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Tim Wagoner

Director of Operations

Portrait of Tim Wagoner

Tim Wagoner started his technology career as a web developer back when HTML code was written by hand. He is a self-taught technology expert, and applies his skills to enhance every aspect of YES Institute’s work. As the Director of Operations, Tim manages the logistics of all events, courses, and the physical space of the organization, mostly “behind the scenes.” Because of Tim’s long tenure, he is often the source of new opportunities in the community to advance YES Institute’s mission.

What skills and expertise do you bring to the team?

I investigate. If I don’t know something, or how to do something, I will find the answer. I am persistent to a fault (some would say!). If you bring me something that doesn’t work, just know that I will figure it out.

I am also VERY logical. Which, when managed, is very effective and resourceful.

I am a dreamer. I am also good at looking at the current set of technology tools out there and applying them to the work of YES Institute, and then taking it further and dreaming up a “what if scenario” that uses technology not yet known, at least to me not known. I can look back at some of the “dreams and ideas” of what could be possible for our work, and technology is now showing up to allow some of those dreams to come true.

What do you find most rewarding about your work?

One of the most rewarding aspects of my work shows up many times like this: A student applies to be an intern in our Internship Program. They then take Communication Solutions™ (a requirement to be an intern) and as a result of taking the course, they share that for the first time they have felt able to be themselves with others. Throughout the internship, they dissect aspects of themselves, that allows them to blossom. They take on a project that has them self-expressed in the world. They graduate and go out into the world with a new view of them and the world. Many of them keep in touch (thank you Social Media!) and we see how YES Institute is being created in the world.

Name a peak experience in your life. What happened?

I was 50 years old. I learned about a charity bicycle ride to raise awareness and money for HIV/AIDS. It was a 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I tested HIV positive in 1988 and never donated $1 or even volunteered at an HIV/AIDS organization. I registered. I borrowed a bike to train. I shipped my bike to San Francisco, and rode those 545 miles with about 2500 other cyclists. I raised about $6000 that year and since then have completed about 5,500 miles of charity bicycle rides and personally have raised more than $40,000 for HIV/AIDS. Since that time I have captained several teams of riders that have raised more than $350,000. Since then, several other “peaks” have occurred, but that first time, in 2009 was another turning point in the process of being who I am in the world.

What learning experience had the biggest impact on who you are now?

I took Communication Solutions™ in 2003, the first time. I remember going to this course to learn how to tell my partner at the time, how to effectively communicate with ME! When I walked out of day-2 of that course, my head was spinning and I was physically shaken. I realized that my partner was my partner, and to effectively communicate with anyone, meant that first I needed to LISTEN to them! This was THE turning point in my life. That weekend resulted in me so inspired that I started to volunteer and then became a part-time employee, then 6 months later a full-time employee. And today, the personal development and training I have experienced over the past 14 years was all sourced from that weekend in 2003.

YES Institute has saved my family. It's because of YES Institute that we now have the ability to really listen to each other, inspire healing, seek education, and build a safe and comfortable home.

Jenny Betancourt Graduate Student