Headshot of Marie Unger

Marie Unger
CEO
Emergenetics International

It’s an exciting time at Emergenetics International. In the past six months, we launched two new virtual workshops, updated our Associate Certification curriculum for digital delivery and supported our global staff through a successful transition to working remotely.

Earlier this month, Dr. Geil Browning announced she would be stepping away from the day-to-day operations of the company to take on the role of Founder and Board Chair. She promoted Marie Unger, the longtime president of Emergenetics International (EGI) and the Student|Teacher Emergenetics Program (STEP), to the role of Chief Executive Officer.

Our Vice President of Client Experience, Kerry Anderson, connected with Marie to get some insights, learn more about her plans for the organization as well as uncover some fun facts.

Kerry: Congratulations on your recent promotion to CEO! What do you see as the biggest strengths of our companies right now?

Marie: Thank you! It’s an honor and privilege to be the second CEO of Emergenetics International and STEP! Without a doubt, our biggest strength is the power of Emergenetics Profile, and its ability to break down barriers and create connectivity. Every person around the globe can benefit from better self-awareness and understanding of the people in their lives. I also see our ability to respond with agility to our rapidly changing world as an incredible asset over the past few months. 2020 has proven that hindsight offers an opportunity to celebrate where you’ve come from, to improve the present and have better vision for the future.

Kerry: How do you see our companies evolving in the next year, two years or five years?

Marie: Well, one of the many things that this year has confirmed for me is that while you can set goals and make plans, you better be prepared to be nimble. It’s one of my goals to be sure that we can evolve as the world does. As the theme of improving human connection continues to gain importance, we will be there inspiring others to recognize the power of cognitive diversity and how it can drive understanding. In the longer-term, I want to focus on how we can better utilize digital solutions to support expanded applications of Emergenetics.

Kerry: What one word would best describe your leadership style?

Marie: You know me, there’s no way I can limit it to just one word! I need three: bold, curious and compassionate.

Kerry: What has been your most rewarding accomplishment during your time with EGI and STEP?

Marie: There have been so many rewarding experiences in my seven years here. With STEP, I’m so proud that we expanded our reach to positively impact teachers and their students. I’ve always believed in the power of Emergenetics theory and its capacity to make a real difference in classrooms and with our youth. By growing our client base, I know we are helping more kids and educators to celebrate who they are, become advocates for their learning and build more welcoming, accepting school communities.

With Emergenetics, when I took over as president two years ago, I recognized that we would need to accelerate the pace of innovation. The world changed faster than some of the company’s practices, and I’m so proud of all we’ve done to transform as an organization. In less than 24 months, we established a new team dedicated to Associate support, reduced our carbon footprint by decreasing demand for printed materials, created the Emergenetics Learning Lab to support our Associate Certification program, and most recently, developed virtual workshop options. I would have never predicted all these outcomes, and I’m proud of every one of them.

Kerry: What keeps you up at night?

Marie: The big shoes I am stepping into. I am cognizant of what Geil has done for and means to so many people. I am grateful that I have been able to work so closely with her for so many years. And in the wee hours of the morning, I wonder about the best ways to capture all that Geil has taught me and use that to inspire our team members and move Emergenetics forward.

Kerry: What is something you like to do outside of work that would surprise people?

Marie: I just love being outdoors! We’re so lucky to have Colorado’s mountains in our backyard. I enjoy being active, hiking and taking advantage of our beautiful surroundings. I also enjoy gardening, as it can be so therapeutic and grounding. I find myself spending more time tending to our flowers and plants. I will take any excuse I can find to be outside!

Kerry: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our blog subscribers?

Marie: Mostly, I want to say thank you to everyone who follows us, our blog, our social media channels and the many people that conduct workshops or have experienced the power of Emergenetics. Your support of the work we do, your continued belief in our organizations and your commitment to sharing the positive impact of our work with others are some of the many reasons we continue to progress and grow.