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Being a female business owner has come to hold great significance to me and has led me to find my legacy and give back to those in need. It’s a constant reminder of the progress we have made  and the endless possibilities that lie ahead. When I started my company, my gender was not part of what specifically motivated me to do it. I never sat down and said, “as a woman…I have to do this”. I did it because I saw shortcomings in an industry and decided I would be a part of the change. Not until taking the leap of faith to start my own business, did I realize how important my actions would be.


My womanhood was never a deterrent for me throughout my career. I would consider myself, fortunate that I was able to play in a field that was mostly male dominated and navigated it effectively without my gender being a hinderance. Additionally, the support and recognition that comes from participating in minority/woman owned business certification programs has been instrumental in my company growth and success. I’m grateful these organizations exist to uplift women in business. As a woman in business, I am part of a movement that promotes diversity, equality, and inclusivity in the professional world. It means challenging the status quo, proving that gender does not limit one’s abilities or ambitions. Being a female business owner is about paving the way for future generations of women, inspiring them to dream big, and empowering them to pursue their aspirations.

After spending 15 years at an industry-leading corporation, I knew the time was right to lead change. In 2018 I sat with my business partner and good friend to brainstorm business names, ultimately landing on JAG Source due to pure serendipity. She owned and operated a company based in New York called JAG Court Reporting and the letters just so happen to also be the first initials of each of my children’s names. We knew JAG would pave the way for others like my two daughters, Abbey, and Gretchen, to be the change they want to see in the world, and I feel blessed to have both involved in my business today.


From the start, I have always known that giving back would be a part of the JAG business model. Little did I know at the time, giving back would be more than a part of my business model, and I’d be making the bold decision to also start a nonprofit just two years after JAG’s launch. This new venture was born out of an unfortunate reality that many face, as my partner had lost the fight against her 7-year battle of breast cancer. During her fight, I witnessed first-hand how she and her family members struggled to find an affordable and readily available resource to turn to in dealing with their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. From this tragedy, she and I decided to start a nonprofit to help employees and their family members dealing with a work displacing healthcare event, whether that be from a work injury, disability, or diagnosis. After she lost her battle with this disease, everyone would say how she was such a kind soul, and I knew that was the name I would use to continue my second venture in launching a nonprofit organization to help others.


Kind Souls Foundation is a warm line service created to fulfill this need in families across the country. Within the current system, we know people feel lost and discouraged to overcome barriers like a lack of support and mental health challenges after an injury or illness takes them out of work. We are here to uplift employees and their family members by providing emotional support and connection to essential local resources. We meet our callers wherever they are and empower them to better achieve a positive approach towards recovery or adjustment to new realities.


Through our free warm line, we have the distinct opportunity to enact our vision of cultivating a central line of support equipped with emotional and tangible resources that illuminates the mental health impact of job displacement. We take a personalized approach with our callers

to provide a variety of support and resources that are tailored to the needs of everyone. Some people just need to vent to someone outside of their situation, and others need essential local and tangible resources. We believe our callers have the power and knowledge to do what’s best for them and we’re here to support and encourage them when they need it most.


Ultimately, I am thankful that I live in a time where the tides are shifting, but there’s still more to do. It’s not just about opportunity and luck, it’s about having the confidence to believe in yourself with enough humility to trust the people you assemble to help you accomplish it. Ideas and how we execute them are what we should be teaching women to be successful. What then becomes more important is what we do with that success. “I’m over the story about the lemons. We know life is what you make of it. More importantly you must search for what’s meaningful to you. Figure that out and dedicate yourself to it with your whole heart.”

-Teresa Colian, CEO JAG Source | Founder Kind Souls Foundation

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