Joy Gilfilen – Host of JoyTalk

Civic Leader – Author – Founder of the Civic Joy Academy

Joy is a public voice in civic leadership having open conversations with elected officials, business people, non-profits, activists and entrepreneurs who are actively working to solve the real world problems people are facing locally in our communities.

  • As President of the Restorative Community Coalition for 10 years, Joy did a deep dive into why our economy is not working.  She discovered that the criminal justice system was causing complex trauma in families, neighborhoods, and then spilling out into the business, tax and court systems across the community.  Joy then discovered that it has led to poverty, homelessness, mental illness and trouble in courts, jails and non-profits.  Joy decided to use her skills to reverse the trends. 

  • By running for county executive and county sheriff, Joy led a community movement that successfully defeated a county jail-building-tax-initiative in 2015 – and another county jail-building-tax-initiative in 2017.  Joy’s book Noble Cause Corruption led a sitting county executive to be found guilty of a campaign law violation, fined personally, and put on probation for five years by the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission. She is also the author of Stop Punishing Taxpayers: Start Rebuilding Community and the ethnographic study Blind Spots: Unexpected Findings from Jail Trauma Research and the Whatcom County Jail Trauma Chart.
  • As a civic innovator, Joy is known for making invisible issues visible, transforming hard-to-talk about issues into community-wide dialogues, and championing and implementing practical solutions that save tax payers money. By partnering with other community leaders, Joy builds pathways that support people with conviction histories in navigating their re-entry into the workforce and civil society, while honoring inclusive governance, and promoting public safety.  Her methods build community trust, produce new leadership and economic vitality inside the civic heart. 
  • Prior to her jail reform work, Joy served as a legislative secretary for three state representatives in Olympia, Washington; led more than 35 business leaders in designing and implementing an urban renewal campaign that transformed a neglected historic district into a tourist destination and community hub that honors locally owned businesses; and coached 45 executives in bringing in upwards of 3.5 million dollars in annual sales in the wholistic health-care market in America’s pre-internet economy.  
  • As the Founder of The Civic Joy Academy,  Joy’s research is being been produced through webinars, in articles,  online and in DVD media such as Flipping the Joy Switch:  Introducing the Joy Triangle Model, and ChoicePoint: Uniting Creatives with Love and Vitality.  Joy’s latest article, Quantum Leadership Using the Natural Change Model was published as a co-author, in Cracking the Rich Code (2020), an Amazon #1 Best Seller (Nationally and Internationally). 
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