work journal

Strategy workshop: Hannah Featherman and the National Forest Foundation

October 28, 2022

It was a chilly morning last Friday when I parked my minivan in Uptown Butte. Not snowy like today; just perfect, crisp fall.

I’d been working closely with Hannah Featherman for three years, and when we hugged beside Park Street that morning, it was our first time meeting in person.

“It’s like finally meeting someone I’ve been online dating for three years,” Hannah said, her humor dry and funny as always.

We’d made four issues of the National Forest Foundation’s magazine together, and then designed a new strategy with the org’s leadership for the mag last fall. In countless hours on the phone with Hannah, I’ve learned to hear in her voice at hello how she’s doing.

Now that we’re redesigning the mag, there was just no way to make the headway we needed without being together.

So she drove from Missoula, and I came from Bozeman, and we hauled my workshopping kit up the carpeted back steps of a shuttered department store to Fountainhead Co-working. There, with a view overlooking Butte and the Highland Mountains, we dug into that messy and magical process of bringing a purpose, vision, mission and set of values to life.

What is it about sharing space with someone?

As one person said when I first shared this story on LinkedIn, "It is about the frisson of energy being summoned to achieve something of importance."

frisson. / French (frisɔ̃) / noun. a shudder or shiver; thrill.


Special thanks to DEI consultant Dylan Hale Thornton, whose markups of magazines for diversity, equity and inclusion will inform everything we do next.

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