Staff Spotlight: Introducing Pharon Wilson, Kitchen & Growhouse Manager at OHI Austin!
Pharon Wilson laughingly says he ended up working at OHI by accident. “I have been a guest at OHI seven times,” he said, “and I’ve loved every minute of it. I was strongly considering applying to be a missionary at OHI, but when I went on the website for the application, I noticed that they had a job opening for a Kitchen & Growhouse Manager. I thought, why bother becoming a missionary for three months when I could take this opportunity to work at OHI full time. I’ve now been at OHI for 2 years, and I couldn’t be happier!”
Pharon had an impressively diverse work history leading up to OHI. He graduated from the University of Texas, Austin, with a degree in Communication Disorders. He worked at Procter & Gamble for 19 years in sales and product supply, then moved on to attend culinary school in Manhattan at the Natural Gourmet Institute of Food and Health. He took his newfound culinary certification to New Orleans, and started his own catering and wellness business. He also opened his own healthy café, and taught cooking to kids. After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Pharon moved to Los Angeles and worked as a chef for a healthy home meal delivery business, creating custom meals for clients with specific dietary needs (heart-healthy, diabetes-friendly, etc) for two years. He then moved on to Cincinnati to start an early childhood school for students aged 6 weeks -14 years old. The school was based on restorative practices, and focused on empathy and creativity. He had been in Cincinnati for five years when his father suddenly got sick, so in 2017 Pharon moved back to Texas to care for him. After a year of care, his father recovered, and that’s when Pharon felt ready to take on his next adventure, and began working at OHI. “I had a deep desire to work in the wellness sector,” said Pharon. “OHI is a great fit for my passion and values.”
As the Kitchen & Growhouse Manager, Pharon manages the kitchen and growhouse operations (preparing food for guests, and growing wheatgrass and sprouts), and also teaches food preparation classes. “I teach four classes — Sprouting, Dehydrated Foods, Fermented Foods, and Wheatgrass Growing,” said Pharon. “Each week, guests come to OHI with varying health opportunities and needs, so each teaching experience is different depending on what the guests’ interests are. It’s never boring!”
Having been a guest at OHI many times helps Pharon connect with guests. “I understand that there will be low and high points throughout a detox,” said Pharon. “I can definitely empathize with that because I’ve done it myself. I know that I have to be present in the moment and put the guest’s needs first. On a personal note, my mother passed away from colon cancer several years ago, so I think differently about life now. I know how fragile it is, and yet how amazingly strong and resilient people can be. I am so happy to support guests on their individual journeys of growth and change while they’re here at OHI.”
Pharon’s personal wellness journey has led him to consider his own habits, and what he should let go. “I have become much less attached to the outcome,” said Pharon. “I now see the value in the journey itself. Goals are so important, but when you’re working on yourself, you can’t be so invested in achieving the outcome that you try to tackle too much change at once. That’s setting yourself up for failure. If you can find one thing that really speaks to you and work on that, then you’re more likely to embrace that change for good.”
Optimum Health Institute is here for you! We will motivate you to stick with your commitment to health and discover new ways to empower yourself. Explore the holistic healing program offered at OHI. This program offers three week-long sessions, where you will learn to cleanse the body, quiet the mind and awaken the spirit.