Jake Wiskerchen is the co-founder, co-owner, and chief clinical officer at Zephyr Wellness, a mental health outpatient practice in northern Nevada.
In mid-2019, Zephyr Wellness was instrumental in organizing the inaugural Walk The Talk America (WTTA) Intersection of Guns and Mental Health Workshop in Reno, NV. WTTA is a non-profit organization that “funds research and development for outreach and promotion of mental health to reduce the misconceptions and prejudices that exist when it comes to mental illness and firearms. We believe we can be a catalyst for change by working with experts in the mental health industry.”
Jake’s strengths lie in understanding and appreciating a broad variety of people from all walks of life. Having worked numerous jobs across a multitude of industries from food service to security, warehousing to education, and retail to event planning, he takes great pride in being able to connect with all types of folks. Jake believes to his core in treating people as human beings rather than labels; he works to help clients address their longer standing problems and not just treat their temporary symptoms. He also believes in the infinite capacity of the human mind and that it can conquer anything with the right amount of awareness and intentionality.
Never satisfied with the status-quo, Jake recently spent three years on his state’s licensing board, two of which as president, where he re-wrote many of the laws and codes that govern his profession. Nevada has consistently ranked 51st in the country in behavioral health care provision and Jake’s enthusiasm to elevate his state from the cellar drives his involvement in many of his endeavors.
Jake has a wife named Heather and two boys ages 4 and 2, is an avid home-brewer and Jesus follower, and enjoys Giants baseball. You can hear more of Jake on his weekly podcast, Noggin Notes. You can also check out the Zephyr Wellness YouTube channel or visit RenoDads.com, where he is a regular columnist
Michael Sodini is the founder of Walk The Talk America (WTTA). Michael is a 3rd generation firearm industry professional, and known by many as the “most un-gun, gun guy.” He is the President of Eagle Imports, Inc, that imports fine firearms from all over the world, such as the Bersa, Llama, Metro Arms, and Grand Power, and Avidity Arms firearm brands.
After graduating from ASU in 1998 with a degree in communication, Michael spent a few years working as a fashion model, traveling the world, and garnering respect from some of the leading names within the niche. He left the fashion industry in 2001, and went into real estate marketing for five years, before he went on to work for the family business, Eagle Imports Inc., in 2006.
After a series of unforeseen tragedies from 2006 – 2009, Michael eventually became President of Eagle. Over the last 9 years, he has successfully cultivated and evolved the Bersa, Metro Arms, and Grand Power firearm brands. The latest brand to be added to the Eagle family, Avidity Arms, is a partner-project with Rob Pincus, and is currently in the early stages of development before production.
In 2018, Michael formed the Walk the Talk America initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to making positive change in relationship to mental health, and firearm awareness. Through organizing a profound team of experts from different fields, and all walks of life, unbiased by politics, media, or personal prejudice – WTTA seeks to input opportunities to enhance communication, compassion, calls to action and education.
Michael is a visionary thinker, known for his loyalty, and unique sense of humor to his industry colleagues (and friends). More than anything, he is dedicated to creating conversations that will help pave the way for a brighter future, allowing synergy through new ideas, and action through the power of awareness.
Walk The Talk America (WTTA) founder, Michael Sodini and co-owner of Zephyr Wellness, Jake Wiskerchen, talk about the inspiration behind one of the programs that brings mental health professionals and firearms culture together!
In July of 2019 the inaugural continuing-education course for Mental Health Professionals entitled “Intersection of Guns and Mental Health Workshop” was held at Reno Guns and Range.
This historic event was inspired by parts of the book Behavioral Science of Firearms – A Mental Health Perspective on Guns, Suicide, and Violence by Gianni Pirelli, and brought to life by the efforts of WTTA, Zephyr Wellness, firearms expert, Rob Pincus, and Reno Guns and Range, as well as the amazing Mental Health Professionals that wanted to step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves to understand a piece of gun culture.
FOR THE VIDEO VERSION OF THIS INTERVIEW CLICK HERE