Jim Rivett became one of our earliest clients when we restarted Health at Work after moving from Texas to Chicago. At that time, he ran a small advertising and media agency in Green Bay, Wisconsin called Arketype. For their size, they produced amazing documentaries, advertisements and other great work for clients. I loved driving up to visit their offices, a three-story converted church in the middle of the downtown area. It is one of the most inspiring office spaces I’ve ever seen.  

The thing that touched me most about those visits was the warmth, kindness, vulnerability and tenacity that Jim showed while facing the very significant challenges he had at that time, both in business and personally. Transforming the culture of his company became something of a labor of love for both of us (since, in reality, there was no money to spend on the problem). I often speak about the amazing work that Jim and his team did during our time together, and the fantastic results they achieved for their business. Most importantly, I share the impact their work had on the lives of the Arketype team.

Today’s VIAL (VERY INTENTIONAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF LOVE) goes to Jim for not only the work he did and the opportunity it gave us to expand our work, but for a second reason. A few years after we had stopped working together, and completely out of the blue, I got a letter in the mail. It was from Jim. In just one page he updated me on his own journey of health and thanked me for the contribution we had made to that. What really touched me about the letter was that:

  • All the hard work had been done by Jim and his team so saying thank you to me was unnecessary but nevertheless so appreciated.
  • Years later, Jim had taken the time to acknowledge our role and to say thank you. It left me feeling like whatever our contribution had been, it had lasted. And that’s the ultimate compliment that one can receive about their work.  

Jim, that letter arrived at a time when I really needed a boost; one of those days, in one of those months, when you’re wondering if all the hard work is worth it, and if anyone really cares about what you’re trying to do after all. I treasure that letter, and read it from time to time when I need reminding of why I do what I do, or simply need to cheer up.

Thank you for your friendship, your leadership and your courage in transforming Arketype and the lives of your team at that company.

I know you’ve since moved on to bigger and better things, but the impact you had on me will never be forgotten. I’m sure many of the people that were there at the time will not soon forget your leadership and commitment to their health (Bobbie Fredericks, Vicki Baumler, Jason Baker, Ross Mollet, Laura Baker Lear, Ray Faccio, Gregg Schneider, Tami Anundsen, Megan Anderson, JoAnn Reimer, Shelly Young, Mary Weed-Wheeler and many others). 

And of course, none of this adventure would have been possible if I had not met Jim, which I did because of the kindness of Phil Hauck, who remains one of my favorite people in the world, and is a fearless leader of both his TEC groups and the many initiatives I’ve seen him work on over the years. Thank you Phil.