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Our Why

Growing leaders across intergenerational teams


Thriving communities led by adults and youth who value each other.


Bridging the wisdom and energy of all ages in communities and workplaces through improved intergenerational communications.


We focus on the root principles of inclusivity, respect, and innovation to empower leaders and teams of all ages in their next round of difference-making!

Research, education, and promotion of:

1) Improved intergenerational communication, relationship, and leadership skills; and,

2) The importance of balancing humans’ connection to technology, nature, and each other for community, workplace, and personal prosperity.

Embedded in the organization’s mission and purpose are the inputs of research, educated program facilitators and coaches, and promoting intergenerational intelligence [IGQ] or awareness. These inputs drive improved communication, relationships, and leadership skills through elevated emotional intelligence [EQ] and communications intelligence [CoQ] while developing more balanced connections with technology, nature, and each other. The intended outcomes are greater prosperity for people, workplaces, and communities.


Roots & Rounds was conceived in early-2018 and legally formed in May 2019 after Christel, Bruce, and Ada Gollnick had the opportunity to participate in the Aaron L. Levitt Social Entrepreneurship Challenge hosted by The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Department of Public Affairs, Henry Bloch School of Management and Kauffman Foundation. Their social enterprise feasibility study revealed a strong interest in and need for more leadership development focused on communication skills, intergenerational understanding, and emotional intelligence.

Several different research organizations in the United States and around the world confirm that there are now seven generations alive, six volunteering in communities, and five earning a paycheck in the workforce for the first time in human history. People are living longer, and technology is advancing exponentially faster than humans are wired to keep up with the pace of change. The result of all these changes is a real and present threat to humans’ ability to fully reach their potential and prosper in their work, community, and personal lives.

According to Roots & Rounds, the solution is a reminder of basic and proven relationship and leadership skills at the root of all success that can help prepare people for the next round of whatever they desire to accomplish.

With a vision and mission validated by facts, Christel decided to specifically address the problem of multi-age group conflict and ageism due to the lack of understanding and respect for each other’s unique experiences, perspectives, and expectations. The remainder of 2019 was spent visiting with several friends and family members who have a wide range of expertise in business, organizational and human development, leadership, healthcare, technology, education, marketing, executive coaching, and more. Several board members were recruited and a small seed grant awarded by the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph's Life & Justice Campaign gave the leadership team the validation needed to move courageously forward with launching Roots & Rounds' unique model.



We are aware that generational conflicts have been a reality since the beginning of time. They have gained significant and increased attention in social media, the general public, and scholarly articles over the last decade. Thousands of books have been released on the Millennials or Generation Y, born 1981-1995, alone in the past couple of years, and now there is a rush to understand Generation Z, born 1996-2009, and Generation Alpha, born 2010 to present. There is much buzz around intergenerational threats, fears, and judgments based on older generations' misperceptions about the younger and vice versa.

This upswing in attention is primarily due to the vast differences that technology, climate change, and population migration across the globe have created for people of various ages. The life experiences of the G.I. Generation, born 1900-1927, the Silent/Traditionalists, born 1928-1945, the Baby Boomers, born 1946-1964, and Generation X, born 1965-1980, are drastically different from those who have been impacted in their youth by the technology that these older generations created. Identifying differences for age cohorts along the historical timeline of innovation is the first step to improving relationships. Unfortunately, the general labeling of generations used in conversations outside of facilitated discussion and solution-focused study is just another form of name-calling and bullying that seems to perpetuate intergenerational problems.

Only talking about the generations is not enough to bridge the gap between the age groups.

Before the formation of Roots & Rounds, current and aspiring leaders of all ages were left without many options for expanded in-person learning opportunities through the lens of generational differences and commonalities – in urban and rural communities – within the Midwest region of the United States.