Meredith Wilson Parfet
Founder, Managing Principal
Meredith conceived Ravenyard as a way of harnessing her learnings – personal and professional – to help leaders manage, survive, and even thrive through crisis.
Meredith understands that people in a professional crisis need something more than what is generally packaged as crisis management. They need structure and order from the chaos. They frequently need domain expertise. And most importantly, they need support for their well-being.
For better and worse, Meredith has experienced crises across all areas of her life, including the tragic loss of her sister in 2006, her own near death in 2011, and a significant business crisis in 2018. She believes in the inevitability of suffering for all people, and the ability to survive it in transformative, meaningful ways.
Meredith is an accomplished investor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. She has nearly two decades of asset management and hedge fund experience, including acting as the Chief Operating Officer for two alternative investment funds. She also co-founded Denali Venture Philanthropy, an investment organization that funds entrepreneurs who are committed to social change. Meredith has led organizations of all sizes, from small start-ups to complex, global operations.
Meredith holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, an MA in Spiritual Care from the Iliff School of Theology, and a BA in Political Science from Northwestern University. She is a certified End of Life Doula as well as a practicing Hospice Chaplain.
- MBA, Kellogg School of Management
- MA, Pastoral and Spiritual Care, Iliff School of Theology
- Practicing Hospice Chaplain
- Certified End of Life Doula
- Independent Trustee, Sweater Ventures, Cashmere Fund
- Advisor, Meta Angels NFT
- Rocky Mountain Who’s Who In Impact Investing, Denver Business Journal 2018
- Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt
Hospice chaplain? Really?
Unsurprisingly, Meredith gets a lot of questions about being a hospice chaplain. What is a hospice chaplain? Isn’t that religious? Does it require training? Is this like a midlife crisis thing?
Let’s break it down. Chaplains have an advanced degree in spiritual care and hundreds of hours of clinical care experience. They work in non-religious, high-intensity settings such as hospitals, prisons, and the military. However, because their work is spiritual, they help people of any faith or religion as well as people who subscribe to no faith or religion; they cover the entire range.
But people are most curious about the why.
Meredith has had a longtime passion for social justice and community interaction, dating back to working in Africa on a grant from the Gates Foundation. In 2016, she started volunteering in hospice and found that the experience fed her soul. Companioning people who are dying is a window into some of life’s deepest wisdom and mystery. That led to a Death Doula certificate program in 2019 – another experience that blew her mind. She knew that she eventually wanted to become a chaplain, even if she was unclear on what that meant for her career. But, as we often say, crisis is clarifying. A significant professional crisis in 2018 left her feeling unsupported, in all ways. That led her to envision a new path, a different way of doing things, and to see how much hospice chaplaincy and crisis management can and should have in common.
Why do you need a chaplain in a business crisis?
Meredith is a frequent contributor to various publications on crisis management and grief
As with all of her work, Meredith wears both her CEO hat and her chaplain hat when writing articles for publication. At the center of all crisis, whether it be personal or professional, are humans in distress. And it’s the piece that so many people seem to overlook. Whether it’s what to say to coworkers or friends who have recently been laid off or how to effectively manage a team through a crisis, Meredith’s chaplain work informs her crisis work.
“The organizations that survive crisis intact are ruthlessly focused on what matters most to them and are willing to let the extraneous fall by the wayside.”
Interview with Meredith Wilson Parfet
March 14, 2023
CEOs are often called on to provide leadership in a crisis. But what does an organization do when, for whatever reason, there’s no one in the corner office to respond to a disaster, scandal, or other business emergencies?
Quoting Meredith Wilson Parfet
October 19, 2022
My LinkedIn feed has been filled with layoff posts lately. They’re often a series of uncomfortable responses from well-intentioned friends. I’ve seen people say everything from “Good luck!”
Written by Meredith Wilson Parfet
September 9, 2022
Meredith is a dynamic and engaging speaker who brings a unique perspective to the practical and personal issues that arise out of professional/workplace crises.