J.D. Vermaas, Ph.D.

In addition to parenting her 12 children, Dr. Jodi (J.D.) Vermaas is the Chief Leadership Officer of BASE4 where she provides executive coaching and talent management for her international team using the servant leadership model. Jodi is a quantitative researcher, published author, and double Ph.D. in the field of counseling and counselor education. She provides executive leadership for Priority One Worldwide and co-founded STONEPILE, a new institution of higher education, which she directs with her husband of 23 years, Dr. Garry Vermaas. Determined to use her resources and experiences to change the world, J.D. Vermaas hopes Get Money Do Good will inspire you to share your story with her at www.getmoneydogood.com.

Stories

12 Children. Four Countries. Two Capitalists. One Story.

Disruptorsentrepreneurs, and unconventional do-gooders, Drs. Jodi and Garry Vermaas are not the people you would expect to parent 12 children.

From the child-trafficking slums of Manila to the barren corners of China to the baggage compartment of a long-distance train to Mumbai, each of their children has a tale to tell––if only they could find the words.

Follow Dr. Jodi Vermaas and her husband, CEO, and multi-millionaire Dr. Garry Vermaas, on a ten-year journey across the globe to discover what really matters. After living the American success story, they traded in all of their belongings to embrace a life of true purpose. But their race to adopt a dozen children wasn’t won easily. Governments opposed them. Children vanished. Persecutors campaigned against them. And how could they have anticipated encounters with the Taliban, deadly snakes, and––worst of all––alarmingly misbehaving kids?

Face-to-face with fierce opposition, wild success, and unthinkable heartbreak, author Dr. Jodi Vermaas takes you on a life-altering journey that challenges everything you know about altruism. Written from the perspectives of herself and her husband, their first-born son with autism, and their eldest daughter from the Philippines, this action-packed memoir shows you one family’s attempt to change the world one messy story at a time.

Now Available!

Get Money Do Good confronts child trafficking, capitalism, and autism in this brutally honest adoption memoir. In an age where society demonizes capitalists as the antagonists, Drs. Garry and Jodi Vermaas become anti-heroes to expose the startling costs of rescuing and loving 12 children. With alarming vulnerability and shrewd humor, Get Money Do Good upsets everything you know about getting money and doing good— and reveals the legacies that live at their crossroads. Debut author, J.D. Vermaas, invites you to count the cost of doing what matters most in life as you join her in this epic journey of unapologetic capitalism, extreme altruism, and reckless love.

Biography Author

J.D. Vermaas, PhD

Born in raised in South Florida, Dr. Jodi (J.D.) Vermaas was raised to work hard and do more. At 18, she relocated to New York City to attend Columbia University where she majored in English. While there, she also volunteered and later worked at a local church, earning ordination status in women’s ministry in 1995. During the first twelve years of ministry, she counseled and taught thousands of women and children in New York and Florida, as well as in Africa, the Caribbean, Canada, and Europe. During the numerous unexpected journeys that blossomed from that faithful commitment to full-time service, she met and married fellow Columbia graduate, Dr. Garry Vermaas.

Her experiences with diverse and hurting people alerted her to the need for trained mental health clinicians. She went on to earn her MA/Ph.D. in Clinical Christian Psychology, and later, her MS/Ph.D. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Counselor Education and Supervision. She pursued counseling while growing her family, which was frequently relocating and visiting various parts of the world. In Qatar, India, Haiti, and China, she counseled and served women and children in crisis. She adopted four of her children from orphanages in these locations and founded the non-profit organization, Priority One Worldwide, to meet the needs of missionaries, orphans, and widows.

Over the past four years, Dr. Jodi Vermaas has joined her husband to provide executive coaching and leadership development in his rapidly expanding and global firm, BASE4. In that capacity, she has transformed the leadership structure of the organization using a servant leadership model and promoting the values-based skills of the firm. In 2018, Garry and Jodi traveled to the Philippines and brought home six children, aged 5-12. With this growing family of 14, she and Garry settled in Franklin, Tennessee, where they are building a 22-acre farm (The Farm at Stonepile Manor) to provide a therapeutic respite for family and friends alike- while striving to do good.

My Current Library

Included below are some of my family’s most recent reads, some classic, others new, and all important. We will post reviews as noted.

Becoming Elisabeth Elliot

By Ellen Vaughn

Review:

Becoming Elisabeth Elliot demonstrates the courage it takes to follow those subtle but unyielding cries to go forth unknowing to make a difference in this world. Without meandering purposelessly through documented life events, Ellen Vaughn uses journal entries, interview data, and historical accounts to paint a vibrant portrait of a woman who did just that—and changed the world through her tenacious obedience to her life’s calling.

Unlike modern missionary movements and people, Elisabeth Elliot, her husband, and colleagues immersed themselves in another culture, both violently different and linguistically foreign from the one from which they came. After her husband was killed, she and her daughter, Val, relocated into the lives and community of these remote people, the same people who took her husband’s life. She did not force her beliefs on them, but rather, lived among them as they grew to know both her faith and her life—a combination that both startled and impressed her onlookers.

What fascinated me most about this biography are the very personal notes shared amid a much bigger public life story. Moments of fear, desire, frustration, loneliness, and anger pop up throughout the accounting, making Elisabeth Elliot a figure with whom we can relate. That is the power in this book—that readers can see themselves in her shoes, and by seeing it, move closer to living a similar life of impact.

Most profound to me was the account of Elisabeth’s friendship with the man who murdered her husband.  He called her “sister,” and she accepted his claim. Although struggles with fellow missionaries, political and academic division, and the physical trials of living in remote Ecuadorian land could have derailed her mission, she pushed on to overcome the greatest divide of all: the hatred that leads to revenge. Through the detailed reporting and retelling of Ellen Vaughn, we hear of a woman who closed the gap on this vengeance, paving a way for progress, understanding, and faith. Of all the people who could have gone to the Waodani, Elisabeth was the most unlikely. In that strange and other-worldly decision is where truly amazing change occurred—both in herself and her hearers.

I recommend this book to anyone searching for greatness, and I thank Ellen Vaughn for her painstaking work to document Elisabeth Elliot’s extraordinary life in an objective, entertaining, and inspiring read.

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