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Marion's Retirement Book

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S: A Fond Farewell to our Founder, Marion

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

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

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

2: Dear Marion, Who would’ve thought that Paul Gilbo’s introduction in 2000 could’ve led to such a fate? Then again my best career move was keeping in touch! What a road we’ve shared from the roller coaster of the dot-com boom to the ins and outs of a non-profit acquisition more than a decade later. It’s truly been a pleasure. I’ve learned more than the ropes of conference services and management of a contracting company from you. Thank you for being a mentor and a coach these almost 4 years. No one knows winning like you and Cate (or hates losing more) and I am forever grateful for the emphasis on nearly perfect proposals and a great win rate. You’ve developed a great legacy for us to live up to. Don’t think you’re completely off the hook yet though, I plan to hire your counsel in 2012 and come on – you know you’ll miss us too! Seriously though, congratulations! You’ve earned this. Cheers, Beth

3: Dear Marion, I’m so glad I got to work with you more in recent years at Palladian. While I always felt like I learned so much from your experience and expertise, I also have very much enjoyed your wit and wisdom—and mutual love of live music. It’s so fun to have someone to share groupie anecdotes with! As I mentioned in Cate’s book, I have always been in awe of the courage it took for the two of you to leave “stable” employment and venture out on your own to create the kind of company you believed in. I’m inspired by your vision and the ability to see it through in the creation of what Palladian has now become. I wish you all the best in your future travels, wherever they may take you. Best regards, Heather | Marion, It has really been a blessing working for you and Cate. I can’t thank you enough for the kindness you have shown me over the years. So when you’re not sunbathing on a tropical beach sipping Pina Coladas, (maybe that’s Cate) please stay in touch, I will miss you. JoAnne

4: Marion We have so much in common: taste in music, fond memories of working at CSR, and a love of picnics. Yes, picnics. Remember joining a bunch of staff for lunch at a picnic table in an empty lot that is now the DSW store? Those were the glory days in Silver Spring! Thanks for all the guidance and support you’ve given me over the years. I wish you the best in retirement. Maybe I’ll see you at a Dylan concert. -Rob | Marion, I hear you’re finally retiring. I want to take this opportunity to ease your mind. I never once minded helping you with the errors you made on invoices nor did I mind helping you fulfill your contractual obligations to the letter, although doing so often interrupted my busy schedule. There is no reason for you to feel guilty. I forgive you for your transgressions. Now you are free to enjoy your retirement. -R. Irving | Marion, When I first interviewed with you, I believe we talked about the job I’d be doing for maybe 10 minutes and the rest of the time, we talked about family and that’s how I always viewed my time at Palladian as a family atmosphere and I thank you and Cate for that. Hope you have a great retirement and my cell is always on if you ever need any IT help. Kevin

5: Marion, How do I say farewell to my work mom? You have been a wonderful counselor and confidant over the years, even if we did spend half the time telling random family stories :) I have never felt like I couldn’t come to you for advice about a situation or a client—or just to rant about something inane or ridiculous that happened on a project. You have always believed in me as an individual and nurtured my ever-expanding role at Palladian, and for that I am eternally grateful. The site visit contracts were really my first taste of project management, and despite my lack of experience at the time, I can’t recall a single episode of feeling undermined or undervalued. My (real) mother has always said I am spoiled rotten, and I have to agree. Thank you for the countless opportunities you have provided for me to grow, learn, and improve as an employee, a manager, and a person. I wish you all the best in the next phase of your life, and I hope you know I will miss you and your crazy stories. I hope you come back to visit every now and then—and I’ll try not to call with questions too often :) All the best, Emily

6: Dear Marion, Congratulations! These two years have zoomed by and it’s hard to imagine the next steps without your steady presence. I’ve benefited greatly from all the hard work you’ve put into making Palladian and have so enjoyed working here. It’s been a pleasure, too, to have had the chance to work with you directly. I appreciate your rigor, your warmth, and your enthusiasm for celebrating. Here’s wishing you all the best! Have fun and enjoy your richly deserved break. Warmly, Sara | Marion, How I will miss your tales of foreign travel, youthful mishaps, and the joys of gardening! I hope you will now have the time and the freedom to embark on hundreds of new adventures! You have been an excellent mentor and leader, and I will always be inspired by your example. Warmest regards, 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 | Marion, Thank you for creating an environment where I could learn, make mistakes and continue to grow. Over the past almost six years I have learned so much from you (and I am afraid I am not quite done). While I am happy for you, I am nervous for myself as you always had the answer to my questions! Thank you for the learning and all the laughs, I will miss seeing you so often, 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 Marion, I want to let you know how grateful I am for the opportunity you gave me to join the Palladian team. I will always look back on the time I have spent at Palladian as integral to my professional and career development. I wish you an active and exciting retirement, which I am certain you will have! Best of luck in all your future endeavors, John | Marion: Congratulations on your early retirement!! I hope you will take some time to relax before you begin your next endeavor, which I’m sure will be another winner. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of Palladian. It has been an awesome journey for us all!! Warmest regards, Elaine

10: Dear Marion, 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

11: Thank you for giving me an opportunity when I decided to embark on a new career, and for additional opportunities when I decided to leave the Palladian fold. More than that, thank you for all those wonderful conversations about travel, politics, books, and of course, the fantastic beaches in Carteret County, NC. Good luck in your retirement! 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 | Marion— It has been an honor and pleasure to work with you and to have been part of the Palladian team from the start. I wish you nothing but the best as you begin the next chapter of your life. Let’s not say goodbye but ‘bon voyage’ instead. ‘May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam. May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures. May all life’s passing seasons bring the best to you and yours.’ Thanks for *everything*— Mary Cerny

12: “I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.” –Kurt Vonnegut You’ve been a great example of how to seek a better view. Wishing you many more in your new adventures! Amber Boehm | Marion: Thanks for your great leadership and for many enjoyable office kitchen conversations! Sheila Walsh | Marion—I'm afraid your brightest memory of me will be as the new hire who smashed your hard-boiled egg. ;P Well, I'm just glad that I could work under you for a time, short as it was, and that I’ve worked out for Palladian, notwithstanding our little egg incident. All the best to you now. Thanks, Julie Espinosa

13: 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 | 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

14: Marion, You have an amazing way of connecting with people, even if it’s just a few words and a warm smile while passing in the hallway. Your energy buoys up the entire office and I feel fortunate to have worked with you. Warmest wishes for you! All the best, Erin Fults | For Marion-- I am grateful that you and Cate 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 syphilis posters and the DTP timeline videos about the history of tamoxifen. I remember that for a while after we moved into the new offices, your office light was set on an automatic timer with a motion detector. When you were working late sometimes you had to wave your arms or throw things to keep the lights on. As I remember, you didn't want to fix it because sometimes it was just the incentive you needed to go home to your family. It is nice to know you won't have to resort to such mesures anymore. Best wishes to you in your new adventures, of which I know there will be many! Fondly, Karen Welter | Marion: Thanks so much for your vision as you brought together so many wonderful individuals at Palladian—I’m glad to be a member of the team! Donna Messersmith

15: 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 Marion, Thank you for giving me this opportunity to work in such wonderful team! It's the beginning of a new journey, and I hope you have fun with all the exciting plans after retirement! Yue | Marion I have such great memories of coming to Palladian Partners and of meeting you and Cate. The company was so amazingly well organized and run—it was (and is) a pleasure to work here. I will miss gossiping in the kitchen with you about politics, kids, and crazy clients. I hope your retirement is even more wonderful than it sounds! I imagine you sitting in a chair overlooking the water, reading fabulous books in your newly completed vacation home! (Eating oysters of course). Joan

16: 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 | Marion, It has been such a pleasure working with you. Your knowledge and leadership is invaluable. I will truly miss your wisdom and smiling face around the office. I wish you all the best in your next stage of life. Warm Regards, Monica

17: Dear Marion, It was such a great experience working with you for the last year. You and Cate were always so personable which really makes the working environment so much more enjoyable. You will definitely be missed here at Palladian. Best of luck with all of your free time, enjoy 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 | Marion, Palladian has become what it is today due to your tremendous efforts in creating a solid foundation for success. We are all grateful for your hard work and dedication, and wish you the best in the future! Nicole Numbers

18: To Marion Last February, when you and Cate announced your impending retirement in three years' time, I felt shaken. I decided that I would leave Palladian before you whipper snappers could get away. But destiny stepped in to change the scenario. And so once again, I have to learn to accept what is. Wah! Marion, I’ve always felt a natural and easy connection with you. I will truly miss your presence in the office. I could write, “Don’t go,” but I know you have “different” fish to fry! (Maybe shellfish, possibly oysters.) And I’m looking forward to learning from you as you go about writing life’s next chapter. We’ve been through so much together—proposal madness; a ton of conference materials; many yummy potlucks; the Bush years; September 11th; the arrival of new friends and the loss of old ones. One of my lasting memories is the Palladian hat party, a heartfelt celebration to support Nancy Landry as she began her cancer treatment. We all gathered together, becoming a single, throbbing team devoted entirely to the hope that Nancy could beat the odds. It brings tears to my eyes to think about that time. But it also makes me happy to have been part of the Palladian family, dedicated to helping and healing as best we can. Over the years, I’ve come to your office often and you were always generous with your time and with your concern. You also delighted me with genuinely personal stories, with recipes, and with solid advice on handling life’s problems. You often told me about sweet episodes in Jeffrey's life when I felt discouraged about Amadeo. And during this time together, both our boys grew into fabulous young adults. I never worked for people like you and Cate before. You show your staff so much care and respect. It’s truly uncommon in this business. You created a remarkable company and I am thankful to be working here. Like so many of us, I feel that I grew and flourished in this environment. I hope to stay connected to you always. So here’s to building many more memories together! And here’s to Paris! Sincerely, Meryl

19: To Marion: Thanks for all the "care, feeding and watering " you gave to TSNRP. Your mentorship to me has been invaluable. I truly appreciate the opportunities you provided. The organization has truly grown, thanks to your leadership. Pam Moses

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  • Title: Marion's Retirement Book
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