So, what’s the deal with Trust Tree?
And it all started with a peace treaty coffee on a January morning in 2018 at Thatcher’s Coffee.
But let’s back up for a hot sec and explain about the peace treaty. It really all started in the 90’s when our co founders, Lisa and Elizabeth, first crossed paths. It was the dawn of their careers in the construction and development industry. They were a couple of smart, ambitious young women determined to make a mark. Riding the boom in the region, along with opportunities they endured the condescending attitudes and mansplaining that pervades such a male dominated industry (or really, any industry we would guess). They bonded in the same way that fire forges strength. Yeah, what we’re saying is that it was not an easy road.
Their paths diverged for years as they each worked their way up ranks, collecting battle scars and war stories but watching each other’s progress and cheering on their fellow public affairs junkie.
Elizabeth rallied climbing the proverbial ladder in the area of land use and while working on some of the highest profile projects in the region, racked up accomplishments including being the youngest woman at the time of appointment to her local planning commission, co-founding (with Lisa) a political action committee focused on preparing women for office, and serving on local and state level boards at commissions. She fed her need for the arts by being the first chair of the county arts commission and founding a storytelling series. Oh, she also had two kids along the way.
Lisa found her niche at a regional multi disciplinary engineering consulting firm and slayed her way right up the ladder. She charged through the glass ceiling becoming the first female partner, opening regional offices, securing federal contracts, setting shit on fire – navigating her way to the top. Her list of accomplishments is epic, a few include: 40 Under 40, Iris Award winner, co-founder of the women’s political action committee, a PBJ Woman of Influence, board president and director for children’s mental health non profit, WSU Regent, Women in Leadership emcee and PSU instructor. Oh, and she also had a daughter somewhere in there.
Then, with all this energy there was an opportunity for them to work together at the firm where Lisa was making shit happen. And, lo, they were so excited to work together and now would be their time to change the industry and empower women and blaze a trail straight through all that male dominated garbage. Super exciting, right?
Turns out, they wildly underestimated the toll of being one of the few women in the room had taken on their sweet souls. Competition and scarcity had settled into their psyches like a bitter, dense fog and, since there are few better at strategizing and executing winning campaigns, these two lovely women drew battle lines against each other as opposed to the more deserving target of the patriarchy.
Elizabeth was the first to tap out. Exhausted, she tossed the whole industry and had a rough transition into a stay at home mom. Over the years, Elizabeth began to chronicle her journey giving birth to a blog, Radiant Badass.
And then, Lisa felt like she’d had enough of all that and that’s how she decided to go out – on top. She’s since leapt into sharing her experience and knowledge in organizational consulting through her company, Point North Consulting.
And that’s how they found themselves years later chatting at Thatcher’s. Lisa reached out with an invitation and Elizabeth said yes. Sitting across from each other, feeling pretty vulnerable, they updated each other on their lives. And agreed that each had been shitty to the other and it hadn’t been necessary. And the peace treaty was complete. Because grudges are for suckers.
Then they bravely shared a longing for a tribe of women that truly, and meaningfully, had their backs. How that would have made their slogs more palatable and the victories sweeter. A Fight Club for women, without the punching.
Thus, Trust Tree was born.