Introducing Chelsie Henderson: From Personal Assistant to COO

Finding A Passion

Chelsie has certainly had a less than traditional path to success. While she excelled academically, she had a hard time ascertaining exactly what her one true passion in life was. Everything was interesting and worthy of exploring to her, yet society had convinced her that she must pursue a singular pathway in life. So she chose Linguistics, and along the way she studied German, Chinese, Farsi, Japanese, French, and Spanish. She only retained the latter two, but she found joy in learning languages, not necessarily mastering them. It wasn’t until her last semester of community college when a new acquaintance, Amelia Cast (@AeverieDreams), suggested she take a physics course, that Chelsie found her next big passion in life.

As soon as Chelsie began learning physics, she fell madly in love with it. She threw herself wholeheartedly into her studies, even venturing into the universally dreaded subject of Mathematics – and ended up loving it! She completed two rigorous online, cooperative courses through NASA and eventually received the opportunity to complete an internship through the NASA L’Space program at Arizona State University during the summer of 2019. It was by far the most difficult yet rewarding experience in her life thus far as Chelsie and her inexperienced team had to construct a thermal camera system capable of capturing pictures in space in under a month. However, she is incredibly grateful to have gained skills in CAD, Machine Shop, programming, and building circuits!

ITequality Career

After NASA, Chelsie was unsure what new pathway in life she would pursue. She wanted to continue on to study Astrobiology at Arizona State University, however, she had to support herself financially and school was just too expensive. Enter in ITequality! Through the same Amelia who introduced Chelsie to physics, Chelsie received a job offer to be a personal assistant to ITequality’s CEO, Ashley Allen. Chelsie was beyond ecstatic to leave behind her customer service job to begin anew at ITequality. In Chelsie’s first interview, she said, “If given the chance, and once I am up to speed, I can help with the organization this company is in need of.” And that she did!  While Chelsie was still an assistant to Ashley, she picked up many other tasks that others simply did not have the bandwidth to do such as accounting, invoicing, finance management, and conference planning. She did this all while managing Ash’s schedule, keeping the house clean, doing laundry, taking care of Ash’s three kids, restocking the office, and even making lunch for everyone in the office!

It was clear that Chelsie could offer more for the company beyond assistant work, so when COVID hit and Chelsie had to work remotely, she was promoted to Project Manager. She still maintained many of the tasks she was doing before, but now it was her job to pioneer the process for project management at ITequality. At one point, she was managing 18 projects simultaneously, while putting systems and procedures into place that are still used to date. When it became apparent that Chelsie seemed to aid the organization and flow of any department she was a part of, Chelsie was promoted to ITequality’s Chief Operating Officer at the ripe age of 24. Now, she oversees each and every department in ITequality, helping team members to problem solve and improve their workflows, as well as helping to make key decisions to shape ITequality’s promising future. 

Lessons Learned

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Wow, what a wild ride!” Chelsie would agree with you. She never imagined that at 25 she would be helping run a successful tech company, but in truth, she is incredibly grateful and privileged to be a part of ITequality. She has learned so many valuable lessons from being a member of such an innovative and loving team. The two biggest lessons being 1) When you take the initiative to craft the life you want, rather than the life you think you’re supposed to have, anything is possible and 2) When you find where you belong, you will inevitably succeed. For now, Chelsie is still searching for an affordable path to college. In the meantime, she has created a program of self-study to continue to enrich and challenge her mind. She hopes one day to craft a pathway for herself in life unlike any the world has seen before, where she can experience life on her own terms. Until then, she’s happy to continue to build up her work family and grow ITequality to its greatest potential!

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