By Melissa Waggener Zorkin, founder and CEO
You’d think after 27 years of hanging together as founders of Waggener Edstrom, Pam Edstrom and I would have spent lots of time syncing up in some of the same places around the world. Surprisingly, it has been very rare. Of course we’ve been in the obvious places together like NYC, Boston, the Bay Area, Austin, Seattle, L.A. and more — countless times. Maybe a dozen times we’ve gone offsite to Whidbey Island or the Oregon beach to solve Big Problems and Dream. The most exotic excursion to date though is the Haleakala crater on Maui …
When I wrote the business plan which launched The (then) Waggener Group, I also sketched out the logo as a depiction of our values: Focus, Consistency, Discipline and Innovation. Every penny counts in a startup. Our logo could have been described most simply as a triangle or, more elaborately when 3-Dl, a PRISM.
But for today’s purpose I will call it a PYRAMID.
A Great Pyramid, to be metaphorical.
This week, Pam and I — along with our families — will dine in Cairo overlooking the Nile and gazing directly at the Great Pyramids of Giza. My family traveled here because we had pined for a Nile trip for 12 years; Pam’s family missed the King Tut exhibit in S.F. so then decided to see the exhibit right at its roots. 100% coincidentally, we learned of our travel overlap and thus here we are, same place, same time. And quite symbolically, it is precisely on our 27th anniversary.
Which makes me pause.
Those early values hastily drawn as a pyramid have endured. And so has my partnership with Pam: constant, rock-solid, more mighty together than either of us could have ever been alone. I love to build and learn; I need to always be building; and I need to always be learning. I think BIG but even I couldn’t have fathomed how much COULD be built, or how much COULD be learned — TOGETHER.
Why did I start this agency? Why did Pam join me? Why are we still together? Well, maybe one day I’ll write it all down in a book. (I know my Dad would buy it). But for now let me answer simply by saying we keep at it because we aspire to build a unique and great company together with all of our colleagues, who are now around the world. (A new office opened in Mumbai, India, this week!) Turns out that sketchy little pyramid logo is actually a Great Pyramid; at least it is to Pam and me. Happy, happy anniversary to all of our colleagues — we’ll raise our glasses to all of you with the silhouette of the Great Pyramids in the sunset.