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Cate's Retirement Book

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S: A Fond Farewell to our Founder, Cate

BC: Cheers! | P.S. Paul Gilbo just called and he hopes that you’re gonna buy a REALLY nice boat!

FC: A Fond Farewell to our Founder, Cate 1996-2011

1: Palladian's Homes | 7315 Wisconsin Avenue Bethesda, MD | 1010 Wayne Avenue Silver Spring, MD | 8484 Georgia Avenue Silver Spring, MD

2: Dear Cate, I don’t expect you to remember this, but the first time we met in person (spring of 2007 when I was bringing a sample Deloitte proposal to your office in 1010 Wayne for review), your first comment to me was, “You have great hair.” And then Eric Gelman called my mobile phone while I was in the Palladian suite – asking me to team with Altarum and his group on that same NCRR solicitation. I realize 4+ years later - it was all foreshadowing that we all belonged together! Seriously though, I knew from the beginning that you and Marion had a different kind of company. That not only did you value great hair, but you did your best to take care of your people. Enthusiastically letting me start on the job at 7 months pregnant said it all. Thank you for taking the chance on me and providing counsel all along the way. Your standards for excellence in the quality of the work we produce are unrivaled and I am so grateful for the standards you’ve instilled in the team. The bar is set high for the future, but I’m confident we’ll maintain it in yours and Marion’s legacies. Congratulations on a job well done and best wishes on your next adventures! Cheers, Beth

3: Dear Cate, You have been a touchstone for me throughout my career in health communications—from my first steps into the office at the Air Rights building in Bethesda when I first moved to DC in 1997 to becoming a “boomerang employee” in the Silver Spring office more than 10 years later. I’m so appreciative of all your support and belief in me over the years—and from very early on. I remember when you first approached me about possibly becoming a community liaison for NIH—and while I couldn’t imagine myself being able to fulfill such a position, your confidence that I indeed could has always stuck with me. I remain in awe of the courage it took to take the leap and join with Marion to create Palladian 15 years ago. What a legacy to have built—and the contributions to science and health that have been made over the years because of your joint vision! I wish you all the best in your next adventures. Best regards, Heather | Cate, I want you to know that I feel very fortunate and I value the years that I have been employed by Palladian Partners. Palladian was such a young company when I came in for my interview back in 2001 that I was very worried about security but you and Marion assured me I need not to worry and have been true to your word ever since. Thank you for looking out for you’re Palladian family all these years. JoAnne

4: Cate Cate, I still remember my first day at Palladian. You called me into your office to help review PRAMS surveys at your round table, and together we reviewed page after page of folded legal-sized paper. Were the arrows in the right place? Were the correct questions included? Was the shading just right? Palladian has come a long way since then, and I have learned so much from you over the years. It has been a great ride, and thanks to you and Marion I feel ready for the rest of the trip. And you have a new trip to embark on. Enjoy retirement! -Rob | Cate: I wear your words of encouragement every day, like a lovely pin on my outfits . . . thanks so much for drawing me into the Palladian family. I feel blessed to be among such a wonderful group of staff who, each in their own way, reflect your founding principles and influence. Thanks for your courage, resilience, insight, and vision—you’re an inspiration! Donna | Cate, I want to thank you and Marion for the trust you’ve always had in me with certain aspects of my job. I will miss hearing that great laugh around the office and the candy treats on the table after Easter and Halloween. That’s why you’ll always be known to me as “Candy Cate”. Hope you have a great retirement and my cell is always on for any IT help you may need. Kevin

5: Cate, I could open by saying that I bet you had no idea when you first met me that I’d be where I am today, but I know that’s not true. You have trusted me to take on more and more over the years and expected nothing short of excellence in return. I hope I have managed to meet those high standards in your eyes; I can certainly say I tried my best (partly because I knew you would accept nothing less). Thank you for believing in me from the very beginning of my journey at Palladian. The respect you showed me as an individual and the value you placed on my work are much of the reason the 20-year-old proofreader you hired 7.5 years ago is still here and happy—and in charge of millions of federal dollars :) There are not many companies that would entrust a person my age with the responsibilities I now execute every day, and I can’t thank you enough for this latest opportunity to shine. I wish you all the best in the next phase of your life, and I hope you know I will miss you and your awesome laugh down the hall. Please come back and visit when you can, and I will promise to save my phone calls for the really important questions only :) All the best, Emily

6: Dear Cate, Congratulations! Here’s wishing you all the best on your new adventures. I remember interviewing with you and being struck by the conviction with which you talked about wanting Palladian to feel like a place people want to come to work each day. It’s been gratifying to work at a company where people are so willing to highlight each other’s strengths. And I know the spirit of teamwork goes all the way to the top. I’m grateful to have had the chance to work with you. I wish you all the best! Have fun and enjoy your richly deserved break. Warmly, Sara | Cate, Thank you for all of the wonderful opportunities for professional and personal growth you and Palladian have provided to me. I have learned so much under your leadership and I am very grateful to have worked with you. I am certain many new adventures await you, and I wish you the very best and much success in the next leg of your journey! Cheers, Yvonne

7: When women in the United States were graduating from college in the early 1970’s, many of them were also sinking their teeth into the ideas of the “second-wave” of the Women’s Movement. These young women found something that would alter how they felt about themselves, about life, and about their respect for diversity, and this would affect how they related to the American workplace. These beliefs, along with the added demands of raising their families in the 1990’s, and coupled with the lack of employer awareness about the needs of the working woman, motivated two women to start a company of their own. That was just the beginning, and the rest is history as they say! Here’s to Marion Millhouse Barker and Cate Timmerman, two women who had the vision and the courage to pursue their dreams and create a successful company with a thriving culture, where so many people have had the opportunity to grow personally and professionally -- and I’m grateful to have been one of them. Thank you Cate and Marion! God Speed! Jenny Morell | Cate, Thank you for six years of learning, laughing and growth. I really appreciate the opportunities Palladian gave me over the past years and the chance to learn from someone like you! We will miss you, Maria

8: Dear Marion and Cate, What can I possibly say? You both have been such a part of my life. For more than 20 years, you have guided and mentored me throughout my career. It all began in 1990, when I was lucky enough to be hired by you and my now very dear friend, Fran Oscar. How could I have known that there was someone out in the world as perfectly anal as me? I learned so much from you all. You were and still are great teachers. I still remember celebrating my wedding shower at Marion’s house and yes, I do still have those fabulous glasses! After we departed from our favorite company, affectionately referred to as “sickness,” I branched out into the nonprofit world. When I Brandon was born at 25 weeks, extremely early, I had to make some hard life choices. About a year later, I realized that my family was the most important thing in my life. That’s when I decided to leave the nonprofit world and consult. Both of you were right there with yet another opportunity of a lifetime — consulting for you on an NIH contract with Jan Hedetniemi. I cannot express how deeply grateful I was for this opportunity. It allowed me to work at home and on my own schedule which was exactly what I needed at that moment in my life. Several pregnancies (with both ups and downs) and numerous contracts later, I am still enjoying the opportunities that you share with me! I wish you both a blissful and joyous retirement! It is truly well deserved. Marion, I know yours will no doubt be spent in the French countryside of Bordeaux! May it be at a fabulous castle with lots of wine and rooms (for visitors). Cate, I see you in the Caribbean sipping pina coladas on the beach (again, make sure there is room for visitors). I will miss your fabulous laughs, your strategic guidance and visits to your offices for long chats about life or recent travels. Enjoy! Love, Terry LaMotte

9: Dear Cate, I want to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed working with you over my time at Palladian. The experience I have gained at Palladian is integral to my future professional and career development. I hope you have a wonderful and active retirement, Best regards, John | Cate: Congratulations on your early retirement!! What a wonderful moment this must be! After all your hard work and dedication to building Palladian, you can now finally relax and completely enjoy yourself. You have certainly earned it!! Thank you for allowing me to be part of the Palladian experience and for being a great advocate and mentor. As this new chapter unfolds in your life, may the best be yet to come! Warmest regards, Elaine

10: The news that Cate Timmerman and Marion Millhouse Barker are going to retire reminded me of how throughout our lives it happens again and again that we have to part with friends and people we cherish, either because they choose new goals and make new plans or they simply enter a new phase in their life. It is often not easy and sometimes impossible to replace someone who has played an important role in one’s life, and that is why I will miss you both, Cate and Marion. You have been so supportive to me and helpful to my sometimes-struggling business over the past fifteen years. For that I owe you gratitude and appreciation! Thank you both from the bottom of my heart! Karl J. Kaussen Biotext, LLC | Dear Cate-- I am grateful that you and Marion had the courage to found Palladian, and the inherent wisdom necessary to make it live up to its name and become an organization anyone would be proud to be a part of, as I am. Because of you, Palladian offered me the opportunity to work on projects I consider to be among the highlights of my career, such as the DTP timeline videos about the history of tamoxifen and the MSM syphilis posters. Speaking of the posters, one of my fondest memories of you is when you asked the CDC staffer who brought her crying infant to the focus group sessions with gay men discussing the bar scene, to leave. Ahh . . . good times! Best wishes to you in your new adventures, of which I know there will be many! Fondly, Karen Welter

11: Thank you so much for taking a chance on a scientist, fresh out of grad school, who was taking her own risk on an "alternative career." I can't think of a better person to get me started and on my way. Congratulations on your retirement, and thank you for everything. Frances | Dear Cate and Marion: Congratulations and good luck on retirement that you so much earned. Your firm is in great shape and ready to address the new social media world with effective health messages and meetings that will undoubtedly change behavior. It’s been years since periodontal disease, but I still have my copies of that brochure for NIDCR. I enjoyed all your staff then and do so now too...so rest on your laurels and read and dance and sleep, and travel....Sincerely, Mary Lou Rife | Cate— It’s hard to believe this day is here. It has been an honor and pleasure to work with you and to have been part of the Palladian team from the start. All the best as you begin the next chapter of your life. Let’s not say goodbye but ‘bon voyage’ instead. ‘May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may the winds of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars.’ Thanks for *everything*— Mary Cerny

12: “There are all kinds of silences and each of them means a different thing. There is the silence that comes with morning in a forest, and this is different from the silence of a sleeping city. There is silence after a rainstorm, and before a rainstorm, and these are not the same. There is the silence of emptiness, the silence of fear, the silence of doubt. There is a certain silence that can emanate from a lifeless object as from a chair lately used, or from a piano with old dust upon its keys, or from anything that has answered to the need of a man, for pleasure or for work. This kind of silence can speak. Its voice may be melancholy, but it is not always so; for the chair may have been left by a laughing child or the last notes of the piano may have been raucous and gay. Whatever the mood or the circumstances, the essence of its quality may linger in the silence that follows. It is a soundless echo.” – West with the Night, Beryl Markham Your retirement from Palladian will leave a silence. Its voice may be melancholy, but not always so. Innumerable thanks, Cate. Wishing you the very best, Amber Boehm

13: Cate: Thanks for your great leadership and mentoring in the art of proposal writing. Last, but not least, thanks for enabling my fiction addiction! Sheila Walsh | Cate, I remember you looking me and my writing samples up and down with a sharp eye when I interviewed just over a year ago. I was pleased to get your approval, since I knew it meant something. I’m truly grateful to you for giving me your seal of approval and bringing me into the Palladian family. All the best! -Julie Espinosa | One of my favorite moments with Cate and Marion was the time when we played hooky! We sneaked out of the office around lunchtime and dashed around the corner to the AFI Silver Theatre to partake of some of the SILVERDOCS film festival! We took in several short films spanning the gamut from honeybees to the Israeli West Bank barrier – perfect for those of us with wide-ranging interests (or trash-basket minds, depending on your point of view). You’ve built a great team here at Palladian. It won’t be the same without you, but we’ll carry the torch! Now that you’re officially retired, I hope you can attend more film festivals and indulge in more learning, travel, and whatever else catches your fancy. Mark your calendars now: SILVERDOCS runs from June 18–24, 2012! The popcorn’s on me! Karen Eddleman

14: Cate and Marion, I will be forever grateful to you for both for every opportunity you have given me.for my first real job as a fledgling meeting planner and for the opportunity to grow and learn from your tremendous experience. I truly value all that you have taught me over these years. You have been mentors for me in so many ways, not just in my work but in my life. I wish you both nothing but happiness in all that life brings you during this next chapter. ~Jessica Clark | Cate and Marion, By now I am sure you know that everyone at Palladian is heartbroken to see you leave, but your efforts and legacy will stay with us here. You are the pillars upon which this company was built and as you move on to the next phase of your lives what you have done here will remain behind to serve as the foundation for what we accomplish in the future. Thank you for everything you have done for us all. Valentine and Joel | Cate, Thank you for your support, insight, and help over the years. I truly enjoyed working closely with you on special projects. The knowledge I gained was priceless. You will surely be missed! I wish you nothing but joy and success in your retirement years. Best Regards, Monica

15: Dear Cate, I’ve really enjoyed working with you over the past year and all of our conversations in the kitchen. You really made Palladian a wonderful place to work and I’m sad that you will be leaving. You will surely be missed. I hope you make the best of all of your free time now, make sure that you enjoy every minute of it! Michaela | Dear Cate & Marion, Thanks for the opportunities that you have given me over the years. I have learned so much over the past 6 years! I will always remember your kindness and sensitivity during my personal tragedies. We will miss both of you very much and hope that your retirement years will be full of happiness and good health for both of you. All the best, Julia | Cate: Thank you for all your hard work and leadership in creating the successful business Palladian is today. Your guidance will be greatly missed, and I wish you the best of luck in your future! Nicole Numbers

16: The first time I talked with Cate Timmerman was shortly after my CDC office awarded a complex writer-editor services contract to the company Cate and Marion were working for, before they set out on their own and built their classically dependable and artistically inspired company, Palladian Partners. (That name pleased me, since I once spent a week in Vicenza, where Palladio made his name, and also because one of Elizabeth Taylor’s—no, not that Elizabeth Taylor!—wonderful novels is called Palladian. But back to Cate . . . ) As soon as I heard her voice, I thought, “My gosh, she should be a broadcaster on NPR.” That voice instantly inspired trust, confidence, and allegiance. And as the next ten years showed, that voice was not misleading. Cate and that other company, and then Cate and Palladian, quickly became essential to my work at CDC. Those contracts were the first I ever served on as a project officer. I initially approached that work with dread and suspicion, having heard some horror stories from colleagues about “contractors”. Yet it seemed no time before I thought of Cate and her group not as contractors but as colleagues—in fact, I referred to them as “my Washington office.” (CDC, for those of you who don’t know it, is in Atlanta.) I also regarded Cate as a great friend—someone to confide in as our agency went through changing political times, and not least someone to share recommendations for good books and movies. The final Palladian contract with my office ended a few years ago, and it is that—the fact that I’ve had to do without those expert services and especially without Cate’s wise, guiding hand—that makes it possible for me to greet her retirement with unalloyed joy. In fact, I look forward to hearing from Cate again, perhaps this time in one of those novels or stories or essays that she and I from time to time encouraged each other to produce “in our spare time.” Well, Cate, I hope you’ll now have plenty of that commodity to spare and will graciously await my reaching that point someday (we also have a lottery down here). Rick Hull, Health Communications Specialist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

17: Dear Cate: It’s been almost a decade since I answered your ad in the Washington Post for a legal writer. My interview, on a Friday, was with you personally (holy smoke, I was thinking, the co-president!) and we weren’t very far into it when you told me that you didn’t actually have the contract for the legal writing yet. However, you had just learned that NIDA, quite unexpectedly, needed a science writer on the following Tuesday. If it seems odd that you invited a lawyer (albeit one with a science background) that you had just met, whose writing samples consisted solely of summaries of federal drug cases, to go cover NIDA, it is probably equally odd that I, who had never done any science writing, agreed to do it. But, what the heck, it was just for that one meeting. Well, as the French say, “Nothing is more permanent than the temporary.” Now, 112 NIDA meetings later, I can say that one of the best things that ever happened to me was that you didn’t have any legal work that day and you were willing to take a chance on me as a science writer. It’s been a transforming experience to be part of your Palladian team, and more importantly, to have become your friend over these many years. Congratulations, both on your impressive accomplishments with Palladian, and despite this rumor of “retirement,” on what I have no doubt will be your interesting future projects that will make a difference. As always, Cate, all my best, Pat

18: Dear Cate and Marion, It has been such a pleasure knowing the both of you. I had a wonderful first year getting to know the team you initiated here at Palladian and I could not have asked for a better experience. I am sad to see you go so soon after I joined but I am very happy to see you taking the next exciting step in your lives. I am so sure that you will find much peace, happiness, and excitement in the years to come. You are both some of the most energetic and caring leaders I have ever met. Thank you for all of the opportunities you have given me and for all of your kindness. Please keep in touch and have a fantastic new year! Big hugs, Laura | Dear Cate, Thank you for giving me this opportunity to work in such wonderful team! A new adventure has just started and best wishes for a wonderful retirement that is awaiting for you! Yue | Cate Coming to Palladian was such a great experience for me—you and Marion turned out to be the ideal employers—fair, fun and formidable! I loved how you kept us all informed in a timely way about issues facing the company, and how you created an environment that encouraged excellence, while acknowledging that home life was important as well. I will miss seeing you in the halls and kitchen, and hearing you laughing in the conference room next door during meetings. I wish you a FABULOUS retirement! Joan

19: Dear Cate, Retiring? Really? Could it be? It was only yesterday that my husband told me Carol Dahl mentioned a very good company named Palladian Partners was looking for someone to do some administrative work; including word processing (is that even a term anymore?). I responded to this tip on a dress-down Friday back in 1999 and was asked to come into the office as is—not to worry about appearances. I was thrilled with that conversation on many levels. I dashed off to Silver Spring, and somehow managed to pass the interview and typing skills test—a paper hand written by a Dr. Yoon Sang Cho-Chung. You hired me on a part-time basis so that I could be at home while my kids were in school. I don’t know if you realize how much I appreciated working with a small, woman-owned, and accommodating company like Palladian Partners. I felt at home and a part of a wonderful team. As my family grew, our needs changed and Palladian allowed me to switch to full time. How terrific is that? The Palladian staff survived things like 9/11 and the loss of Bobbi’s, and ultimately grew stronger and closer. At times I’d love to be back at that small, woman-owned, and accommodating company. But life in NIH/OD/OCPL is ultimately wonderful, and could not have happened without Palladian. Your positive influence in my life, Kim’s life, and everyone else who has had the good fortune to learn from working with you will be appreciated forever. And, by-the-way, you are way too young for “retirement.” With all the best wishes for continued success, Jill George | Cate, I first met you during one of my Palladian interviews. I was ushered into your bright office (where I’m sitting right now) and I remember how much pressure I felt, because I wanted the job so badly. You shot me a rapid string of questions and I distinctly recall you asking me about how I could perform in the job when I didn’t have as deep an educational background or as much experience in the working world yet. It was the first time I felt I ever truly had the opportunity to prove myself in an interview and earn the job I wanted. My heart was racing as I left, but I was buoyed by your positive words and warm attitude. I kept thinking what a strong and amazing woman you were, and how amazing it would be to work at your company. First impressions say a lot. Thank you for giving me a chance here at Palladian, and for giving me a lasting impression of an empowering role model. All the best, Erin Fults

20: To Cate I can’t believe you’re leaving Palladian before me! I’ll miss you. In fact, I do already. But I know that you’ll be my role model for the time when I’m ready to begin my life’s next adventure. Cate, I treasure your openness, your honesty, your spontaneity, your sense of humor, and the kindness you’ve always shown me. Whenever I stopped by your office, you were always busy working (every single time!) and yet you made space for me. You gave me your full attention and offered me good solutions to problems I was having in the office and at home. We also walked down the arduous path of motherhood together and, many times when I felt lost, you had a flashlight to lead the way and trail mix to sustain us. My earliest fond memory is the day you hired me. When you asked what salary I wanted, I foolishly said the first figure that came to mind. Later I checked with the MMG accountant and discovered I was already making a larger sum. That left me with two fabulously undesirable options—take a pay cut to work at Palladian (which I seriously considered momentarily) or call you to admit my mistake. Feeling very sheepish and fairly confident that I had blown the opportunity to work with you, I decided to call. And your response made me feel wanted and trusted from the very beginning of our relationship. I even asked that you NOT tell Marion what happened that day and you agreed! (By the way, it’s OK with me if you want to tell Marion now. Or, actually, any time in the past, too.) We’ve been through a lot together these many years. We’ve been through a gazillion deadlines, numerous successes, a few losses, and many comings and goings of friends, family, coworkers, puppies, and kitties. We’ve watched our little guys grow up to become sweet young men who are steadily moving out into the world. So much has happened. But so much still awaits us. As I listen to you talk about your dreams, the future is beginning to excite me somewhere deep inside my cells. You and Marion created a great company. I felt honored to be part of the team. And even though we will no longer work together at Palladian, I trust that we’ll always be part of each other’s lives. Sincerely, Meryl

21: To Cate; Even though we did not work as closely with you on the TSNRP project; your leadership and role modeling are impressive. Thank you for your many sacrifices on behalf of this company. Pam Moses

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