She’s Independent Conversation Series with John Kelley, Chairman and CEO of CereHealth

Natalie Levy and John Kelley interview

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Natalie sat down with John Kelley, Chairman & CEO of CereHealth to talk about his business’s impact on mental illness and mental health treatment. They additionally touched on John’s continued advocacy and support of advancing women into positions of power, including the boardroom.

Find some of the conversation highlights below, and catch the full conversation here.

On the role of data in mental health prevention: CereHealth’s data-driven approach to mental health prevention and treatment has the potential to drive real change. By using data, like family history, major depressive disorder data, situational analysis around social pressures, economic issues, and blood phenotyping, they seek to give medical professionals information that can identify early predictions of patterns to address mental health at the onset, and ongoing through improved intelligence.

On the value of mission-driven investors: Aligned financing and investors help a company through uncertain financial markets. CereHealth doesn’t have institutional funding today, and has found that mission-aligned investors are more likely to wait out fluctuations in the market (and their business model) and support them ongoing.

On how John came to be an advocate for women in leadership: “I played in a high school band and the quality of the band didn’t seem to be tied to age [or gender.] When it came to college sports, you put the best team on the field. As I transitioned to sales at Xerox, I wanted to put the best team “on the field,” and that meant recognizing talent, not age, race, or gender. That prioritization of talent followed me as I took on leadership positions and looked to fill positions around me.”

“We idolize tremendously unique individuals like Elon Musk or Steve Jobs, but… teams win.” 

On the power of a diverse, decision-making team: The more diverse a group of decision makers, the more diverse the opinions, questions, background, experience, etc. when evaluating a decision. No matter what, companies with women on their boards end up having higher performance than their peer groups, which says a lot about what women can do to impact businesses.

On the impact women investors can have: When women are knowledgeable, feel confident in where to go to invest, and invest in things they care about, the impact is both personal (financial gains) and societal. Money influences products and outcomes, we need more women on the money side of the equation.

On women looking to land their first board role: Be more fearless about going after the role. Most men are fearless. They may not be an expert but will still go after the opportunity. You’ve got to go, “Screw it, I’m going to make this happen.” 

On She’s Independent: Groups like She’s Independent are doing such a great job providing learning opportunities through their thorough, hands-on due diligence process and webinars that give women the ability to increase confidence and skills. This leads to more informed and aligned decision making around their finances. These skills additionally impact investing activities, board opportunities, and landing influential executive roles. 

Watch the full conversation here, and Join Our Membership ranks for access to our experiential approach to investing, placements into our board and fractional executive ecosystem, and to connect with a community of inspired, like-minded women. 

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