National Bosses Day celebrates the contributions of leaders who support, equip, and empower their people. Take an inside look at WellStone’s executive leadership through the lens of recent interviews with our communications department:
“Because WellStone is public mental health, I always thought I was supposed to be here for those who need help the most. I stay to build a better system,” says Chris Van Dyke, Chief Operating Officer.
Van Dyke, one of three members of executive leadership at WellStone, exemplifies commitment, sincerity, and behind-the-scenes service.
“There are so many people here who are willing to go the extra mile to help,” he says. “Those people inspire me and I want to support that quality in our staff. That ‘extra mile’ quality. And I want to help those people see the impact they’re making on the world.”
Josaylon Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, shares similar sentiments. “I really feel like this is my passion. It’s where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing. It is fulfilling to be able to be a part of such a huge organization that’s purpose is slated in helping others recover, thrive, and be their best selves.”
She adds, “Our Wellstone employees are the backbone of the organization. They really are an intricate part of this big ship moving forward and doing what we need to do in our community.”
“I think they’re amazing,” agrees CEO Jeremy Blair. “They take on the task and the work that very few are brave enough to do.”
Blair is proud of the work WellStone has accomplished in the community, and recognizes that so much of that crucial, ongoing work is preventative care, an extremely important part of the big mental healthcare picture.
“They [WellStone employees] deserve a lot of credit for what they do,” Blair adds. “I always say, ‘Prevention doesn’t make headlines.’ We have a lot of employees every day who are preventing a lot of tragedies that they and our community might not even be aware of.”
He pauses in reflection, and then continues, “It’s somewhat hard to imagine Huntsville without WellStone.”
In addition to their sincere commitment and dedication to our community, all three leaders display humility, along with a sense of humor. While they are extraordinary mental healthcare professionals, they are also, at the end of the day, normal people, like you and me.
“I bet it would shock people to know that I was in an improv drama group in college for a couple of years. We traveled around the country,” says Blair.
The CEO loves his family, outdoor activities, and a daily cup of coffee.
As the oldest child, and a self-proclaimed overachiever, Blair took on responsibility and leadership positions long before becoming CEO of WellStone.
In high school, he played football, basketball, and soccer, as quarterback, point guard, and goalie, respectively.
“All the high-pressure positions… see a pattern?” he laughs.
CCO Josaylon Henry had an early run at leadership during high school as well, serving as pontoon leader in ROTC. “Oh, and I also ran track, but I was not good at it,” she adds with a smile.
But she’s always been good at coordinating. “I think birthday parties are my thing.” Henry loves event planning.
When she’s not planning parties, she’s putting together a top-notch outfit. Although she won’t say so herself, just ask anyone at WellStone: Josaylon Henry is a real-life fashion plate. The CCO even had a hand in picking out colors, furniture, and flooring in WellStone’s main campus building, and the new mental healthcare center, WellStone Emergency Services.
Whether it’s planning an event, an outfit, or a color scheme, Henry does it flawlessly. And we are all better off from her commitment, sincerity, compassion, and leadership.
“She just has it all,” remarks one WellStone staff member. “She is ‘goals’ – the person to be.”
The CCO says one of the most enjoyable things she’s ever done is zipline over Niagara Falls. “That was pretty darn cool,” Henry recalls.
Van Dyke also stays busy. Off the job, Van Dyke can be found behind-the-scenes, working audio, video, and lighting at his local Church.
“I am very involved,” says Van Dyke. “I have done that for a long time. I even consult sometimes with other churches and theater groups.”
Like Blair and Henry, Van Dyke is juggling multiple things inside and outside of the office. When he is not serving, Van Dyke is usually reading historical fiction or playing a round of tennis.
“I just enjoy swinging a racket. I’m trying to learn pickleball, but I don’t like it as much as tennis. I mean, I’m playing it, but it’s not tennis,” he says.
In contrast to Blair’s daily cup of Joe, Van Dyke fuels his days with Diet Mountain Dew.
About coffee: “I don’t even like the smell. I don’t like anything about coffee. I mean – who would? It’s bitter. It’s, ugh,” he shudders at the thought, and laughs.
All three also talk about their families during the interview, and each carries a calm and present demeanor as they go about their important work.
WellStone is grateful for their service.
Jeremy Blair, CEO, joined WellStone in 2011.
Josaylon Henry, CCO, has been affiliated with WellStone for over 22 years.
Chris Van Dyke, COO, has been with the organization for more than 25 years.