Live Storytelling with Corporate Workshop Participants MEDA

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Today we feature four storytellers who worked hard during a Tell Us Something corporate storytelling week-long workshop. Members of the Montana Economic Developers’ Association, or MEDA shared their true personal stories from their homes and offices during a corporate workshop hosted by Tell Us Something. The storytelling workshop helped people harness the power of personal storytelling to talk about the work that they do every day. Why is that work important to them, why that work is important to those that they serve and why that work is important to the communities where they live and work across the state of Montana.

The MEDA members who are sharing their stories with you today know that it is with our stories that we can reach people with our mission. They left the graphs and pie charts at the office. They saved the data points for later. Our storytellers today used their true personal stories to share the story of the important work that they do in communities across Montana.

Around 20 or so MEDA members joined me every day for a week. During our two hours every day, I taught them what I know about storytelling. We talked about techniques and structure and helped each other develop and improve our stories. I tailored the workshop specifically for the MEDA members.

Usually, a Tell Us Something event is focused on a theme. We hadn’t discussed a theme for these stories, but, listening to them, a theme emerged. We can say that the theme is “Why am I here?” or “Why I do this”. Call it “Passion.” Whatever you call it, you’ll see that these storytellers are personally bonded to the work that they do, and that their passion really comes through in the stories that they share.

Our first storyteller is Gloria O’Rourke. Gloria has been a MEDA member since 1995 and self-employed since 2003. She and her business partner, Mike, share an office and have been married for 44 years. Mike and Gloria enjoy spoiling their four grandsons and then returning them with sugar highs to their parents. We call Gloria’s story “My Desk”.

To learn more about the Montana Economic Developers Association, visit medamembers.org

Our next storyteller is a world-traveler from a small town. Heather McCartney is a 5th generation Montanan. She works as an outreach and consumer education specialist with the non-profit child care resource and referral agency, Family Connections. Her passions include hunting for good decaf, long reads, and connecting people to great resources. She lives in Choteau with her conservation officer husband, her artistic and whimsical daughter, five freeloading chickens, three cats, and a dog named Bear. Green is her favorite color. We call Heather’s story “Family Connections”.

To learn more about Family Connections, visit familyconnectionsmt.org.

Russ Fletcher is an old retired guy who escaped from San Francisco 25 years ago to live in Missoula with his retired attorney wife, Alexis. They have two children. His son lives in San Francisco and works for Google. His daughter has “Come Home” from L.A. and works for Hulu. Russ spends a lot of his day looking at a computer screen, drinking coffee, and pondering the future of Montana. Russ calls his story “How I Found My Last Best Job in a Missoula Dive Bar”.

To learn more about Russ’s passion project, Montana Associated Technology Roundtables, visit matr.net.

Teresa Schreiner is the Investment Director at the Great Falls Development Authority. She’s a former ‘Butte Rat’ who teases that she came ‘kicking and screaming’ to Great Falls with her husband, although loves to sell folks on the Electric City. Teresa just celebrated ten years with her larger than life husband, Casey, who equally challenges her efforts. Together they have three scrappy and smart little boys that love to give them a run for their money: Aiden, Liam, and Finn. Teresa calls her story “Nose Down Ass Up”.

You can learn more about the Great Falls Development Authority by visiting growgreatfallsmontana.org

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