Learn how the science of well being can improve your company, your culture and your bottom line.

What is Positive Business DC?

People spend more time at work than any other aspect of their lives. We believe it’s time to take a page from science and history to increase well-being in the workforce. Workplace well-being leads to more than just a happy team. Other benefits include increased productivity, lowered attrition, and even increased profitability. We don’t expect you to take our word for it. Our charter is to inform and inspire DC to take a page from positive psychology and lessons learned in business to increase well-being in the workplace.

This is based on more than a decade of rigorous scientific research including psychology, neuroscience, and neuroleadership. We now know that well-being can be measured and we know that happiness can be taught. Increasing your well-being is possible through tools developed in the science of positive psychology.

Positive Business DC provides an opportunity to meet other enthusiasts and learn from the experts. We meet in various parts of the DC region and our meetings will always be focused on the science of happiness and the practice of positive psychology.  Don’t have a lot of extra time?  Then, join one of our webinars from the comfort of your computer.

Shannon Polly, MAPP, ACC


Shannon Polly, MAPP, ACC

Shannon M. Polly is a corporate communications trainer, facilitator and speaker and founder of Shannon Polly & Associates, a leadership development company in downtown D.C.  She is also the co-author of Character Strengths Matter.

Shannon works with executives, managers and employees of Fortune 500 companies in two domain areas: executive presence/presentation skills (based on over a decade of experience as a professional actor/singer/playwright in New York) and positive psychology. Shannon uses the empirical research from positive psychology with her organizational clients to foster positive and flourishing workplaces. She is passionate about giving people the confidence to present themselves powerfully in front of a room and overcome the anxiety that often besieges public speakers. She is equally as passionate about sharing the science of well-being and increasing the ‘tonnage of happiness’ in the world.

She has been an assistant instructor in the MAPP program at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a contributor to the book, Positive Psychology at Work, has developed curriculum for the higher education version of the movie, Happy and is a facilitator for the Master Resiliency Training (MRT) program for the U.S. Army. The Army is the largest consumer of positive psychology in the world today and has plans to train all 1.1 million soldiers in resilience.

Shannon is one of less than 400 people in the world who have received her Master in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) degree from the University of Pennsylvania under Dr. Martin Seligman. She also holds a graduate degree from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in classical acting and a B.A. with honors from Yale University. She lives with her husband and two young daughters in downtown D. C. True to her Kansas roots, she loves baking and sharing it with others. She hopes to get back to her love of international travel and live theater when her children are a little older.

VIA Signature Strengths

  • Social intelligence
  • Kindness
  • Honesty
  • Humor
  • Capacity to love and be loved
  • ​Perseverance
  • You can find Shannon on LinkedIn and Twitter

Donna Hemmert, MAPP


Donna Hemmert, MAPP

Donna Hemmert, MAPP, has been an executive in the Internet industry since 1994, driving marketing programs, forming strategic, multimillion-dollar partnerships, and leading companies. She has worked for large and small companies, but prefers entrepreneurial ventures, including those in which she has been a founder.

Donna has a passion is building stellar teams and she has a flair for creating and enabling cultures that encourage her teams to consistently produce ‘star quality’ results. Donna enjoys finding people’s strengths and helping them make the most of those talents in their jobs. She loves to enable the people on her teams to reach and share in one another’s successes. Donna fosters a culture of risk taking and accepts the inevitable mistakes as learning experiences, which increase cohesion, result in low employee turnover and increase overall enjoyment across the team.

Donna is a member of Mindshare, an invitation-only organization for CEOs in Washington DC, and Founder Corps, an organization that is managed by experienced entrepreneurs for the benefit of entrepreneurs engaging in high growth businesses. Donna is one of less than 400 people in the world who have received her Master in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) degree from the University of Pennsylvania under Dr. Martin Seligman.

Donna loves to spend time with her family as well as study positive psychology, neuroleadership, and the brain. Her hobbies include photography and video editing. She also speaks Spanish and loves to travel and try new adventures.

Strengthsfinders 2.0 Profile

  • Strategic
  • Communication
  • Activator
  • Woo
  • Positivity

VIA Signature Strengths

  • Capacity to love and be loved
  • Gratitude
  • Honesty, authenticity, and genuineness
  • Forgiveness and mercy
  • Perspective (wisdom)

StandOut Assessment

  • Equalizer
  • Pioneer

You can find Donna on LinkedIn and Twitter

Marcia Moran


Marcia Moran

Marcia enjoys the tranquility of early morning kayaks.

Marcia Moran is a consultant, entrepreneur, advocate of building kick-butt companies, and writer extraordinaire. Marcia is a columnist for Modern DC Business and author of more than 60 business plans. Locally she is known as the go-to culture guru.

As a Performance Architect, Marcia coaches business leaders on how to structure companies and communicate with their teams in a way that amplifies strengths and sets the stage for seamless execution. In particular, she looks at the intersection of the positivity movement, neuroleadership, and business mechanics to help companies design an engaging employee experience. Since relocating to the Metro DC area in the mid ’90s, she has empowered people in the high tech, nonprofit, and healthcare sectors to reach beyond their known capabilities as individuals, as teams, and as companies.

A passionate leader, Marcia views life as a discovery and enjoys the challenge of enabling teams to achieve things that others view as ‘impossible.’ She likes to marry work with meaningful social change, and seeks clients that strive to make a positive difference in their communities.

Marcia graduated Magna cum Laude from the University of North Dakota (UND) where she received the Arneburg Scholarship, which took her to Sandejord, Norway to study art. She earned a B.A. in Political Science from UND and an MBA from Chapman University. She loves to travel, speaks Norwegian, and unwinds by hiking, kayaking and painting landscapes. You can find Marcia at PerformanceArchitect.com and on Twitter @mmoran76.

Strengthsfinders 2.0 Profile

  • Achiever
  • Learner
  • Responsibility
  • Intellection
  • Relator

VIA Signature Strengths

  • Honesty, authenticity, and genuineness
  • Industry, diligence, and perseverance
  • Bravery and valor
  • Perspective and wisdom
  • Creativity, ingenuity, and originality

StandOut Assessment

  • Trailblazer


You can find Marcia on LinkedIn and Twitter