All Posts in Carla Carwile

May 9, 2024 - No Comments!

The Little Engine That Did

How many hands does it take to start a 1915 International Harvester Mogul engine? 

Mogul engine installation

If we’re talking about the bright green machine that’s welcoming guests to the CoBank Center in Greenwood Village, Colorado, the answer is more than a dozen. And it all began with an EnZed client’s challenge. 

Helen Young has been creating unique marketing projects for CoBank for more than 15 years. So she wasn’t surprised when Arthur Hodges, chief of staff, asked what she knew about flywheel engines. She admitted she knew zip, being a Kiwi from New Zealand and not a kid from the Heartland. But when he explained how the organization wanted to acquire one of the historic farm implements for their office tower’s lobby, she was in. The right one, he explained, would do three things: pay tribute to CoBank’s agricultural cooperative clients, stand as a symbol of the momentum ag lending creates, and be the story-telling focal point of a built display in their art collection.

The wheels in her brain began spinning. 

This cart-mounted Mogul flywheel engine weighs 2,526 pounds and is 8’6” in length with a detachable 4’6” front pull. Harnessing a horse to the front pull gave early 20th century farmers a portable power source to saw lumber, milk cows, run shellers and more.

Helen scouted vintage farm equipment online, made calls, and discovered a community of machine-loving history buffs stretching nationwide. A fine flywheel example was being auctioned by Gene and Renae Rosenberg of Spirit Lake, Iowa. She conferred with CoBank’s team who confirmed that the engine would, indeed, fit through the lobby’s glass gateway with all of two inches to spare. Installation? Check.

She then called Carla Carwile, EnZed’s writer for the past two decades and an Iowegian by birth, to start the project narrative. Whereupon Carla called her friend Brenda Davis DeVore, director of Prairie Trails Museum in Wayne County, Iowa, picked her brain and connected her with CoBank’s Hodges to get the grist of early 20th century farm implements. Storyline? Check.

Helen, meanwhile, watched the online bidding window draw to a close (whew!), flew to Iowa to finalize the deal, and found Brandon Slepicka, a collector of flywheel engines in Johnstown, Colorado, to operate the Mogul in its new Rocky Mountain home. Logistics?  Check.

You can see it running here. 

Next, she met with Denver’s Make West team to collaborate on design and bring the display to life. In tandem with Leslie Wirtz, senior manager of CoBank’s creative services, Helen would direct the overall installation plan and design the text, colorways, surface patterns, and graphics explaining the Mogul’s role as both ag-changing machine and CoBank metaphor. MakeWest would engineer and craft the curved wall anchoring a walk-around pedestal base for the Mogul, integrating all with the center’s glass-and-stone interior. The finished work would display the green machine, original tools in the toolbox, and CoBank CEO Tom Halverson’s own vintage family photos of a flywheel assisting with Iowa farm operations in the 1930s. All involved shared the goal of a finished conversation-starting display worthy of a place in CoBank’s stellar art collection. Success? Check.

The moral of this story? Maybe it’s that many hands do, indeed, make light work. Possibly it’s that the past still has a presence. Or perhaps it’s that momentum — like crops and companies and creativity — grows when the right energy is set in motion.

— Carla Carwile

February 7, 2018 - Comments Off on A Distinctive Start to 2018

A Distinctive Start to 2018

FCC Services Calendar 2018

For the third year running, we’ve had the honor of designing a custom desk calendar for FCC Services. Each calendar combines inspiring imagery with practical pieces – conference and program schedules – to create a valuable addition to their clients’ desks. The goal is to provide a beautiful, useful tool and keep the FCCS brand visible the full year.

For the 2018 calendar, we took cues from their theme, “Your Year of Distinction.” Teaming up with copywriter Carla Carwile, we gathered fascinating facts, thought-provoking quotes and prompts for self-reflection and problem solving for each month. For example, a “wink” is one revolution of a lighthouse’s lamp. And did you know the U.S. produces some 2,500 varieties of apples?

FCC Services Calendar 2018

These items were complemented by illustrations, photographs, or graphics. A special interactive section, “The Stretch,” encourages recipients to contemplate how to distinguish themselves in the new year. Resource pages included lists of FCCS conferences, programs and events, plus room for thinking and strategizing their approach to work challenges. Complete with a ToDoodle page, this practical tool with an interactive flair is a popular piece with FCCS clients.

December 20, 2014 - Comments Off on Our 2014 highlight? An 1863 experience.

Our 2014 highlight? An 1863 experience.

EnZed Design FCC Services Gettysburg Leadership Experience Helen Young

When the innovative marketing director at FCC Services, first spoke with us about rebranding their Gettysburg Leadership Experience, we were intrigued. How often does a design group like EnZed have the opportunity to develop a fresh identity for a program merging 19th Century lessons and 21st Century leadership?  The result, I’m delighted to say, has garnered enough participant interest to fill all 2015 Experience sessions and cause more to be slated. (It’s also led to our being asked to develop special materials to help FCCS celebrate their 40th anniversary and re-energize their conference offerings.)

In brief, The Gettysburg Experience brings corporate executives to the Gettysburg battlefield for an intensive exploration of decisions made during that nation-changing three-day conflict. The goal is to examine what happened at that Civil War turning point and translate it into practical leadership strategies to guide one’s personal and corporate path forward.

EnZed’s initial scope of work included a new logo, program graphic design, marketing collateral and on-site materials for participants to use during their Gettysburg “boots on the ground” journey. Moreover, our copywriter Carla Carwile was to provide web text for project co-partner, Rabble + Rouser.

But something happened on the way to final product.  Our objectivity led to questions that sparked a full-program reassessment by the client. Modules were updated, options expanded and activities aligned. The outcome is winning praise as well as participation. The FCCS board just pronounced it exceptional and a major step forward for the organization.

EnZed Design FCC Services Gettysburg Leadership Experience Helen Young

Shown here are:

• The brochure encouraging enrollment

• The field guide with customized map used by participants while at Gettysburg

• The copper cup memento inscribed with the program logo

 

This multi-layered project succeeded because of true teamwork. A special thanks to:

• Rob Barnes of Vintage Pressworks for his custom iNPEND notebooks and his Civil War expertise

• Matt Luckwitz of GrafPort for his 3D battle-plan map tracking the three-day battle

Frederic Printing for their signature excellence

Annette Slade for the photo appearing here and the finished product images on our EnZed website

 

…and most important, to the FCCS team. Thank you for an extraordinary opportunity.

 

 HAPPY 2015, EVERYONE!

And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet, for auld lang syne.”

July 2, 2014 - Comments Off on High Tea and High Fives

High Tea and High Fives

Aspire awards brown palace hotel denver, Helen Young

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in June, the ladies and I gathered at the Brown Palace for high tea. We had our pretty summer dresses on and arrived to a room filled with roughly 200 gorgeous people looking freshly scrubbed and happy. Our plates were ready, full of adorable tiny sandwiches and sweet petit fours. The tiny purple macaroon immediately caught my eye, topped with a blackberry and a little gold leaf garnish. I was saving that one for last.

“I want to nominate you for the Aspire award and I need a bit of information to complete the entry.” my accountant, Beth Ann Bethel, had told me a month before. I’d seen the promotional email from my financial advisor, Laura Rumans, a few weeks prior. Trilogy Financial Services was planning Aspire: Celebrating Denver’s Women of Distinction. The award recognized women with four key qualities — ambition, perseverance, humility, and influence. I liked those adjectives, but breezed passed it trying to get control of my inbox.

A few weeks later, I discovered I was a finalist — one of six women to be honored at the awards ceremony. It was a lovely event. Nick Richtsmeier of Trilogy served as emcee and introduced the keynote Pui Kalyanamitra to kick things off with an entertaining story about her mother’s ambition to provide opportunity for her girls in a freer society. The program continued with three women from different backgrounds sharing their stories about building a business, overcoming obstacles and challenges, opportunities earned, lessons learned, and work-life balance. Each story was unique and had a memorable message or outcome. Then Nick introduced the finalists, describing their achievements and challenges with a surprisingly meaningful and personal delivery. I was really touched to hear him describe my own and each woman’s experiences. This room was hopping with life and passion.

Many simple truths rose to the surface during the two hours together sipping Earl Grey and daintily nibbling on cucumber sandwiches. One is that we’re in this together. Each woman’s story was about how she had struggled and found support or had others whom she supported in their struggle. Challenges, success and failure are part of life and growth, whether in health or home or work. Another theme was how defining one’s life on one’s own terms is a large part of being a woman. When work, family and life passions are combined, an infinite number of combinations become available, and we don’t need to fit within a defined role. Most of the women presenting started with an education pointing them in one direction and evolved their careers into something quite different. There was no straight path, no set of predetermined steps. Each woman chose her signature route.

The award went to Jolene McKenna; her story was of overcoming challenges, generosity and resilience. I came home with a finalist trophy — an engraved glass pitcher ready for mojito season — and a feeling of empowerment from being surrounded by good energy--both from the sparkling guests who attended and the special women at my table who are both inspiring and supportive. Thank you to Joy Lowe, Cyndi Maupin and Beth Ann (along with Linda and Katherine) and Carla Carwile (there in spirit) for being part of my tribe, now and over the years. They have helped me realize my potential, navigate obstacles, and reach out to others.

I may have left that day with a few scones tucked into the trophy box, but what I really took home was that everyone there could be an Aspire winner — which truly is inspiring. And with all those pitchers, that could make for a pretty good party.