Chrysalis Organizational Transformation & Tree

By Dani Rischall

With an agency name like “Chrysalis” it is no surprise that there is a large emphasis placed on supporting growth, transformation, and change throughout the organization. This value is mirrored in the work we do in the community, and the important role we have in walking alongside people in their vocational, mental health, and wellness journeys. Over the past 40 years Chrysalis has experienced significant transformation. 

In the last decade alone the organization has grown from five employees to 20, from supporting just over 75 people to supporting nearly 300 people! The practice of centering those that we serve, and valuing lived experience, have been critical to the growth of Chrysalis.

In our most recent Strategic Planning process (Summer of 2021) it was clear that we would need to strengthen our focus on organizational structure as we continue the expansion of our services, and our team. Being an organization that focuses on meaningful work, and the restorative benefits of a supportive work environment, it is incredibly important that Chrysalis as an organization is also taking steps to put these values into practice. The value of pay equity, strong benefits (health, PTO, retirement, etc.), training, support, office space, and workplace wellness have all been, and will continue to be, a large part of our organizational growth.

The “Organizational Tree” pictured above is a visual representation of some of this organization transformation. We continue to prioritize, center, and keep focus on the reason we are in the community doing this important work. It is first and foremost for the individuals we serve, in partnership with our employer network, and greater community. As you can see we don’t have one specific way of referring to the people we support at Chrysalis. We understand that people, staff, and programs have preferences, and we do our best to honor that. 

Direct Service Providers are the incredible people who are out there in the community doing the work. They are Employment Specialists, Vocational Peer Specialists, Chrysalis Clubhouse Staff, and in Chrysalis Pops. These are individuals who are walking alongside people as they explore their dreams, share challenges, and support people as they discover and build strengths, skills, and their voice. Chrysalis staff are talking with local employers about the value of inclusion, and about ways to support a diverse workforce. This team truly understands the value of purpose and belonging in mental health and substance use recovery. This team is there for one another in ways that help to mitigate the very real effects of burnout, and truly fosters collaboration, shared learning, and humility.  

Program Supervisors, Managers, and Leads hold the role of both supporting staff and those that we serve at Chrysalis. This role comes with unique opportunities, challenges, and many hats. As our team grows it is critical that Supervisors have a deep understanding of the work, the systems, and are able to show-up for staff when and where there is a need. This is the first time in the history of the organization that there has been a group of Supervisors functioning in this way. While some Supervisors are relatively new within their role it is extremely exciting to see how this structure will continue to support our team, and strengthen our services. 

Towards the bottom of the Organization Tree is what is known internally as ROOTS. This group of organizational leaders focus on support from a unique lens including financial sustainability, advocacy efforts, operations, outcomes, professional development, partnerships, and payroll, just to name a few. We have recently restructured this team with a couple position title changes and the addition of a Director of Programming.  

Our current Human Resources Director, Amy Holste, has transitioned to Director of HR and Workplace Wellness to emphasize this value and ensure time is regularly allotted to this practice. Alysha Clark, previous Assistant Director, has transitioned to Director of Advocacy and Operations. This shift recognizes the expanded operational needs as the agency continues to grow. Alysha is also taking the lead on many of our efforts that reduce the stigma associated with mental health and substance use. Alysha brings her own lived experience to the role, and as a Certified Peer Specialist, is supporting the larger behavioral health community to expand and intentionally support Certified Peer Specialists.

The newest addition to the ROOTS team is the Director of Programming, Amy Yonker. Amy has been working at Chrysalis for over seven years and played a huge role in the development and ongoing success of both the IPS and Chrysalis Pops programs. As Director of Programming Amy will utilize her strengths and skills to support all programs at Chrysalis with a focus on cross-agency collaborations and community partnerships. 

My role as Executive Director has shifted and changed as many positions do alongside the organizational growth we have seen at Chrysalis. I continue to hold our strategic priorities close, and balance program expansion and fiscal sustainability. I am beyond grateful to be able to do this work alongside so many incredible human beings and want to also acknowledge the support of the Chrysalis Board of Directors as critical members of this team. 

As we continue to grow within this Organizational Tree, and take steps to increase access to our services, we will continue to lead with our values. We will foster collective leadership, and amplify our message that having purpose, meaning, and community is essential, and key to recovery! 

We appreciate the important role all of our supporters play in the growth of Chrysalis. If you are interested in supporting our work I listed a few ways to do so below; 

If you have other ideas on ways to support Chrysalis or questions please feel free to reach out to me Dani, Executive Director, at

Thanks so much!