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Elko native writes about ‘Compassion at Work’

Compassion starts at home, or in this case, growing up in Elko. Monica Worline, formerly of Elko, recently coauthored her first book, “Awakening Compassion at Work: The Quiet Power that Elevates People and Organizations.”

In the book that she wrote with colleague Jane Dutton, Worline describes how she found that caring has a competitive advantage. The book addresses the idea that diminishing suffering at work results in significant competitive advantages in areas such as innovation, collaboration, service quality, and talent attraction and retention.

“Awakening Compassion at Work” is about bringing your best self to work and how to create a great place to work.

Worline grew up in Elko where she attended local schools. She graduated from Elko High School and went on to attend Stanford University, where she majored in English. After graduation from Stanford she worked at a Silicone Valley start-up company. It was while working here that Worline became interested in organizations and how they run and grow. She eventually went on to get a PhD in Organizational Psychology at the University of Michigan. The book is a result of two decades of research based in the positive aspects of psychology.

A few years ago, Worline and her colleagues found themselves being frequently asked about how their research on compassion at work related to businesses and education. According to Worline, positive psychology began gaining momentum about 10 years ago and compassion has become more of a general interest. She felt that all her years of research had culminated into a book.

“We felt we had learned a lot and we were ready with enough substance, meant for a more general audience, that was grounded in the research we had done,” said Worline.

Growing up in Elko shaped the path for Worline to write a book on compassion.

“I feel I have a foundation in small town compassion. You learn when you grow up in a small community that people are human, you learn to hold your neighbors close, to give each other enough space. Growing up at the time when we were kids helps me know it in my bones when I walked into an organization, I could recognize it, it was familiar to me,” said Worline of her roots in compassion.

A self-professed “really curious person.” Worline felt very supported growing up in Elko both by her family and the community.

“I think everything I do is colored up in Elko in a way, it’s just such a big part of who I am and who I became,” said Worline. “I was encouraged everywhere I turned, not just my family of course, but my neighbors, teachers, librarians. There’s no way I would have written this book if I didn’t have that support to think and to learn. Whenever I was curious, they would help me find out more about it, and to do it and feel that I could do it.”

Worline’s mother, Joleen Worline of Elko, echo’s her daughters sentiment about the support she received growing up.

“One thing I’ve always thought is sometimes the education system in Elko gets a bad rap. And I think the excellence is there for any student who’s willing to learn,” she said.

“Awakening Compassion at Work” addresses how to recognize both joy and negativity at work and address it with compassion, which results in greater success. The first part of the book discusses compassion and work in general. The second part talks about how we can create organizations and structures, leaders and managers who have “compassion intelligence” which leads to greater success. The book is written for a general audience and is intended for any individual or organization interested in building a happier, more successful work environment.

Worline is currently on a book tour and speaks frequently to organizations in the education and healthcare fields as well as other businesses across the United States, British Colombia and Europe.

Worline resides in California and is a research scientist at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. She is the executive director of CompassionLab, which is a research “collaboratory” focused on compassion at work. She holds a lectureship at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Worline also founded and is CEO of EnlivenWork, an organization that teaches businesses how to tap into courageous thinking, compassionate leadership, and curiosity to bring their best work to life.

Worline can be contacted through her website Her book can be purchased through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Nicole Rose took this photo of her son, Luke Tempero with Cub Scout Pack 9, shaking hands with World War II veteran Ted Blohm at the annual Veterans Day parade Saturday in downtown Elko.

4,700-unit housing development planned for Reno

RENO (AP) — A proposal to build 4,700 housing units on a former ranch in Reno could help make a big dent in the region’s housing shortage if the developers can overcome at least one big challenge — it’s in a flood plain.

Principal planner Andy Durling says the development is expected to include a mix of single-family homes, multi-family townhouses and multiplexes targeted at buyers who can afford the region’s median home price.

Development company Newport Pacific Land of Newport Beach, California, has begun the approval process with the city of Reno. It hopes building begins within two years. Newport Pacific Land has named the project Daybreak, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

But much of the land is in a critical flood plain. The area flooded in 1997, 2005 and earlier this year.

Newport Pacific Land will have to obtain a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because of the wetlands on the project site. The developer is proposing to remove a dam on Thomas Creek in an effort to return it to a more natural state.

Homeowners who opposed a project on the site 12 years ago remain concerned about Daybreak.

“We are absolutely concerned about 4,500 homes going into the flood plain,” said Kim Rhodemyre, who is on the board of directors for the Upper Southeast Communities Coalition. “I don’t anticipate that because of the size of the development and where it’s going and the diminishing of the flood storage for the Truckee Meadows that there will be a lot of support from the community.”

However, Rhodemyre said her coalition is eager to learn more about the project.

Newport Pacific Land closed on the property in June for $43 million, Washoe County Assessor said. When Paul Butler bought the ranch in 1954, he paid about $440,000.

“We made a significant investment in Reno,” said Christopher Bley, one of the development partners. “It showed our faith in what is going on with Reno, and this is such an exceptional property.”

Bley said he is aware of the opposition to the last project. But, he said, Reno has changed in the past 12 years, and his company is devoted to public outreach.

“The city was in a different place,” he said. “The economic drivers were in a very different place. The city’s needs were different. The homebuyers were different and the landscape of the actual project was very different.”

Durling said the company has spent the last two years studying the hydrology of the area to properly mitigate the flood hazard. Because it is in a critical flood plain, the city of Reno requires the project to prepare for a 117-year flood event — a slightly more stringent restriction than the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s 100-year flood requirements.


The name of the bank used by an embezzlement suspect was misidentified in an article in the Nov. 10 edition of the Elko Daily Free Press. According to court records, Sergio A. Estrada is accused of depositing the payments at Wells Fargo.