On behalf of the Board of Directors of the California Association of Museums, I would like to thank you and Mary for so successfully facilitating our recent Board retreat. The immediate feedback I received from various members reflected Jeannette's and my feelings—that your presentation and end results were beyond our expectations.
Mary, you’re indispensable, we appreciate you being there for us. Your support and guidance means a great deal to the staff and this organization.
Head of Education and Museum
Sons of the American Revolution
On behalf of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, thank you for a very enlightening and productive workshop. As I told you during the session, I was a bit apprehensive about the process (we have a difficult and demanding group here) but it proved to be a very positive experience.
Sylvie Morel, Association Director, Exhibition and Programmes
Canadian Museum of Civilizations
I hate to think of how many days, nights, and weekends I have wasted on various retreats: this was the first one that really achieved worthwhile results. In addition to being a good retreat, I think you helped us—both in the retreat, and individually with others—to have a great many insights into our Board, our Staff, our purposes, our organization, our disorganization, etc. For that we thank you.
John M Rau, President
Trustee Bowers Museum
Your ability to combine the skills of consultant and facilitator brought added value to our day. Our Board's response to the retreat has been a chorus of agreement. This was a highlight of our year. We would welcome an opportunity to recommend you to other organizations, and we look forward to working with you again ourselves.
Paul I Meyer, President
La Jolla Chamber Music Society
I wanted to thank you so much for writing such a refreshing and perfect closing piece to the strategic planning double issue... After the long slog through the detailed but truly compelling reading of charts, graphs and museum stories in those two issues, your article was just what we needed to end on a light and "inspiring" note. I could not have specified a better piece of writing... You’re a great writer.
Excerpted from a letter to John Durel
Mary E. Maher, Editor, Hand to Hand
A quarterly publication of the Association of Children’s Museums
"What will Cape May be like in 10 years?" John Durel had asked a crowd of more than 100 residents at a town meeting Thursday night... At the end, Durel, a consultant hired to run the meeting, asked the key question. It got to the heart of the matter... Durel worked the crowd and did a good job getting virtually everyone to speak at one point or another.
Atlantic City Press, September 29, 2000
Throughout their six month effort, the Qm² team was competent, thorough, and clear in their understanding of the issues and needs of their client. The resulting work has defined the future development of this nationally significant property.
Regional Historic Preservation Officer
I feel so positive about the work we did this past weekend. I attribute most of our progress to your guidance before our retreat; the confidential survey; and your skillful handling of us and keeping us on track. Your arms length perspective is such a terrific asset to our work. Thank you. I am looking forward to our next retreat.
VP for Advancement
Union Institute & University
John, I'm very pleased to be part of the round table. I benefited greatly from our discussions over the two days and I am already finding many applications for what I learned. I really appreciate the gentle way you have of leading us through the issues and for providing us with so many opportunities for us to grow in ways that contribute to the growth of the people we lead/manage. I'm reinvigorated and ready to rock 'n roll!
Carroll Simon, Deputy Director
Buffalo Museum of Science
John, I remain very grateful and impressed. The ideas that you have crystallized into the BHAG [big hairy audacious goal] reflect both keen listening and good thinking.
David A. Donath, President
Just a quick note to thank both of you for all your assistance in making the Museum's strategic thinking effort productive. Although the process has been lengthy (and is still far from over!) and sometimes difficult, I strongly believe that it has been extremely helpful and healthy for the Museum staff and curators. I attach the current (and I hope nearly final) draft of our vision/mission statement.
Jeremy A Sabloff, The Williams Director
University of Pennsylvania Museum
John, I can't adequately express how much I was helped by our gathering. Over the last two days so many things have fallen into place in my mind. I'm feeling very focused and a bit more empowered. Had a great lunch with my Director yesterday who loved the idea of the strategic job descriptions. I'm actually following up with HR today.
Lora Urbanelli, Deputy Director
Art Museum at the Rhode Island School of Design
Thanks so much for your advice and counsel as well as some very interesting context for all of this change. I think people were really energized by the broader perspective on our little place. I look forward to spending some time with the materials on your website. I am also hoping I can arrange to have some of your time to discuss strategic actions to galvanize the new "Interpretations Group" and also to talk about "choices." I feel we have been very fortunate to have had you by our side; you are one fine professional and human being. You were able to get inside this place so quickly. Amazing.
Deputy Director and Chief Curator
Rubin Museum of Art
John, thank you again for spending so much time with us... As I mentioned here the day after seeing you, you're one of the few people who parachutes in from outside and really gets it, as if you were here around the table day in and day out.
Brian Thompson, Executive Director
Museum of American Financial History
Your presentation to our trustees and staff effectively surpassed my advance billing. I had told our folks that you brought a fresh and incisive viewpoint to the process of thinking about museums. Virtually every one who participated has told me how much they enjoyed being a part of the process. From the trustees, the consensus seems to be that they all have participated in dozens of retreats, workshops and facilitated team-building events but that yours was far and away the best. The staff, too, is still abuzz after yesterday's program. We all need semi-annual doses of your perspective to maintain our invigoration.
Bruce H Evans, President and CEO
Mint Museum of Art
John, thank you again for speaking at the Museum Management Seminar. I am still thinking about what you said!
Assistant Director for Professional Education
American Association of Museums
Your impact on the audience was roughly that of a convincing revivalist preacher!
Utah Museum of Natural History
Just a short note to thank you for taking the time to put on a workshop for our AABGA people. While the group may have been small in size, they were definitely large in their enthusiasm for your program. Having seen your work in Denver, before the AAM, I knew that what you had to say was not only timely, but extremely practical for those of us facing the "dynamics of change" in our institutions and our organizational structures. Your handouts followed the program perfectly—and gave us further food for thought. I noticed that no one's attention drifted, and that all were busily working during the workshop. In fact, later during our annual meeting, I heard several people mention that the quality of our management and fund raising programs were outstanding this year—thank you! Hope that our professional paths cross again in the future. With my best wishes.
Alison M Voss, Assistant to the Horticulturalist
The Zoological Society of San Diego
Just a note to say thank you for your informative and enjoyable presentation at the Midwest Museums Conference in Milwaukee. Before joining Allen Insurance Associates, I've directed museums for more than 22 years during which time I have experienced all of the steps along the developmental path you described so well. Agree with you on all points—even some of the pain returned, so I knew you were right.
Frederick Schmid, Chairman, CEO
Allen Insurance Associates
"Excellent, entertaining and valuable. A great start to the conference."
I'm happy to report that I conducted my first meeting this morning and it was a success - thanks, of course, to the tips I picked up in "Learning to Lead"... Reflecting back on the conference, the leadership workshop was the highlight—as well as the source of the most practical information.
Web Site Production Manager
Virginia Historical Society
I found the San Francisco seminar invaluable. I encourage you to consider running the seminar again in other locations. The issues you address are critical considerations for the future success of many museums.
Spencer R Crew, Director
National Museum of American History
The sessions were more than clever ideas or gimmicky outlines designed to impress the attendees, we were presented with ideas supported by documented management experiences and research. A substantial bibliography also supported the course content. Will's enthusiasm and commitment to his challenge as workshop leader was outstanding. With phenomenal energy he facilitated the training prior to our return to our workplaces. I learned perspectives and approaches of a fundamental nature that have helped immensely to get to the root of conducting business on a day-to-day basis: staff interactions, running meetings, making plans and making decisions.
Phil Stoiber, Associate Registrar
Seattle Art Museum
I think it was the most valuable three days I spent last year, and certainly was the most useful management training course I have taken at the Smithsonian in my seventeen years at the Institution. Will Phillips himself is simply first-rate.
National Museum of Natural History
Working with Dean Krimmel made our exhibit project really come together – his ability to focus on the story we needed to tell and to keep our committee focused – made the difference for us. Yet we never felt “managed” because his process is so collegial. I’d work with Dean again any time.
Roz Racanello, Executive Director,
Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium
Dean, Mary Case knew exactly what we needed by introducing you to us. We are indebted to her insight and guidance. We started late, the odds were against us. We did not have money, content nor finalized design. Nor did we have a contract set up with Blair, Inc. and Gallaudet. With your guidance, you steered us toward our goal. No question, your thoughtful and at times tough confidence inspired us to reach for the impossible.
Dr. Jane Norman, Director Emerita,
Gallaudet University Museum
We've enjoyed incredible reviews from everyone that experienced the exhibit. Thank you so much [Dean] for helping us improve our knowledge and experience.
Joan Mummert, President/CEO
York County (PA) Heritage Trust
The process with you has been illustrative and thought provoking, and I cannot thank you enough [Dean] for your patience and willingness to work with us on this. Sotterley will be in a better place in the long run due to the fact that we were fortunate enough to be awarded this grant and to work with you, and I am excited to face the challenges ahead.
Nancy Easterling, Executive Director
Historic Sotterley, Inc.
Thanks again Dale for your part in making this a reality for us. It is a fantastic script, and everything else has fallen into place as a result!
Nancy Easterling, Executive Director