from wherever you wanted them to and the best story is this kid had been refusing for a while. So, they called for backup over the walkie talkie I walked in, and the kid was like, oh, you’re here. I’m out and just went to bed.

Lance Johnson  07:55

Good talk. So, you’re with my kids?

Rob Delavan  08:02

Yeah. You need to call you need to call Kathryn, Lance about nine o’clock.

Kathryn Gerhards  08:09

Yeah. It’s just a lot of de-escalation. and relationship building is what you’re doing. Obviously, you don’t want to go hands on, you want to stop somebody from getting to the worst moment of their day, if you can at all avoid it. So, staying calm in a crisis is something that I had to get very good at and so, that was subacute. After that, I worked at a day treatment programme for kids in therapeutic foster care. So, they would come to a treatment programme during the day where they’d get sex offence specific counselling, or drug and alcohol counselling, or just deep mental health counselling and then they’d also go to a high school that was attached to the programme. So, they’d get all their classes in a therapeutic setting and then they’d go to a foster home, that I also supervise all the foster parents. So, I was really up in these kids, for 24/7, which was also high crisis because kids would come home doing things that kids do, like skipped curfew, or didn’t take the bus home or maybe smoked weed on their way home or whatever it was. So, just constantly being ready for whatever these 20 delinquent youth decided to do on their way home to exhibit control or power over their situation and just having to navigate being the manager but also the support for the parent, but also the advocate for the kid.

Rob Delavan  09:34

All right. Wow.

Lance Johnson  09:39

You are going to have to deal with Robbie and that’s true.

Adrian  09:44

Give me last week actually.

Lance Johnson  09:48

Avoid Rob’s advancements.

Adrian  09:51

Slow, no sudden movements, that’s all important, sites based on movement.

Rob Delavan  09:58

You guys should take some tips from Kathryn.

Adrian  10:00

Kathryn’s got a hell of a resume right now.

Rob Delavan  10:03

You’re only halfway through.

Kathryn Gerhards  10:07

So, I did all of that for about 10 years. All of those services were court ordered, or someone saying, you’re in DHS custody, you have to be here, or you’re experiencing mental health issues, you have to be here and it is really draining unwilling events, yes, to force people to change. Fun fact, it doesn’t work very well especially teenagers who are like, I don’t know, my mom isn’t answering the phone, I don’t care about Maths but I need to get you to care about math when they have all these other crises going on. So, like really understanding where people are at in that moment, you don’t have the capability to learn math right now, because of these other things going on. So, we’re going to sit in this moment instead of like, but think about your future, that’s not helpful all of the time. I did that for 10 years. I was on call for three years straight. I couldn’t really go on vacation, because I couldn’t not have cell phone service. Because if they couldn’t get a hold of me, then who would they get a hold of, rand it just got to a point where there were some management changes in the position that I was working at. So, it was just time for me to move on. I found this position at Rise services, which is where I’ve been for the past almost four years. I was interviewed there by an all women panel, which was the first time in my career where it was just a bunch of like really cool women running this programme, our executive director as a woman and it’s what we do, I should start there. We provide support to people with developmental and intellectual disabilities all across the state of Oregon.  So, people with disabilities want the support, and they want the services and they will wait for the services and they choose to engage or services. So, it’s like, you want something that I have versus please do this. So, it was just it was a whole cultural change in the office, it was a whole culture change with a population. Once you spent life in crisis when you’re not in crisis, and people are like, oh, my gosh, this deadline, or this thing or this upset parents like, I understand that this is a crisis for you and also in the grand scheme of crises like we can handle this.

Lance Johnson  12:49

Rob call your services.

Rob Delavan  12:55

What you’re saying Kathryn your day to day now is like it was Tuesday at 10am after coffee. This is just a walk in the park for you.

Kathryn Gerhards  13:07

Yeah, it took some adjusting to for sure. Because if you’re used to every loud noise being a crisis, being able to reregulate and not be triggered by everything was hard.

Lance Johnson  13:24

Well, we got a couple more questions to move. Awesome. So, we’re just going to take a moment. We’ll ask a couple more questions here. Kathryn, what piece of advice has made the biggest impact on your life?

Kathryn Gerhards  13:44

I would say that the biggest piece of advice that I’ve gotten is that tomorrow is another day and the work will be there. I working in high crisis working with people, decisions that I didn’t make might have impacted their life, where they couldn’t have the medication that they needed, or visit their family in time, or be late to a court date, or whatever it was. So, being able to readjust that tomorrow’s another day, and the work will be waiting has been really impactful for me, because you’re never done working, there’s always going to be 50 million other things to do. But you can’t pour from an empty bucket and if you just stay on all the time, you’re going to burn yourself out and you’re going to get jaded and you’re not going to like what you do and then you’re working to work instead of working to live. So, having that perspective, of being able to like shut off the work part and really focus on the rest of the life part is a lifelong, probably challenge, but also super valuable because there is more to life.

Rob Delavan  15:01

How do you do that? Because obviously, your inbox is always full.

Adrian  15:09

It’s all important work.

Rob Delavan  15:12

What did you say? You said, you don’t live to work, you want to work to live? So, how do you keep that perspective?

Kathryn Gerhards  15:21

With COVID, this was really helpful because I was working from my couch. I would go from my couch back to my couch. So, having something to do, at the end of the day, whatever it was, when I was driving home, I would listen to audiobooks, because that would be enough to get my brain to stop thinking about the next thing, like music, I could just keep thinking about work. I would just power through but an audio book would get me sucked into the story just enough to give myself a mental break. But now that I work from home more, having time to like, okay, now I’m going to start working on dinner, or now I’m going to take the dogs for a walk or not, I’m going to physically get up and do something else, delineates the work time from the not work time and gives myself the time to transition, which has been super helpful.

Rob Delavan  16:19

Interesting, that advice. You’re basically segmenting out, that time you’re trying to turn the switches on and off as much as possible. The high stakes nature, though, obviously, always wants to pull you back in. So, I would assume you’re always fighting that switch being half on.

Kathryn Gerhards  16:42

Yeah, I’ve also found if it is really nagging at me, just do it, because I’d rather finish the task, and then stop thinking about it, then try to psych myself into waiting until tomorrow, or make the to do list or get up a little bit earlier, or whatever it is, but also being able to realize I can’t today, I’ve given everything I can today, and people are just going to have to wait like you can’t, you can’t do it all. So, being able to be like check in with yourself to and be like, okay, I’m done, and if I keep going, then it’s going to hurt me, which is also going to hurt the consumers of whatever it is that I’m doing, because I’m not giving them everything that I need.

Lance Johnson  17:24

Yeah, they talk about work life balance that book I alluded to in yesterday’s BNI meeting.

Kathryn Gerhards  17:31

I have it on hold.

Lance Johnson  17:32

Yeah, nice. When your personal life is compromised by your work or your work is compromised by personal, it’s that balance, that routine that you know, creates that happiness, and there’s always going to be work And then the funny thing about it is everybody’s replaceable And once you realize that, you just got to figure out that balance that makes work happy you happy balance and exercise And when people achieve that, that’s what I see, Whether it’s financial, personal health, it’s just they’re happier.

Adrian  18:18

All right, Kathryn, I get the funniest question in my mind. What are you most excited about right now?

Kathryn Gerhards  18:27

That’s such a heavy question.

Adrian  18:30

Heavy and big.

Kathryn Gerhards  18:32

Yeah, but good, just immediately the sun is shining in Portland, which just feels like such a relief.

Adrian  18:41

That was five minutes of it.

Kathryn Gerhards  18:42

I know. It’s awesome. But I really think just reflecting on that question is the unlimited growth potential of every person, and every position, and every opportunity. I think we’re all part of a networking group. That has been really awesome. I feel like there’s been a lot of momentum and growth and just having conversations with 30 professionals every week, just really isn’t inspiring for what the potential options are and something that I really like is thinking about things in a different way. So, instead of just saying, this is the way that it’s always been, this is how we’re going to do it, why not try this other thing, or think about it in a different way, or even talking about the business that I do with people who have no idea what my day to day looks like, but hearing like, oh, have you ever considered this or that is really inspiring to me and like that’s what gets me out of bed every day is like man, what can I do differently today? How can I make this better? How can I think about this differently and ultimately support people. I work in a nonprofit, which is different than other positions. But at the end of the day, we’re all providing a service to people or to improve their life in some way. That’s exciting to me is like, how can what can I learn today that I can pass on or what can what nugget of wisdom can I give to you that might help you or whatever it is? Just gets me excited. I think if you’re not doing that, then what are you doing?

Adrian  20:20

Yeah, I love that. I’ve always prescribed that idea that you can learn something from everyone. However small, it’s cool to see that reflecting in your life.

Rob Delavan  20:31

It’s really an attitude. I think, why the four of us can have connected the way that we have with our individual relationships, of course, but it’s that attitude of you’re either going to grow or you’re going to die, you’re growing, you’re like, how do we get better and there’s a personal nature of that the personal growth, business, whether it be nonprofit, it doesn’t matter. Like you said, you’re even though you’re nonprofit, you’re still providing a service and there is technically an element of compensation for that, everybody that’s doing that work has to still eat. So, it’s a different angle, I guess. But still the same thing. It goes back to the personal growth.

Lance Johnson  21:16

Right, and if we’re helping people, and we’re growing, it doesn’t feel like work, you’re enjoying what you’re doing. Because you are getting personal growth, you are helping other people. It’s not really a job. I know, it’s a job, you get paid for it. But the time goes faster, because you’re enjoying what you’re doing. So, that’s kind of a little bit of Utopia right there if you think about it.

Rob Delavan  21:44

Especially in your line of work when things go hard. to the left, right.

Kathryn Gerhards  21:50

Yeah, and I just think like something that’s super cool about this networking group, but also maybe just the times in general, is that everybody wants everyone to succeed equally and it’s not like, well, I have this piece of knowledge, and I’m going to keep it to myself. So, I can be this person over here by myself. It’s really like, how do we all work together and what does that look like it? There’s just so many things to learn and grow and develop through that. It’s exciting to bring it back.

Lance Johnson  22:18

I am just still trying to figure out if Rob even likes me.

Adrian  22:23

Work on him first.

Lance Johnson  22:25

He likes when I spend his money.

Rob Delavan  22:28

Oh, man, don’t get me started, Lance.

Lance Johnson  22:30

Well, that’s awesome.

Rob Delavan  22:33

Thank you for sharing that.

Adrian  22:36

All right, folks. So, this is part one of three. We’re going to have Kathryn with us for a couple more episodes and we’re going to dig deeper into where she’s at now and where she’s headed with this career with Rise services, such a fantastic company that provides much needed services. You guys are in a number of different states, aren’t you? You’re spread out. You got a bunch of stuff in California, just a fan. Check out the company. We’ve got a link here on the website. We’ve got Kathryn’s email, her phone, you can call her up, you can text her a picture of your dog.

Lance Johnson  23:10

I’m excited. I met Kathryn when we had a great one, the one has like a month and a half ago and it was just awesome and you’re exciting to listen to it. The BNI group, very articulate, there’s a lot of great things that are surrounding you. I can’t wait to see where you’re going to be one year, three years from now. So, great job and keep it up girl.

Adrian  23:37

Yeah, but and having a positive impact on so many people’s lives. We’re going to get again into it further, but the way that Rise operates, and the piece of the puzzle that you are at rise is going to be very cool. A lot of career opportunities for folks within this, this really large company So, more to come. We’ve got our websites up on the screen. If you’re watching us on video, if you’re an audio links are going to be in the description. You can get to us Delevan Realty with Rob Delavan ROI financial advisors, Lance Johnson, Mr. brilliant at the basics himself and then Adrian Shermer, your friendly neighborhood loan officer. We have also got links to Kathryn’s site on there. I think that about wraps it up for us guys.

Rob Delavan  24:21

Rise services inc.org and we’ll have all of that there

Lance Johnson  24:26

So, thank you very much. Pleasure to have you on. All right, looking forward to the next one.

Kathryn Gerhards  24:30

Thank you so much.

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