Our PARSONS + CO Summertime Newsletter is Out


Letter from Joanie

A global pandemic, passionate protests, the politicalization of nearly everything…it’s been a long, hot summer.

More and more, it seems like everyone is cranky, discouraged and unable to get along. Which is why a new book by best-selling author, local sustainability expert and PARSONS + CO client, Kevin Wilhelm seems especially relevant.

“How to Talk to the “Other Side”: Finding Common Ground in the Time of Coronavirus, Recession, and Climate Change” touches on not only the pandemic divide, but also the polarization between political parties, climate change activists and deniers, and rural versus urban dwellers. It’s a must read for these crazy times. We were delighted to see Kevin & his co-author, Natalie Hoffman, get some airtime on KING 5’s New Day Northwest recently, check it out here.

These days, it feels like we’re all trapped in some endless Bill-Murray-esque loop where every day is the same. But here’s something to look forward to: PCC Farmland Trust is presenting “Love the Land,” a fundraising event and virtual benefit concert featuring Dave Mathews and other musical guests. The concert takes place Sunday, September 30. PARSONS + CO is proud to again be a sponsor of this great organization and event. Stay tuned for more info to come!

All the best,


Client Updates!


We are thrilled to introduce RevelEleven! Over the last four years Joanie, Monica Smith and Barbie Seifert have been building an exciting, engaging and empowering community of women. Through events and retreats for women of all ages, they grew GrapeVine, Crush and Revel Retreats. Now they are taking it to the next level, combining all three of these fabulous communities into one: RevelEleven. We believe in the power of women together. Look for more details, more fabulous events and retreats, and more plans to revel on their new website.


This summer we welcomed Rogue Creamery to the PARSONS family! We are so excited to work with this artisan cheesemaker based in Southern Oregon. Rogue uses traditional, handmade and sustainable practices to create their delicious cheeses. Their “Rogue River Blue” was named “World’s Best Cheese” at the 2019 Word Cheese Awards in Bergamo, Italy. Check out their Instagram feed, @RogueCreamery to learn more about their cheese—and their adorable cows!


Check out the new look of Ohme Gardens! Well, you have to do it online, because they’ve decided not to open this season. But they’ll be spending the summer on a multitude of maintenance projects—new plantings, clearing trails, new ticket office and gift shop—and plan to be back better than ever next year. So while you can’t visit this North Central Washington gem in person, you can take a look at their brand new website and follow their Instagram feed, @Ohme.Gardens, for updates. And here’s an article published earlier this summer in the Seattle Times. We can’t wait for opening day of 2021!


Great news for Sarah Haggard, CEO and Founder of Tribute, and her team! Tribute, a mobile-first mentorship app, tied for first place at the Seattle Angel Conference, which was held virtually this year. Of 53 companies that entered, six were accepted to present pitches to investors. You can read more about it in GeekWire. Sarah also recently revealed that Tribute has managed to successfully raise their seed stage round – giving Tribute funding through 2021. Congratulations to Sarah and Tribute!

On the Road Again

by Eric Knudson, Creative Director for PARSONS + CO

I recently busted out of lockdown to take a road trip of sorts. I flew from Seattle to Palm Springs, — masked, gloved, goggled and in fetal position for most of the flight — swooped up my 86-year old mother and then we drove together to Salem, Oregon, where she moved into a retirement community.

It was my first time away from Seattle in quite some time and gave me an interesting look at how some businesses are managing to make it work under incredibly challenging circumstances.

Mask and You Shall Receive

On the second morning of the trip, I reluctantly decided that a nearby McDonalds was probably the best option for a quick breakfast before we started driving. A national chain known for efficiency and consistency, surely they’d have their act together? The drive-through was packed, so I decided to walk in and get our Egg McMuffins to go.

Except you couldn’t walk in. They had placed two large tables in front of the main entrance to prevent customers from entering. An employee stood there with a menu — a Word document covered in fingerprints. You gave your order to Barricade Guy, he took it to the kitchen and brought it out when it was ready. You handed him your money, he walked back to the cash register and then brought you your change.

Not fast. Not easy. Not what you expect from McDonald’s. But they had figured out a new system that, for the most part, worked. And based on the crowd that morning, it was enough to keep their customers coming in.

That night I got takeout from a small family-owned Mexican restaurant across the street from our hotel. I was the only customer. The owner said it would take 10-15 minutes to prepare, so I took a seat in one of a handful of chairs paced throughout the parking lot. There was a lovely view… of the dumpster.

In a few minutes, the owner brought me a complimentary box of homemade chips and salsa. He asked if I wanted a beer. It wasn’t quite the same as enjoying a drink on the patio, but why not? Moments later, a man wearing a surgical mask, latex gloves and a Mariachi suit appeared. He handed me my beer, carefully backed away two paces and began playing guitar for me. Somehow, they had transformed a grab-n-go transaction into a memorable evening.

One restaurant had to re-think their proven system and come up with new ways to do things. The other was able to recreate their pre-pandemic customer experience, at least to some degree.

When it comes to business, we are all in this weird, constantly changing state of limbo. Some businesses are open, “like normal.” Some are operating on a limited basis. Some remain closed. Many have gone out of business entirely. Circumstances vary by state, city and neighborhood.

No one knows what’s going to happen next, but you should get used to the idea that it’s going to require a dramatically different approach:

Forget what you think you know about your customers. Not everyone will want the same thing or be on the same schedule for reopening.

The new normal will challenge your team like never before. Internal policies and solutions that worked pre-pandemic, may need to be completely rethought.

Communication will be critical. It’s going to be confusing as companies start to open back up. There will be more middle ground, more grey areas, more unknowns. All of which will need to be communicated, both internally and externally.

Whatever happens, it’s going to be messy. And the new normal might not be normal at all. We’ll need to be smart, flexible and creative. The one thing it won’t be? Dull.

Celebrating a Century During COVID

This might be one of our favorite stories we have worked on during COVID-19, when the Fairwinds-Redmond Senior Living Community came out with a royal celebration for one of its residents. We met Toni just over a year ago, through our Leisure Care client, when she was the focus of some of our stories about fitness and aging. This year Toni celebrated her 100th turn around the sun. The coronavirus meant her family and friends couldn’t hold their planned big birthday bash, but Toni’s community rolled out the red carpet nevertheless, to celebrate their newest centenarian. You’ll want to read Toni’s story that appeared on KOMO’s Seattle Refined.

Giving in a Time of Crisis

Throughout the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement we have see a need to donate, whether it’s time or dollars, to organizations directly affected. We encourage you to give—money or time—what you can to help  We’re also sharing some of our favorite local nonprofits that are doing great work in our community.







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