Holly Heilberg



Holly Heilberg

When Holly hit the “work/life balance wall,” her first instinct was to pick up Stephen Covey’s book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and hope to find her way out of exhaustion.

She was actually on a much-needed vacation with her husband and two young sons but she spent the day reading the book while her husband took their two rambunctious boys out for a day of activities. It was this book and some quiet and reflective time that propelled her to re-examine her life. And once she came out on the other side, she ultimately became clearer about her values, needs and life mission.

This quiet, reflective and rejuvenating experience led her to create similar experiences for the employees at U.Va. In 2009, she partnered with other like-minded practitioners (Kristy Harvey as her co-partner) to design “Renewal Retreats” for the staff and faculty at U.Va. Since that time, it has become one of the more popular offerings through UVa’s Human Resources Department of Employee Development.

Thanks to the continuing support of Human Resources, Holly offers multiple retreats throughout the year. Employees spend the day at a beautiful and restorative setting (The International Center) and soak in various rejuvenating and reflective “tastings”. These include meditation, journaling, laughter yoga, Nia, guided imagery, music and a creative project. Most recently one participant stated that this experience left her “totally stress free, focused and ready to face the world again”.

Holly also partners with the Faculty Employee Assistance Program (FEAP) and the Hoo’s Well program to offer day-long events on “Renewal” and “Humor in the Workplace”. It is just one small way of showing U.Va. employees how much they are valued and appreciated and to remind them of the importance of self-care and laughter in bringing a renewed perspective to life.

Holly has lived in Charlottesville for 32 years with her husband David and two adult sons (Daniel and Benjamin) who have also made this community their home and are so thankful she took this journey to wholeness.