I have had the privilege of working with Bob Stilger and the Berkana Institute over the course of several years. My first experience was in Clark County, WA when I contracted with Bob to assist the County and our community partners to begin to examine how we work together through a World Café and Open Space process. Bob helped us begin to plan a future together. I then was invited to travel with Bob to South Africa and Zimbabwe to experience learning communities first hand. It was amazing watching Bob work in different cultures pulling all of us together and honoring our differences and our unique contributions, Bob has a gift as a mentor and teacher.
After a long and demanding year as a new start-up in Pierce County, WA, I really wanted my staff to receive the gift of Bob so I could thank them for the incredible work they did as individuals and as a team and to rejuvenate them by using personal and shared experiences, to identifying lessons that would drive our future path as an organization. By facilitating open and honest group conversation, Bob was able to create a safe environment that allowed us to maintain our authentic selves to build on our organizational and individual strengths. He has a gift of listening to each individual and translating numerous contributions into one coherent and united theme. Bob urged us all to explore multiple levels of our own awareness to help us realize that through personal and organizational wellness, we will have the capacity to continue to listen to, grow with, and strengthen the Pierce County mental health system one day at a time. Everyone involved left proud of the work that had been done in and for our community, and hopeful for the work we were once again invigorated to continue throughout the coming years. Bob’s work has left an imprint on my life personally and now a positive influence on my staff. I am quite sure that Bob’s work across the world has been overwhelmingly positive in the lives he has touched. I call Bob “the holy man” and now you know why.
Pierce Regional Support Network
Cherie Dolezal Cherie Dolezal July 26, 2012