Michelle Cutlip and her pup.

November 25, 2020

Get to know the creatives, the connectors and the cornerstones of the Alliance

Editor’s note: When you work with the Alliance, you may only have contact with a couple of people, either coaches or trainers or finance staff. But there is a strong team working behind the scenes to support everything our organization does. We create, we teach, we communicate, we design, we manage and account and engineer … it’s quite an operation. Our new Meet the Alliance profile series will introduce you to the people who make this world go ’round. This week, let’s meet Michelle Cutlip. 

Michelle Cutlip

Michelle Cutlip is a coach/trainer who has been with the Alliance since “the beginning,” about 10 years. She is one of three designated coaches providing coaching and training to DCYF Supervisors and Area Administrators. She also provides ongoing training to social workers.
Michelle has been in child welfare in some capacity since 1995. She started out in Juvenile Probation, then worked as a Program Coordinator for CASA, and then came to the state in 2001. Her favorite job (before coming to the Alliance!) was a CFWS worker for Family Treatment Court. This was a very strengths-based program, where they saw a lot of success.
About her current role, Michelle says, “I am absolutely loving the opportunity to support Supervisors in their work to support their staff. I feel very fortunate to be part of what I believe will be a continuation of the culture shift that began with SBC, to a more strengths-based and supportive environment for DCYF staff to grow and thrive.” 
Michelle has two grown(ish) daughters, one who is working on her MSW, and one who is working on her BSW. 
“I love their social justice passion, and hope that I somehow influenced it.”
A little more about Michelle:
What's something unique about you, or something people might be surprised by?
I also have two dogs. One of them is an 18-month-old Golden Retriever named Mimosa, who my dream is to one day do crisis response work with. She has to be a therapy dog for a year before we can begin the training for Crisis Response. She got her therapy dog certification the weekend before everything shut down, so it is a dream on hold for the time being. But someday soon I hope.
What’s the most interesting space you’ve “worked from home”?
I am currently working/living at my family's cabin up at Priest Lake in Idaho. It is beautiful and serene (as long as I have power).
What's your most-used emoji?
The two pinkish purple hearts, or the hug emoji.
What was your first car?
Blue Plymouth Champ — we called it the Smurf Mobile.
Who would you invite as your first guest if you had your own late-night talk show? 
Hmm, the person I am most interested in right now is probably Brene Brown. Her writing and speaking is really speaking to me in this crazy season.
If you were independently wealthy, how would you spend your time?
Someday I'd love to work for and travel with Doctors without Borders.
What's your favorite music genre or band?
Depends on my mood. I really like almost all kinds (except opera).
What’s your favorite movie, book or board game? 
My favorite book is “Small Great Things.” Favorite movie, “Greatest Showman.”
What are you binge watching or currently reading?
Currently reading: Anything by Brene Brown. Binge watching: “Mysteries at the Museum.”
What is your favorite travel destination?
Ohh … just about anywhere, I love to travel. I had planned on going to Croatia this fall on a bike trip, but that has been postponed until next fall.
Pineapple pizza - yes or no?
Not my favorite, but also don't hate it. Black olives are way better.



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