About Us

A bridge toward common ground.

Our Story

You, me, we…we believe the solution to our troubled world lies within each of us. Our training, offered through chapters and programs in an ever-growing number of communities, inspires improvement in how participants listen, relate, discern and communicate and nurtures their ability to connect and see things from others' perspectives.

From spouses and life partners, to parents and children, to co-workers, educators, police officers, health clinic workers, firefighters and EMS teams and others, our powerful training provides people with the tools to repair, improve or enhance any kind of relationship. By making it available in more and more communities across the world, we're enhancing personal lives while creating a kinder, more empathetic world.

… heavy emphasis on practicality. How to raise issues with your boss confidently, how to thoughtfully listen to your children and spouse, how to meaningfully recognize and appreciate your employees. It's just a shame I worked this long before learning about these tools! Greg Bunker, Dow Chemical Company/Michigan Chapter (Midland) Alumnus

United in purpose.

Our Mission & Values

We offer transformational learning experiences, to empower individuals, to strengthen relationships, and create a more compassionate world.

  • Stewardship
    We carefully and responsibly manage all that is entrusted to us.
  • Intentionality
    We are thoughtful and disciplined in our actions.
  • Continuous Improvement
    We focus our creativity on making tomorrow better than today.
  • Authenticity
    We are transparent in our actions and genuine in our relationships.
  • Trust
    We believe in the integrity and positive intentions of others.
  • Empathy
    We choose to see as others see, and feel as others feel.
  • Passion
    We are compelled by our ability to impact individuals and, therefore, the world.
… this course will help me in many ways — better relationships, less stress in life, meeting participation, better listening… Jeff, Charlotte Chapter Alumnus

A gift to share.

Our History

Bob and Cynthia Chapman

Bob and Cynthia Chapman

In 2008, global capital equipment manufacturer Barry-Wehmiller created an internal university, Barry-Wehmiller University, to help their team members become better leaders. The introductory course, Communication Skills Training, gave participants greater insight into their behavioral tendencies and how they interacted with one another. It taught them about attentive listening, the communications cycle, and effective confrontation. All of this, of course, was designed to help them become more effective leaders at work. The outcome, however, was a complete surprise! Time after time, graduates reported that the course was life-changing. While they agreed that what they learned certainly helped them in the workplace, the biggest impact from the class was felt in their personal lives. Many remarked about how it had enhanced their relationships with their spouse or their children, with some able to mend long-broken relationships or connect with loved ones for the first time ever!

Seeing the profound impact the class was having on team members lives, Cynthia Chapman, wife of Barry-Wehmiller CEO Bob Chapman, offered “We have to find a way to share this with the world!”

In 2010, Phillips LISTENS, Inc. was established by Bob and Cynthia Chapman to bring Barry-Wehmiller’s powerful and proven Communications Skills Training at no charge to communities for the sole purpose of “improving the fabric of our society.”  (The name “Phillips LISTENS” was inspired by the city of Phillips, WI, the location of the first-ever Communications Skills Training taught to community members at-large.) Eventually, as the non-profit began establishing additional chapters, its name was changed to Our Community Listens.

Today, Our Community Listens is bringing its life-changing, community-changing training to a growing number of communities across the world. Additionally, Barry-Wehmiller continues to offer the course, now called Listen Like a Leader, to its team members. And, in 2015, BW Leadership Institute was established to partner with other for-profit organizations in helping them create people-centric cultures. Listen Like a Leader is part of a suite of courses it offers.

This program will change the way I approach everything - from my marriage, to my parenting, to my other relationships, to the way I lead. Amazing content and very well done! Kevin Miquelon, St. Louis Chapter Alumnus

Meet the team.

Our Team

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  • aim2 Aimee Safford Facilitator
  • Cunningham, Amy_4-21-16-22 Amy Cunningham Facilitator
  • Angel Moore copy Angel Moore Facilitator
  • Ashley Perl Ashley Perl Facilitator
  • Bryn SAFB (6) Bryn Franicevich Facilitator
  • photo-1 Cheryll Knopf Logistics Leader
  • Kit Tennis Christopher "Kit" Tennis Facilitator
  • Dave Anderson Dave Anderson Facilitator
  • Dave Van Duinen Dave Van Duinen Facilitator
  • Dayna Neff Dayna Neff Facilitator
  • Dustin Brown Dustin Brown Strategic Initiatives Leader
  • Stelling_Erica (6) Erica Stelling Facilitator
  • Hannah Lozon headshot Hannah Lozon Facilitator
  • Heather Exby Heather Exby Facilitator
  • Heather Resmer Heather Resmer Logistics Leader
  • jacqueline headshot Jacqueline Bulanow Facilitator
  • jamie lee Jamie Lee Facilitator
  • Jeanette Gerke Jeanette Gerke Logistics Leader
  • Jen McGill Jen McGill Facilitator
  • jenn chapman pic Jennifer Chapman Logistics Leader
  • Jill Wright Jill Wright Facilitator
  • Jim English Jim English Facilitator
  • OCL Wisconsin Team Photo 2017 Jim Rasmussen Facilitator
  • Jodi (3) Jodi Martinez Facilitator
  • John Carroll John Carroll Facilitator
  • Jonathan Trotter Jonathan Trotter Facilitator
  • Julie Chapman Julie Marie Chapman Chapter Leade, Facilitator
  • Julie Zumach Julie Zumach Chapter Leader, Facilitator
  • Kacky Crider Photo_edited Kacky Crider Facilitator
  • Katie Trotter Katie Trotter Strategic Initiatives Leader - Michigan
  • Katie Von Holdnener OCL photo two (5) Katie Von Holdener Facilitator
  • Kelly Wells Kelly Wells Finance Director
  • Larry Den Hartog Larry Den Hartog Master Facilitator
  • Leigh Ann Garrett Leigh Ann Garrett Logistics Leader
  • Lisa May Howard Lisa May Howard Facilitator
  • MLB2 Marsha Burns Director, Content Quality and Curriculum Development
  • Mary Adams Mary Adams Facilitator
  • Mary-Margaret Thomas Mary-Margaret Thomas Facilitator
  • Maureen 2 Aug 2019 Maureen Schloskey Facilitator
  • Melisa Bracht-Wagner Melisa Bracht-Wagner Program Leader
  • Micki Gibbs pic copy Micki Gibbs Facilitator
  • Mike OCL 2_edited_edited Mike Desparrois Leader of Educational Initiatives
  • Mike Schafer Mike Schafer Facilitator
  • Mike Winczewski Mike Winczewski Facilitator
  • Misty Janks Misty Janks Chapter Leader, Facilitator
  • Nina Monty Nina Monty Innovation & Quality Leader
  • Pam King Pam King Chapter Leader, Facilitator
  • Patti Schaefer 2019_edited Patti Schaefer Facilitator
  • Rebecca Emerson Rebecca Emerson Executive Director
  • Robert Martin Robert Martin Facilitator
  • Ryan Freitag Ryan Freitag Program Leader, Facilitator
  • Sarah Weisbarth Sarah Weisbarth Lead- Alumni Enrichment, Facilitator
  • Shara Brice Shara Brice Chapter Leader
  • Sharon Clement Sharon Clement Facilitator
  • Shirley Tipton Shirley Tipton Leader Facilitator Selection, Training and Deployment
  • Steve Schutt (3) Steve Schutt Facilitator
  • Susan McKeller Susan McKeller Logistics Leader
  • Tracy Brown (3) Tracy Brown Facilitator
Talk to Us, We're Listening!