Barna Group's Plan for Fall / Winter 2017
Friends, Life doesn’t always follow a predictable path. That fact has defined my summer since June 5, when my wife, Jill, was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. She’s undergone three surgeries and dealt with complicating infections.
She is slowly recovering and has a good prognosis. Despite the deep anguish we have felt, we have also experienced the love of friends and the peace of Jesus. The whole story, if you’d like to read more, is available at our family blog, www.prayforJill.com. Also, many people have asked how to help. So, some of our long-time friends have started a care for Jill effort to help with the extraordinary cost of Jill’s medical expenses and 24-hour care. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement during this time.
As this personal situation stretches past the summer months, it is important for friends and partners of Barna Group to know how the company is facing this unusual situation. A major challenge like this inevitably affects our business at various levels, and we want to be clear about the ways we are approaching things for the next four to six months.
First, I am prioritizing Jill, “being there” for my kids and taking care of myself. It’s been a lot to handle and I have a wonderful set of friends, counselors and advisors who are helping.
Second, I plan to work during this stretch. I intend to continue contributing in a meaningful way to the projects and partnerships Barna has underway. Truth is, the work itself is good for my soul. Please know that you are not a burden when you reach out to me for work issues. It’s actually great to talk about “normal” things, like research and data and deadlines.
Third, the efforts of Barna Group push forward, as always, thanks to our incredible team. During this season, I’ll be leaning on this amazing team more than usual. I’m grateful I can care for Jill and my kids knowing that our clients, partners and projects are in highly capable hands.
The last couple of years we have made a significant commitment to growing and developing our team. Our company continues to grow by leaps and bounds thanks in large part to this talented, high-caliber group of people.
The projects and priorities of Barna are being effectively managed by our executive team, which includes Brooke Hempell (Senior Vice President, Research), Roxanne Stone (Editor in Chief), Bill Denzel (VP, Marketing), Todd White (VP, Finance) and Steve McBeth, who has been serving as Barna’s COO for more than a year.
If you feel for some reason that you don’t want to burden me, please reach out to Steve, in particular. Steve was founding CEO of Disney Interactive, among other impressive corporate roles (you can see his bio here). He’s been my right-hand advisor from the very beginning of my leadership of Barna (when I bought the company in 2009) and has helped to shape what Barna is today.
Reach out to any of us. Let us know how we can help. We are as dedicated as ever to serving you.
Even before Jill’s health situation, I had been working to build and empower this team. My goal was to focus more time on company vision and direction, strategic partnerships and major projects, and writing and speaking. My wife’s health challenge isn’t what any of us scripted, but we are more prepared than ever to move forward as a company.
We look forward with anticipation to all God will do through Barna.
President / Owner