Having mentored me throughout my 20’s and 30’s Jim challenged me to not settle for “normal”. He encouraged me to think beyond the “supposed to’s” and to realize that success is sometimes found by climbing down the ladder of success. Most often Jim did not only speak to me of these things but rather modeled, challenged, debated and walked through life with me pointing out signposts of people and books illustrating these things.
He also taught me humble-strong leadership caring deeply for the people he leads, taking regular time to encourage and acknowledge their strengthens as well as speaking to their weaknesses and helping them grow in these.
Jim is authentic, knowledgeable (in so many areas), and intuitive. I have seen him concisely and clearly speak into many lives and situations. I am grateful for the years of his influence in my life. MJ Richards, Non-profit Administrator, Al Hociema, Morocco, North Africa
I have known Jim for almost a decade. From the genesis of our relationship, he has been focused on helping me maximize my potential. Pragmatic, creative, and honest, Jim conducts himself with Spirit-led excellence. Jim truly wants his expertise and tools to benefit a person or organization so that they are as successful as they can be. I have always found him to be an exceptional listener and very wise on a broad range of topics. I would strongly recommend Jim to anyone trying to ‘figure it out’ in internships, leadership, mentoring, campus ministry, camping, and in variety of other areas. Vincent Burens, President/CEO, Coalition for Christian Outreach, Pittsburgh PA
Having known and worked with Jim for 15 years, I can wholeheartedly recommend him to you for organizational leadership consulting, life coaching, or personal mentoring.
In my experience, working under Jim’s management for a few years was a great time for me to see and learn about strong servant leadership. He values collaboration within the work group and during those years he made every effort to build up the team by allowing each of us to utilize our personal skills, thereby underpinning the organization with the appropriate people in just the right positions (whether we knew it at the time, or not!). While completely attuned to caring for the larger organization we worked for, including making the tough decisions and hard calls, one of Jim’s greatest attributes is his genuine and deep care for the individual. In addition to his friendship, I have also carried with me the excellent living example I picked up from watching and listening to him throughout those years on his staff, applying it to both my professional and personal life. Marty Lunde, PhD, University of Edinburgh, Edmonds WA
I’ve known Jim since 2002, when my oldest daughter became involved with the INN Ministries (where Jim served as Director). I was able to see the results of his leadership in the lives of both my daughters and a number of other young men and women from our church and at Western Washington University. Jim is a gifted and caring mentor. His ability to allow, and even encourage, students to grapple with difficult questions of faith, theology, and praxis with grace and integrity helped them to mature into adults who continue to think deeply, passionately, and empathetically.
In the past few years several of Jim’s students have enrolled at The Seattle School. I can say without reservation that we are always excited to have these students join our school. They are passionate and purposeful, committed to academic excellence and maturity, and dedicated to serving God and others. I hope to have the opportunity to work with Jim again at some point in the near future. Cheryl Goodwin, Director of Institutional Assessment & Library Services, The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology, Seattle WA
I have been in professional ministry for over 25 years in various forms (youth ministry, campus ministry, church planting). In all that time I have never had anyone ever come close to the influence and impact Jim has had on me both professionally and personally in the 12 plus years since I met him. His knowledge and understanding of leadership development, of culture (both the faith culture and secular culture), churches and para-church organizations and the mentoring and coaching he has provided to me in those areas has proved to be invaluable. Mark Nelson, Senior Pastor, Crossings Church, Knoxville TN
I had the privilege of working under Jim’s leadership for several years. His vision, leadership and character have been instrumental in my professional development and as a person. Jim has the unique ability to build productive teams that promote the core values of an organization while inspiring individuals to new horizons of growth. He sees the potential in those he leads and is devoted to developing individual’s strengths. It is Jim’s commitment to personal growth coupled with his natural gifts that makes him such an effective leader. Hilary King, Mental Health Practitioner, Clinical Supervisor, Harborview Mental Health and Addiction Services, Seattle WA
I have had the privilege of being friends with Jim for over 30 years. We have connected through the Inn ministry in Bellingham he led for many years and through our mutual collaboration with the Murdock Trust in Vancouver WA. I have found Jim to be a leader who develops those he serves with the love of Jesus. He has strengths in many areas including strategic planning, problem solving, financial development and pastoral care. Jim is simply a quality person who brings years of experience in the church, discipleship endeavors and the non-profit world. In addition he brings a presence that is full of inquiring questions, thoughtful counsel and a contagious sense of humor. Jim is an asset to any organization and person he works alongside Jim Eney, Associate, Oregon Friends
At a particularly stressful period in my life Jim offered me sage wisdom and practical help (including charts and web resources!), which greatly reduced my anxiety. Bringing a second set of eyes to look at a problem works best when those eyes are visionary, widely read, and have a global perspective. Jim’s eyes score high in each of these areas; I encourage everyone to invite Jim’s eyes to look over your life challenges and gain from his wise perspective Erik Johnson, Mediator and Marriage and Family Therapist, Bellingham, WA
I am a counselor. I haven’t always been a counselor. At one point in my life, I was a college dropout with no clear direction or plan. This is when I met Jim.
I am a counselor in part because of Jim’s encouragement and investment in my life. He helped me uncover who I am and discover where I was headed. This included walking alongside me and helping me discover my gifts, passions and work style. This occurred through personal conversations, his mentoring; referring me to a therapist, suggesting books to read and through a personal development curriculum that he led me through. His introduction to introspection through understanding temperament, personality traits and style of relating has helped me better understand others and myself. Jim’s dedication to helping me become more “fully myself” nurtured me to be able to more honestly evaluate who I have been and who I am becoming and enter graduate school.
Jim’s support, friendship and leadership have been a significant part of my self-discovery process. I know I am not the only one who has been impacted by his leadership. I continue to discover new things about myself but it is no longer terrifying. I am grateful for new insight and for Jim’s encouragement to open myself up to exploration and possibility. This is one of the things I love most about being a counselor. I get to invite others into a similar place and process. I am now a counselor and an advocate for self-discovery. Breeze Potts, counselor, Bellingham, WA
At first I was drawn to Jim because I simply liked him, back in 1999 as a freshman at Western Washington University, young and excited and seeking direction in life. But over the course of years, I have found his willingness to get together and talk about any season of life (particularly transition times, i.e. from college to an internship at the INN, from the internship to moving away to the city, from the city to moving yet again for graduate school, then from being single to being married) absolutely refreshing from the standpoint of his keen insights and intelligent challenges toward excellence. Anne Campbell, free-lance writer, Accounting Clerk, Bellingham, WA
I have had the pleasure of knowing Jim for almost 30 years. As a young mom of two small children, Jim was instrumental in recognizing my skills and gifts beyond being a “mommy” and encouraging me to use them in a ministry capacity within our church. He provided many opportunities for me to participate in areas that not only felt comfortable to me but also helped me to stretch into other areas of ministry where he could see my potential. I believe that his encouraging guidance in those early years directly impacted my choice of career today.
Recently, when I needed some wisdom and clarity in a business situation, I again contacted Jim for his expertise in non-profits and church relations. He remains current in his Christian worldview and is one of the best listeners I know. I am blessed to call him a friend Kodi Aubert, Director Birchwood Preschool, Bellingham WA
As my mentor, Jim has the inherent ability to ask the exact right questions I have needed to hear in the moment. He has the wisdom to see what should be dealt with immediately and what should be reflected on for longer periods of time. After having a mentoring conversation with Jim, I am always amazed at how he was able to bring clarity and thought to details I hadn’t even realized I needed to think through. Plus he always continues to show genuine encouragement and interest as I’ve taken steps to improve my life and work towards my goals. And somehow knowing Jim is in my corner always makes those steps just a little bit easier to attempt Caity Kepler, Teacher, Nooksack Valley Schools, WA
When I began to consider pursuing professional ministry, seminary and potentially ordination, Jim was naturally the first person I turned to for guidance. After serving with and being taught by him for several years as a college student, I knew his wisdom and experience would be indispensable to me. He has not only helped me to determine the next steps in discerning my path and opened my eyes to new opportunities, but has encouraged me by pointing out strengths I didn’t know I had and reminding me that leadership comes in a variety of forms. He is unrivaled in his ability to guide and support individuals from all walks of life; I have hardly heard of anyone walking away from a chat with Jim over coffee without a renewed sense of their own worth and direction. Jenni Herold, Graduate Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ
For the last decade, Jim Schmotzer has been many things to me. He has been a spiritual leader, a mentor, a cheerleader, and a friend. Jim’s loyal guidance and support as I worked through a very difficult and confusing decade of young adulthood have proved invaluable.
When I met Jim, I was a freshman in college. I spent the next few years floundering wildly as I took my first steps toward adulthood, and as Jim witnessed my challenges; he entered my life with great care. He would disarm me by approaching me without judgment, and his gifts in perception allowed him to speak deeply in to my life. Jim provided an anchor of support and respect that I desperately needed.
In the years following, Jim continued to faithfully encourage me as I explored various career paths, always making himself available to me to provide personal insight and big-picture commentary. As I transitioned in to a career path of full-time ministry, Jim celebrated my calling with me and shared priceless wisdom from his decades of experience. His affirmation of my pursuit of my current ministry position gave me the confidence I needed to pursue it fully.
I am deeply blessed and grateful to have Jim in my life. While he has had profound influence in my personal life, being exposed to his gifting in organizational health has also informed my work in ministry leadership on every meaningful level. Jim’s thumbprint can be found, in some form, in all the areas in which I’ve been fortunate enough to serve and lead.
I enthusiastically encourage any individual to seek Jim’s guidance through any season of life. Fred Hartsook, National Presenter, Faithlife, Bellingham, WA
The near twenty-year journey of our relationship as colleagues, brothers in Christ and as professionals is rich. Jim’s Spirit-filled character of authenticity and compassion is one that inspires, encourages, and enlightens relationships. Our paths professionally and personally have been graced with wisdom, humor, insight and focus. His friendship and guidance during my difficult transition was a soul-anchoring gift. I have observed and experienced his attentiveness to a person’s uniqueness and adapting conversations to meet each situation in a sensitive and compelling way. His commitment to help others towards a desired future does not go unnoticed. His insights in organizational effectiveness have helped me be a better leader. Jim will be an invaluable catalyst in helping individuals and organizations realize personal and corporate fulfillment and satisfaction. Greg Kanehen, Pastor & Police Chaplain, Marysville, WA
I have known Jim for close to 10 years and am blessed to count him as mentor and good friend. With any challenge I face in my life, whether personal or professional, Jim listens with genuine interest and true concern. He asks just the question I am avoiding that also happens to be the key to the solution. Jim’s strength is building relationships and tailoring his coaching to each individual he works with. I am forever grateful for his guidance and friendship. Karlie Wipperling, Clinic Manager, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA
Several months ago, I found myself at a crossroads with two paths that would take my life in very different directions. I only had a couple of days to decide and was feeling stressed and unsure of what I should do. Contacting Jim was one of the best things I could have done. His sincere heart for serving, thought provoking questions, keen ear, and wisdom helped give me clarity to make a confident decision. He assisted me in determining what was preventing me from making a decision. I was and continue to be grateful for Jim’s gift of counsel. Sarah Spitzer, ELL Specialist, Bellingham Public Schools, WA
For over a decade, it’s been a cinch to consider Jim Schmotzer as a mentor as I’ve navigated life, work, and my ongoing pursuit of music and art. Over the years, though my roles have been many (student, intern, receptionist, office manager, musician, songwriter and teacher), Jim has been a constant support and steady encourager through the seasons, changes, goal-setting and decision-making. Specifically, I have had the opportunity to be mentored by Jim as a musician in a band, a solo artist, and in my professional pursuits. In each case, and in every meeting with Jim, I gained new perspective, clear direction, and a hearty dose of hope. He has a way of shedding light on darkness, and a knack for making sense out of confusion. Without a doubt, his wisdom, coaching and patient way of encouraging movement forward has been a game-changer for me. Dana Little, Musician & Teacher, Seattle WA, To learn more about Dana and her music check out: http://www.danalittlemusic.com/
I think the best word to describe Jim is ‘coach’. I’ve been able to observe him in a variety of ministry settings over our 25-year friendship. In each of these roles, Jim has primarily worked to develop the gifts and abilities of those he’s working with. He is very genuine in his desire to mentor and grow others to their best potential. You and your organization will benefit from his ability to apply his experience to the ever-changing nature of business and ministry. Paul Petersen, Senior Pastor Bellingham Covenant Church, Bellingham, WA
I have been fortunate to know Jim for nearly a decade since we met while I was a university student. During this time I benefited from meeting regularly with him as a mentor. Since graduating from college and moving on to a career, Jim and I continued to meet, less regularly, but every bit as intentionally. Jim is, and continues to be, one of the most naturally gifted listeners I have ever met. He is uniquely talented in his ability to not only listen intentionally, but also to help one’s decision-making using thoughtful questions. I have been so grateful for the gift of Jim’s gifts and wisdom during some of life’s greatest challenges, ranging from career choices and relationships to church involvement and education. I would recommend Jim as a contact for one’s own life questions without reservation. Ryan Pemberton, Minister for University Engagement, First Presbyterian, Berkley, CA
It was an honor to be mentored by Jim while I served as a student, an intern, and a campus ministry staff member. Jim has the ability to notice the little things in people that make them who they are as individuals and as members of a team. He takes time to truly understand the mission and purpose of an organization. This enables him to help a team grow, empowering them, equipping them, and challenging them. Personally, Jim cared for me, guided me, and encouraged me. I will be forever grateful for his mentorship. Sarah Halstead, Counselor, Christians as Family Advocates (CAFA), Eugene OR
I worked Jim with throughout my time as a college ministry intern. During my time with Jim, I not only learned what it takes to minister well to others, but I also learned about what makes me thrive as a person. He opened my eyes to both the exciting and the challenging aspects of leadership, lending me advice and help along the way. Jim has been an integral part of my adult faith and someone I respect and admire greatly. Elyse Fairweather, Chaplain, Franciscan Hospice and Palliative Care, Seattle, WA
I worked with Jim during a time of refining our organizational focus to respond to cultural change. I found Jim’s work with our staff to be insightful and encouraging while maintaining a focus on where we were heading as a team. Jim’s leadership in our organization empowered our current staff to understand our strengths and build toward our desired future. Stead Halstead, Network/System Administrator, Northwest Christian University, Eugene OR
I had the pleasure of working with Jim in ministry for 5 years, 4 as a student/student leader and 1 as an intern. Jim has great insights into current and historical shifts in culture for both the church and society at large. I am always impressed by his rich understanding of the deeper themes at play. However, what I appreciated most about knowing and working with Jim is that he places great emphasis on relationships. In many of my most trying times Jim has walked alongside me and offered advice and support that was individually tailored to what I needed in that moment. I can specifically recall when Jim helped me make a very important decision about a recent cardiac procedure that I needed to have. He used his knowledge of how I make decisions to help me feel peace in a very difficult situation. I am remarkably grateful for who Jim is in my life as both a mentor and a friend. Christine Everson, Teacher, Eastlake High School, Sammish WA
During a 1-year internship when I worked under the leadership and direction of Jim, I had the incredible opportunity of exploring my life goals. During this training, I learned many new things about myself–who I am, my strengths, my weaknesses, what I value–and the future I wanted to have. I was able to look at my life and where I was headed and set concrete goals for myself. Jim helped me process what it was I wanted to do and who I wanted to be, and I can’t thank him enough for his patience and dedication to all of us (interns) while we moved through our life and faith journeys together. DJ Morgan, Design and Media Coordinator, Experience Mission
Jim, in many ways, deserves the credit for any success I’ve had in leadership. He helped me see that leadership takes many forms, and in those times when I didn’t think I had what it took to be a quote-unquote leader, he showed me otherwise. I appreciated that he never tried to make me someone I couldn’t be. Instead, he took the time to really understand me and where I was coming from. I found a lot of freedom in that. By mentoring so many people over the years he has developed an innate ability to read people and offer encouragement in ways best for them.
Also, Jim taught me to look at my faith – really look at it – and question everything. Before I met him and experienced ministry under his leadership, I took a lot of things at face value. He showed me that there was a different way to look at things, that my faith was much more than the definition I gave it in the past. I found more gray than black and white, more questions than answers, and yet I also felt like I was working toward something greater and more meaningful. It was comforting knowing Jim had led others along this same path, and seeing an example in him of such authentic faith. Tarin Erickson, National Parks Service, Seattle WA
From the day I met Jim, I knew he was wise. He’s one of those people that you want to tell your whole life story to the second you meet him. Jim has helped shape my adult faith through making me ask the tough questions, listening to me, and always providing constructive criticism and/or encouragement. He is one of the most real and trustworthy people that I know, and I would never be where I am today without him. Jim will always be with me on my journey with God, and he will willingly walk alongside you. Kelcie (Prazan) Imhoff, Owner Eternal Knot Ceremonies, Former Project Manager & Team Lead Microsoft Dynamics Social, Bellevue WA