Jessica DeGroot – Founder and President
Jessica founded ThirdPath Institute so employees at all stages in their lives could follow a “third path” – one that allows success at work while creating time and energy for their lives outside of work. Starting with “shared care,” Jessica, with the help of her staff, developed a variety of resources for parents interested in sharing in the care of their children while also both earning an income. Since then, ThirdPath’s work has expanded to provide support to “whole life leaders” – leaders who have succeeded at work while also carving out time for their lives outside of work. These progressive leaders are now working with Jessica to design truly 21st Century Workplaces where everyone – from entry level to executive level – can create an integrated approach to work and life. Jessica and ThirdPath Institute have been featured in national media and radio shows, including Fortune, Washington Post, Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Working Mother, New York Times Magazine, and Fast Company. After completing her undergraduate degree at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, Jessica received her MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where she co-founded the Wharton Work/Life Roundtable. She’s published articles in The Harvard Business Review, Sloan Work and Family Encyclopedia, The American Woman 2003-2004, and is co-author of the Wharton Work/Life Resource Guide. Jessica and her husband live in Philadelphia and have always shared in the care of their two children, and now share in the care of their aging parents.
Andy Agnew – Manager of Marketing and Communications
Andy’s activities with ThirdPath encompass marketing, strategy and communications. Andy became involved with ThirdPath after relocating to the US with his wife and two boys from the UK as a result of a promotion at work for his wife. Andy has been a flexing dad and then primary parent for a number of years. With his children a little older, he was looking for a community he could connect with as he re-launched himself back into the world of work – ThirdPath provided just that option. Previously his career included sales and marketing roles in a number of business areas including telecommunications and finance before a move into management research and teaching at several UK universities. When his children were very young he combined working as a freelance business consultant with university teaching as a way to stay actively involved in the care of his two boys. Andy has a BA in History and International Relations from the University of Stafford and received his MBA from Keele University.
Diana Blasdel – Manager of Development and Donor Relations
Diana provides support for Jessica to deepen relationships surrounding ThirdPath’s mission. She seeks and encourages contributions from those who share ThirdPath’s passion for leading an integrated life, while cultivating ThirdPath’s giving strategies to ensure our long term fiscal health. Diana has worked with artists, educators, and cultural institutions that transform communities with beauty, joy, reflection and growth, most recently at Temple University, Walnut Street Theatre, and Curtis Institute of Music. She earned her Master of Science in Arts Administration from Drexel University, and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Glass/Ceramics from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, with additional studies in ancient Mediterranean art history. Recently, Diana worked remotely from a new city weekly as her husband Miguel performed in the Jersey Boys National Tour. Diana and Miguel constantly worked together to reframe and sustain the balance of “home” and “work” within their nomadic household, insuring each family member got what they need, including their amazing tiny rescue dog Remy LeBeau
Melissa Davidson – Executive Assistant, Programs and Operations
Melissa provides a wide array of critical support, making sure operations run smoothly, expanding our connection to the ILA community and helping Jessica manage a thriving organization. Prior to joining ThirdPath, Melissa worked in the Early Childhood Education field for 12 years. She began as a classroom teacher and eventually became a regional manager overseeing the operations of 11 child care centers in the Metro DC area. Melissa then began a family-life coaching and consulting practice providing services to parents and child care centers. Melissa and her husband live in Northern, VA with their two children. Melissa and Brian have used ThirdPath resources to help find a Shared Care approach that allows each to work outside of the home, spend one-on-one time with their children and play together as a family. The Davidsons enjoy nightly family dinners and listening to music that includes everyone’s eclectic tastes. Melissa has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from University of Pennsylvania, a BA in Psychology from Bucknell University and is a certified professional coach.
Rashi Shyam – Manager of Programs and Operations
Rashi helps ThirdPath expand and strengthen its connection to our Integrated Life Advocate community – the professionals individuals and families turn to when they need help around their work/life balance goals. She also oversees the execution of key processes that promote ThirdPath’s growth and success. Rashi became involved in ThirdPath because she found it reflective of her own life. After spending a number of years balancing demanding careers while raising two daughters, Rashi and her husband decided to support her to launch a business as a way to find more flexibility. When Rashi then needed to help care for her aging parents, she and her husband learned the value of creating a team approach at home. Now that their children are a little older, Rashi is excited to work for an organization that truly reflects her life goals, as well as the work life integration and shared care that she and her family are working towards. Rashi earned an M.B.A. in Management and Marketing from Rutgers, and a B.A. in Psychology also from Rutgers.