The Story of Earthtones

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Edit 10/27/16 : Just to clarify, we here at Earthtones have a long and vibrant history of over 25 years with tons of incredible people involved. I wrote this poem for our admin retreat and really focused on the current members of our administrative team. If I wrote a comprehensive story it would be like 10 pages long. But ya know, I might make it a long term project to write a Poetic Edda Earthtones-style someday! 

The Earthtones admin team had a retreat this past weekend. We put our heads together and talked about all kinds of exciting stuff – The future of Earthtones, what our goals are, how to better serve our precious clients. In order to get a good look at where we’re going, we wanted to understand where we came from. I was tasked to write up a “History of Earthtones.” I tried, seriously, for hours to write our story in prose, but it just was not coming out right. It felt too formal and not like the vibrant group I know and love. Instead of tearing out my hair, I did what I do best. I adapted! What came out was a poem that’s part “Night Before Christmas,” part Shel Silverstein, and all kinds of awesome. I hope you’ll enjoy….

Gather ‘round one and all, for a tale that will delight and excite

The Story of Earthtones…

(Harp/Dream sequence music)

Earthtones began some time ago, in 1992

Founded by Jodi Winnwalker, MT-BC, LCSW

Jodi’s brother David was an inspiration

For a family business of love, service and communication

By 1997 Earthtones started to blossom

Beyond the scope of just one soul, because it was so awesome

Though it was a good problem, it still had to be solved

And so Jodi got independent contractors involved

As time continued to pass, things just grew and grew

Until in 2001 when Jodi added interns too

By 2007 the internship was formalized

And all the students in the land knew that to be accepted was a prize

The interns from that year were Ted Owen and Liska McNally

Who will always be part of the Earthtones family

And at the time, there were a few contracts here and there

With names that you may recognize, like Lambert House, Marie Smith Center, and Marquis Care

Liska recalls watching Jodi work with a group at Glendoveer Place

Thinking of it still brings a smile to her face

As the music was playing Jodi walked outside of the circle

And on each person’s back, gave a touch so gentle

Liska laughed as she told me the rest

She said she felt like she had been blessed

Back in those days, the headquarters for Earthtones

Was located on the top floor of Jodi’s home

Jodi mentored the interns as only she could

By baking them brownies — they tasted so good

But in 2011 enough was enough

Running a business from home became tough

She searched and she searched for just the right place

And the answer to that was TaborSpace

A single office, though, just wouldn’t do

And so the space was divided in two

Liska was the internship director for a spell

She loved her job, and she did it well

But as time went on, she knew she couldn’t stay

And they had to find someone who could take her place

Jodi tried to bring on another director

But some didn’t work out, and some just didn’t “get” her

Until in 2011 in a beacon of light,

Maggie Johnson arrived to solve the plight

(In that same intern cohort, lest we forget,

Was Keeley St. Claire, but we’ll get to her yet)

It was clear from the moment she arrived on the scene

That Maggie would be a strong addition to the team

(She became internship director in 2013)

By now, I suppose, you’re starting to see

How Earthtones in its current shape came to be

But you would be quite wrong if you thought we were done

So snuggle up as we continue the fun

2014 was an eventful year

As even more familiar faces appeared

That was the year Keeley started CHIRP!

A program for young children and their families to be heard

Her enthusiasm was contagious, as was the demand

And soon CHIRP had classes all over Portland

Kate Bodin was hired as Associate Director

And introduced the horticultural therapy sector

It was a beautiful merging of music and nature

Something that Jodi was eager to feature

Through Kate, Jodi connected with Genevieve Layman, HTR

Who has proven to be a real rock star

For two lovely years, things were steady

And Jodi said, “Okay, I’m ready

To expand and solidify behind the scenes

And bring some new admins onto our team.”

So she hired Emilie Wright, social media whiz

(Hey I can take credit, it is what it is!)

Then not too long ago, just this summer

Kate had to take leave, it was a huge bummer

It became obvious then, how much Kate had done

To help Earthtones excel and be number one

It was a very long search to find the right fit

But when we met Lauren Moomaw we knew she was it

Her organization skills were top notch

She skipped through paperwork like it’s hopscotch

Jodi’s dear husband Greg Wheeler was pleased

Having Lauren and Gen made his job a breeze

For although he still had his hands full with tech

He could think about accounting without breaking into a sweat

As the season changed and the autumn leaves fell

Who finished her internship but Greta Arell

Greta was professional, wise, and sharp

She even taught a client how to play autoharp

Along with Greta was Patricia Chang

Compassionate, client centered, and played beautiful songs

From the start of their internship ‘til the end Jodi knew

That it would be a mistake not to hire those two

That brings us to now, and oh what a dream

To be part of this wonderful Earthtones team

Jodi encourages us to be true to ourselves

To treat each other and our clients well!

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