This article is in a HelmsBriscoe newsletter and I wanted to make sure to share it with all of you! It allows you some insight as to how I work with my clients, all of which I adore. I divided into two parts as it is a longer than usual read, at least when it comes to my posts. Thank you, as always, for reading my blogs!
“She keeps me sane,” says Dewayne Johnson about Jill Stone. Dewayne is the Professional Development Director at The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS); he has worked for the past six years with Jill Stone, a long time HelmsBriscoe associate, to plan several meetings each year. His meetings include an annual international forum, several board meetings and specialty meetings, along with plenty of last minute “pop up meetings,” as Dewayne calls them.
Strong relationships are at the foundation of what makes HelmsBriscoe successful; if the client and associate are not in a place of trust with each other, it simply will not work. As Dewayne shares, “Jill is my contract expert; I do not see near as many contracts as she does. This, along with her industry knowledge, her keen ability to perceive possible issues and her talent for finding opportunities is why she is always my first phone call – whenever a meeting is to be planned. I absolutely trust her!”
So where did this all begin? Jill shares that at the time she was working with Natural Resource Conservation Services, another association which is also a member of the SWCS. Dewayne had just come on board with SWCS, when a contact at Natural Resource Conservation told him about Jill. “We clicked right off the bat,” says Jill, “I knew right away that I would enjoy working with Dewayne. He is the perfect client; he understands the process, is very aware of the information I need in order to best serve each unique meeting and on top of that, it’s fun to work with him!”
As with any relationship, challenges are bound to occur. “Everything was going along great,” says Dewayne, “until the economy downturn. Historically we experienced growth every year and had worked our contracts to reflect that anticipated growth. When the bottom fell out we were so lucky to have Jill on our side, her expertise helped us greatly limit our liability. She has gone above and beyond!” Jill adds, “The challenge was due to the government ‘grounding’ employees. They announced that they would no longer reimburse employees for travel, so those accustomed to attending certain events were instead staying put and going nowhere. We ran into attrition issues, of course, and I stepped in to help mitigate.”
There are other benefits to the relationship as well, Dewayne stresses, “She really does keep me sane, we can be looking at 15 different properties at any given time, Jill keeps it all organized, reminds me of the pros and cons of each property and is truly concerned about finding the best possible location for each meeting.” “I love representing his association,” says Jill, “I believe in what they are doing, they are essentially saving the planet! The focus of the association is on the conservation of soil and water; they help farmers to better manage landscapes for environmental productivity and keep the soil on the ground, where it should be.”
Be sure to check out my blog next week for the rest of the article!
If you want to connect with and learn more about Jill Stone, she is pretty easy to find! She is very active on many social media platforms! Her Twitter handle is @jillstonehb, she has a Facebook Fan Page at https://www.facebook.com/jillstonehb, you can connect with her via LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/HBJillStone, check out her boards on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/HBJillStone/ and she writes weekly blogs about meeting planning, site selection, and many other fun and the wacky topics at http://jillstone.wordpress.com/.