Thanks for visiting my work page. Click a link below to jump to a particular section:
Business Beginnings: The School of Sun Sportswear
In 1983, a friend told me that the tee shirt company he worked for
was hiring and I ought to give it a try. I interviewed and was
offered a job on the spot for a warehouse position. The hiring
manager was a charming young man who talked to me for two hours and
toured me around the entire company, and to this day I think he
hired me because he enjoyed flirting with me so much. He was later
fired, in fact, for embezzlement. Not the most illustrious way to
start my business career, but it makes for a funny story and worked out
rather nicely in the long run (for me, anyway). Sun Sportswear was a
small new business, and I joined them just as things were starting
to get interesting.
A gentleman who had been my boss and a vice president at Sun Sportswear had moved on to another local apparel company, Pacific Trail, and was very interested in bringing me on board to work with him there. Although the marketing position he wanted to create for me didn’t pan out, I learned that the company had a reputation of being a great place to work. I liked the product and the idea of working for a locally owned, family run business and decided to do whatever needed to be done to get my foot in the door. When a receptionist position came up, I took the job. Although I had to take a pretty painful cut in pay, I never regretted that decision. Pacific Trail was phase two of my business education, and provided still more opportunity for me to increase and refine my skills.
At Pacific Trail, I was
quickly promoted from Receptionist to Merchandising Assistant.
That position was eliminated during a merger process, unfortunately,
then applied for and won a job as a Sales Associate supporting the
sales executive staff. I enjoyed the sales support role very
much, especially solving problems and fulfilling customer needs. I
decided that I wanted our customers to experience a phone call from
me as they best part of their day, and succeeded in developing great
relationships that served the company well and were very enjoyable
for me. When another corporate restructuring resulted in the need to
new customer service department, I converted from Sales Associate to
Customer Service Rep and continued to develop my expertise in
customer relations and support, as well as maintaining close ties
with sales executives.
Over the course of my ten years with the company, Pacific Trail merged with London Fog and went through several additional major ownership and corporate restructurings, including the company's purchase by a home fashions company shortly before my departure. I sensed that I had completed the learning that was best for me in that environment. I longed for a work that would help people transform their lives, and that contributed to a shift in our culture that would better support the needs of all people. I wanted to make a difference in the world. It was time to move into a new phase of life.
In October 2004, I left the company to develop a private practice
with my partner, Conal Elliott. We teach classes at local churches, lead practice
groups, and work with private clients in mediation, coaching and
teaching modes. I have personally experienced deep
transformation using the principles we teach, called
Compassionate Communication. Our practice is based on the work of
Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD, author of
Nonviolent Communication; A Language of Life, and is
also called Nonviolent Communication or NVC. Compassionate
Communication is both a consciousness and a concrete model for
speaking and listening that helps create and nurture connection with
others. This quality of connection enables and inspires others
to contribute to our well being with clarity and heart. It
also helps us to feel inspired to contribute to others out of a
joyful desire to give. For
more information on this work, please visit our site,
Through the end of October 2006, I filled in as Ministers' Assistant at Seattle Unity Church while the real gal was away on medical leave. I loved the opportunity to work with folks I know and enjoy, as well as have the ability to work part time and go to school. I was one busy pup working 30 hours a week and going to school full time. Phew! I'm grateful for all that I got to learn, contribute, and the relationships I was able to deepen during my work there.
back to top
I have had the great fortune in my career to work for some folks I deeply admire and respect. They are people who challenged me and allowed me to grow and make mistakes and then stood back to let me handle them ("Geez, Holly, that's a problem you've made for yourself there, isn't it? I'll be interested to see how you fix that!"). They functioned as both business and personal mentors, and I have great admiration for their ethics, talent, and accomplishment. Thanks, Jeanne, Barry and Peter. I have benefited from my association with each of you more than I know how to express.
These three former bosses have agreed to serve as my professional references, for which I am proud and grateful. For information on how to reach them, please contact me directly.