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Bridging the AI Gap: How Theresa Fesinstine Is Empowering Leaders for Change



Theresa Fesinstine is the Founder of peoplepower.ai, empowering people leaders to strategically integrate artificial intelligence tools within their organizations.


With over two decades spent in the corporate landscape of New York City, Theresa's pivot to the tranquil atmosphere of Norwalk, Connecticut set the stage for a profound realization. She recognized the disparity between the rapidly growing world of AI technology and the lagging adoption within human resources and people management. Ultimately, the inception of peoplepower.ai wasn’t merely about introducing AI tools to people leaders; it was and continues to be a mission to educate and instill confidence into those leaders to seamlessly incorporate these tools into their strategic frameworks.


We asked Theresa about the story behind peoplepower.ai’s founding, how she navigates self-doubt as an entrepreneur, and what’s next for her and her company.


Tell us the story behind your company’s founding. How and why did you start working on peoplepower.ai?


Peoplepower.ai was born out of a pressing need to humanize the technology transition within organizations. After spending over two decades in the bustling NYC corporate ecosystem, I moved to the serene environment of Norwalk, Connecticut. This move provided the mental space to identify this glaring gap. The tech world was booming with artificial intelligence. However, human resources and people management were falling behind, often unable to fully grasp or utilize these tools effectively. I recognized the golden opportunity to serve as the bridge. The mission was not just to introduce AI tools to people leaders but to educate and empower them to integrate the tools into their strategic objectives.


The problem we aim to solve is twofold. First, while AI has disrupted multiple sectors, its integration into human resources and people management has been sluggish and superficial. Second, when organizations do implement AI, they often sideline their HR teams, who then miss the opportunity to use these tools strategically. Peoplepower.ai comes in to make HR a strategic partner in the business, teaching people leaders how to leverage AI to enhance everything from talent management to workplace culture. We believe that when HR thrives, the entire organization follows suit.



Promoting the pivotal role of women, as well as individuals from underrepresented groups, in the field of AI is of utmost importance.


Our uniqueness stems from our holistic approach. While most tech solutions offer a tool and stop there, we offer a journey. We integrate cutting-edge AI tools into customized strategies that align with each company’s unique needs and existing culture. Moreover, we don't just hand over the tech; we have offerings to guide you through its effective implementation. Our support extends to regular check-ins, training, and an open-door policy for any concerns, making us a long-term partner rather than just a vendor.


Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?


While entrepreneurship wasn't always on the agenda, the indicators were present early on—from leading group projects during my school days to a knack for problem solving. My transition from corporate life to entrepreneurship was more of an evolution than a sudden leap. Over the years, my constant gravitation toward innovation, leadership roles, and solving intricate challenges signaled the entrepreneurial path. By the time peoplepower.ai was conceived, I felt more like I was answering a calling than taking a risk.


What’s one thing you wish you had known before starting peoplepower.ai?


If there's one thing I wish I had known earlier, it’s the importance of pacing oneself. In my early days, I was all about the hustle, often at the expense of self-care. Burnout is a very real challenge in the entrepreneurial landscape. Understanding that success is a marathon and not just a series of sprints could have saved me some stressful nights and helped me maintain a healthier work-life balance.


One major misconception is that entrepreneurship is a solitary pursuit—a lone wolf in the business jungle. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Entrepreneurship is about building and being part of communities—your team, your network, your industry, and even your competitors form an ecosystem. The sooner you learn to navigate this collaboratively, the more sustainable your success will be.


Have you struggled with self-doubt as an entrepreneur? How do you navigate this?


Yes, I've struggled with self-doubt. It's natural when you're navigating uncharted waters. The key is not to avoid these feelings but to confront them. I rely on a strong support network—both professional and personal. Regular dialogues with mentors, team members, and even competitors help me recalibrate my compass. It’s about going back to your why—why you started, what you aim to achieve, and what impact you aim to have.


How would you describe the journey you’ve had in a few sentences? Would you do it all over again?


Reflecting on my experiences, I can confidently say that, given the chance, I would embark on this path once again. I aspire to nurture multiple businesses in the future, embracing the opportunity for personal and professional growth. Embarking on the journey of becoming a solopreneur is an emotional rollercoaster, filled with risks and sacrifices. Leaving behind a stable, well-paying job and the support of an organization takes immense courage and determination. It's a path that demands resilience to navigate the inevitable ups and downs, battling self-doubt while celebrating every hard-earned victory.


What’s next for you and peoplepower.ai?


Promoting the pivotal role of women, as well as individuals from underrepresented groups, in the field of AI is of utmost importance. By recognizing and highlighting their significant contributions, we can shape the profound impact that AI will have on our future society and the world of work. Together, we can create a more inclusive and diverse AI community that drives innovation and unlocks the full potential of AI technologies.

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