The Intimacy Institute was conceived in February 2009. Dr. Jenni, was living in Atlanta, Georgia at the time, working at Morehouse School of Medicine as a sexual health scholar for The Center of Excellence for Sexual Health (CESH). The CESH program was established by 16th Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher, as part of his vision to develop the next generation of leaders in sexual health. Dr. Jenni was honored to be part of a team of five scholars—a medical doctor, a lawyer/professor, an anthropologist, a public health expert, and a sex therapist (Dr. Jenni).
The scholars at CESH were assigned to develop a business idea for the future of sexual health. Each scholar had one week to develop an idea, with the other four scholars operating as support team for research and development. It was in this week, the middle of February 2009, that Dr. Jenni decided to make her dream of a sexual health institute into something more tangible. One week later, she had a 30-page business plan filled with her mission, her vision, her values, her goals, marketing and networking strategies, and a 15-year blueprint divided into three-year increments of development.
She presented the business plan in power point format to Dr. Satcher and his elite team of seasoned sexual health experts. They offered vital feedback, and some offered mentorship that she still draws upon. Dr. Jenni left Atlanta and returned home to Boulder with an edited business plan, a new supervisor, Dr. Bill Stayton, and key mentors, Dr. Carey Bayer, Dr. Erika Pluhar, and Dr. Mitchell Tepper. She incorporated the name, The Intimacy Institute, found an office space, and made it her full time job to market and network. Two years later, she met her now husband, Daniel Lebowitz, and he joined the team as the male sexual health expert and therapist. After the birth of their first child, they brought on another expert, Dr. Chelsea Holland, and a few years later, Vinny Perrone. Today, the four experts form the core foundation of the Intimacy Institute, and are excited to keep growing!