And magnificent.

I’ve made some real messes throughout my life. I’ve been a mess, held it together with grace, cleaned up my mess and seen great growth and power because I persevered. The mess is OK. To me, it’s actually beautiful. It’s what I like the best.


As the story goes, my father gave me my middle name, “Joy” because my parents were so pleased to have their only daughter.

It’s a name that reminds me, despite my melancholic leanings, there is brightness, optimism, laughter available to me in every moment — if I can open to it.

It also emphasizes my creative nature, my love of beauty, art, language and experience – all of which inform my writing, my drawing, my speaking and my living.

CREATIVE integration

I’ve always been an integrator. Since I was young, I never saw life through the common lens of separation.

Every experience was touching the next.

My imagination informed how I viewed the real world. My feminine approach to life was as worthy as the masculine that surrounded me. My emotions and others feelings were vital information to be blended into the understanding of any circumstance.

The point was always to blend. If that required me to do things a girl “shouldn’t” – I did them anyway.

MY EXPERIENCE + achievements

have guided me through more than four decades of life and work. Most recently, I have spent the last five years building Root + River, an intrinsic branding practice, with my co-founder Justin Foster, into a thriving, collaborative six-figure strategic branding practice. I’ve also had the chance to:

…travel and study abroad
…work abroad
…earn two degrees (an undergraduate in communication, a master’s in nonfiction writing)
…live, work and practice journalism
…be published in print and online hundreds of times
…write a book, “Rooting Up: Essays on Modern Branding,” with two others in production
…raise whole, funny, kind children
…learn the lessons of marriage for nearly 20 years
…build two companies, lead dozens of teams
…speak throughout the United States
…nurture myself and others through friendship and service

I am steady. Also, I am


I love to move my tortoise shell consistently, with meaning, toward goals.

I relish every chance to laugh so hard I cry, particularly with my family or dear friends.

I could go to a beach and read books for two weeks and still not come close to finishing my “on deck” book stack or the books in my house.

I believe in family as the embodiment of connection, service and loyalty.

I will never stop learning, growing or meditating.