work journal

Ode to a colleague and friend, Dylan Hale Thornton

August 10, 2022

I met Dylan Hale Thornton in 1996. We were both new kids at Carrabassett Valley Academy and both about to turn 16. Right away, I could tell he was kind, smart and such a good friend.

10 years later, when I first moved to Bozeman, Dylan showed me around Bridger Bowl Ski Area, where he’d been a local since attending Montana State University. A few years later, we both started working in Big Sky, and have kept in touch over the 15-plus years since as we’ve grown as professionals and as humans.

When Dylan launched Hale Creative Consulting this past spring, I leapt to see how I could help. He had amazing advisors already, and the knowledge and skills to really move the needle on diversity, equity and inclusion—or DEI—in the outdoor and ski industries.

I could see how effective he’d be, and how badly we need him. How the ski and outdoor industry are cutting themselves off at the knees—like every other industry in America—in their lack of equity and inclusion. How limited and false our growth is when we don’t bring in and respect many different perspectives and backgrounds.

Together, Dylan and I built out a brand strategy and business plan for Hale, and then sharpened his big vision into clear concepts and language.

Since then, we’ve continued meeting to talk shop, and I’ve watched in awe as he got to work helping industry leaders through the difficult, messy and absolutely imperative work of opening the door to a more inclusive culture. I learn something every single time I talk to him.

Dylan is one to watch. Better yet, partner with him and change the world.

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