Rick Pharr, VP of Operations 

Ted Stokes, VP of Billing Services 

Russell Olsen, VP of Innovation & Product Management

Michelle Micalizzi, Artist
(All Rights Reserved)


10% of the proceeds from the sale of this work benefits Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue.

For the next two blogs and paintings we are focusing on WebPT’s core values:


Even when things don’t go according to plan; we maintain the passion, determination,
and can do attitude necessary to right the ship and get things back on course.


We definitely value hard work. More than that, though we value smart work
– work that is innovative, creative and brilliant.

Being a leader of a hungry start up is not for wimps.  If you are looking for an easy 9-5 ride where the status quo is clear and set, do NOT, I repeat, do not work for a startup that is ten years into the game and still disrupting the industry it serves. Talent that chooses a company like WebPT is a special breed. They are mavericks and are not fazed by uncertainly but in fact they thrive on ambiguity. They love the thrill of the chase.

The biggest thing that struck me about this trio at the time I did the interview last fall, and again when I re-watched their interview months later is how calm they are.  They are all very comfortable going their own speed while being efficient at the same time. They stay on task and the time we spent together was both productive and effective just like the operations of WebPT.  These are men on a very clear mission.

Recently, I had the opportunity to hear Russel speak at the Arizona Technology Council MedTech Conference. I saw once again the calm, effective demeanor of a young man on fire.  Founder and President Heidi Jannenga was in the audience sitting directly in front of Russell in the last row of seats with the same confident, calm, sitting-up tall demeanor.

Arizona is a hotbed of MedTech startups. What strikes me about all the companies and leaders that spoke at the MedTech conference is that they are not just on a mission to create great companies that please their financial supporters.  They are on a mission to save lives and heal pain. When your driving force is much, much bigger than money one must have a commitment to personal development that keeps emotion in check and allows for great things to happen.





1. Water Seeks It’s Own Level 

In simple terms, without other forces acting on water (such as wind) then the surface will be level. Water will fill whatever container it is in to the same height as the top of the other. Water is the great leveler. This metaphor means people will seek out those like themselves in character and education. As noted in the second blog of this series, Heidi Jannenga expands on that reality by saying, “When the tide rises all boats rise.”

WebPT hires for culture and simultaneously talent seeks out WebPT for its culture. When an organization protects its culture, inevitably the right talent shows up to take it to the next level.

 2. Attitude is infectious

Group think in this case is a good thing. When a culture has an attitude that is governed by passion, determination, a can do attitude, and the value of smart hard work there is no stopping it. WebPTers are not passing around yawns! They are spreading a can do attitude like wild fire.

 3. Recruit Others to Your Cause

Charitable organizations and startups have something in common that the operations team universally picks up on.  When you are a charity organization you are constantly recruiting people to stand behind your cause with their time, talent and treasure.  As a new startup with a new way of doing things, an organization has to win people away from the familiar status quo to a new way of thinking, being and doing. Neither of these tasks are easy. Recruiting people to your cause requires full on relentless and consistent commitment.

 4. Choose Causes that Resonate with Your Culture

 WebPT is a dog friendly culture. Heidi’s pooch, Topper, was WebPT’s Chief Morale Officer.  So much so that on their employment page; one of the benefits listed states “Bring Fido to work! Our office is dog-friendly, and we offer discounts on veterinary services.”  Choosing charitable organizations that resonate with the culture is a way of both protecting the culture and honoring the culture. A partnership with Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue DLRR makes perfect sense!

5. A Bias Toward Action Disseminates Fear

All three leaders agree that the best way to deal with fear is to move through and past it.  Russell said that he has learned that “A bias toward action disseminates fear.”  I have also heard it said that, “action is an antidote to fear” and “if you are going through hell, keep going.” The only way to deal with what we are afraid of is to get into action!

Thank you so much­­­­­ Rick, Ted, and Russell for choosing to work hard to be part of the WebPT culture and our community, and for taking time out for this interview!



In my research, I learned that Labrador retrievers originated in the 1700s a bit south of Labrador, on the island of Newfoundland.  The breed’s favorite activities are retrieving and swimming. Labs love to go on hunting trips, field trials, and to participate in canine sports such as agility, obedience, tracking, and dock diving. Labs were in fact breed for the water, from their webbed toes to their rudder-like tail to their double coat. 

Dock Jumping is a sport in which dogs compete in jumping for distance or height from a dock into a body of water not only in the United States but also in the United Kingdom, Australia. Germany and Austria.

For sure a “passion, determination, and can do attitude” is for sure “necessary” for to win this completion.  Competitors are literally trusting and jumping with all their might just like the WebPTers and all the charities representing in this project do every day to be successful.

Once again “the water seeks its own level’” and “when all tides rise all boats rise” theme is present both in The Attitude – Possess Ture Grit WebPT Value and in this breed. 

I find it amusing that the tail that Chief Morale Officer Topper so generously wagged could literally “right the ship and get things back on course”.




Work was shown at the The Art of Fearlessly Giving Back I – Web PT opening on May 18, 2018 at The Arizona Science Center.

Thank you to the 2018 Fearless Partners:
11Eleven Consulting|Peg QuinnThe AZ Consortium for the Arts|Charity Charms|Bob Diercksmeier of RJD Creative


Entrepreneurs and inspiring stories of all kinds are Fearlessly Deliver’s muse and focus. As an artist, a business woman and a visual journalist Michelle Micalizzi paints with a purpose. The Fearless Art Projects are collaborative social practice art engagements that connect art + business + community.

The ART OF FEARLESSLY GIVING BACK (AoFGB) is a community awareness series that focuses on the mission of select charitable organizations and the social responsible companies and philanthropic individuals that support them.


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