As Yvonne and Erika and I launch Sage Squirrel Consulting 2.0 and plan for our future, we pause for a minute to recognize and appreciate how we got here. In 2017, Debbie Pierson had a vision. I thought it was bananas, but I also trusted her because she was the most competent person I have ever had the good fortune to work with. Debbie – probably to no one’s surprise – turned out to be a natural-born consultant, and her vision became a reality. Sage Squirrel Consulting became a legitimate consulting firm
When Debbie passed away this summer, I thought that Sage Squirrel Consulting was going to pass away too. Much to my amazement and good fortune, that is not the case. This month, we renew Debbie’s vision for a consulting firm dedicated to the idea that good policy, combined with accurate, consistent and effective operations in a person-centered system, are the keys to states being able to help vulnerable people get the resources and supports that they need, where and when and how they need them.
I could go on at length here about how special Debbie was, but we don’t have the space for that. If you ever worked with her, you know what I’m talking about. If you never worked with her, I’m sorry that you missed out. Her spirit was definitely at work bringing the three of us together last fall and I hope we continue to channel that spirit as we take the firm into the future.
I am more grateful to Debbie than I can ever express for how she supported and guided me to learn the ropes – first in the Division of Aging and later as a consultant. Her faith buoyed me then and continues to help me believe in myself. The best way for me to express that gratitude is to carry on the work that she loved, so with that, we begin (again).
In memoriam – Debbie Sue Pierson