happy Teams Are better teams

what is Happyteams 

I'm Nami Ishihara, a professional facilitator and founder of HappyTeams, a facilitation practice based in Alexandria, Virginia. I help groups build stronger teams and have meaningful conversations with each other to achieve their goals.  

Using best practices in group process facilitation, I plan and guide the group process to harness the inherent wisdom and strengths of a team. I establish a safe space for conversations to develop. I provide the structure to help the group along the process, through a series of thoughtfully designed activities.

In a world where people are increasingly plugged in to their devices, it is more important than ever to hold meaningful, focused conversations with each other. I guide groups to hold difficult conversations, tackle complex issues, and examine underlying assumptions. I can help groups work more effectively together and come up with better solutions, by drawing out everyone's perspectives and insights in a warm, positive, and safe environment. 


I offer specially tailored team retreats that engage all members of a team and help them to talk about what matters most—whether it is about improving their work processes, looking at the “big picture” trends, or making a decision about their goals and priorities. I design and facilitate retreats that lead to real change and solutions for teams. Learn more by clicking here. 

meeting facilitation

 A well-planned and facilitated meeting can make all the difference, especially when dealing with large groups or complex issues. I can facilitate your meetings so that the team gets to where they want to go-- with a sense of ownership over the process and results. Let me take the guesswork out of agenda planning, dealing with group dynamics, and choosing the appropriate methods for achieving the group's objectives. 



I started HappyTeams, LLC, in 2019 after working as an independent facilitator for seven years and obtaining my certification as an IAF (International Association of Facilitators) Certified™ Professional Facilitator in 2018. I became a facilitator after sitting through too many bad meetings as a board member of a non-profit organization and deciding to do something about it. I have experience working with non-profit and international organizations, helping teams to improve their effectiveness. 

Past clients include Global Fund for Children (Washington, D.C.), Alexandria Country Day School Board of Trustees, Commission for Women, Commission for Children and Youth (both in the City of Alexandria), Association of Public Health Laboratories (Silver Spring, MD), United Nations Population Fund (Vientiane, Lao PDR), Swiss Development Cooperation (Vientiane, Lao PDR) and the German International Cooperation Organization in Lao PDR.


"I commend Nami for the excellent job she did facilitating the Children Youth and Families Collaborative Commission’s retreat in March 2019.  Prior to the retreat, she attended a Commission meeting to discuss with members their expectations of the retreat. She used these to create clear objectives for the retreat. She facilitated interactive activities and informative discussions throughout the retreat. She helped the group create a timeline that generated a sense of excitement among members. After the retreat she sent a comprehensive report, which was well received by members. I highly recommend her as a facilitator!"

—  Noraine Buttar, Youth Development Team Leader, City of Alexandria