In the timeless classic The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare famously wrote, “All that glitters is not gold.” I’ve always considered those fairly solid words to live by as far as life advice pulled from a 400-year-old play is concerned. But then again, when Shakespeare penned those words, I doubt he’d ever met anyone like Maggie. Because Bill, let me tell you something—some people are just born with glitter in their veins, gold in their hearts, and can’t help it if they’re always shining. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce Maggie Hendrickson as the next Willow shrub to step into the employee spotlight.
As you can probably tell, Maggie is a big fan of glitter.
“Glitter is beautiful—it’s sparkly, happy, and unicorns wear it,” she laughed. “I don’t know, I’ve just always loved glitter and shiny things, which is fitting because the Willow motto is ‘shine brighter.’ I get to make our clients shine brighter. Not by dumping glitter on them, mind you, but helping them reach success. Although, I’m still petitioning for Brad to let me have a glitter wall in my office.”
Maggie’s official title at Willow is Project Manager, but with over a decade of experience, she is a champion of all the things. I asked her if becoming a Project Manager was something she always wanted to do.
“I didn’t even know what a Project Manager was, so no. Growing up, I always thought I was going to be the next Joan Lunden.”
Maggie’s television dream is what ultimately lead her to pursue a degree in broadcasting—first an associate’s from Vincennes University and then a bachelor’s from Indiana University.
“I really wanted to be a radio producer,” she said. “I liked the idea of running the board of a live show—or maybe I just really liked the control. So it translated nicely to being a Project Manager. I enjoy running the show.”
After graduating college, Maggie got a job as an Account Executive at Live Nation creating and distributing marketing materials for the concert and entertainment industry. Not only does it explain her love of live music and loathing for large concert venues but also her love for, “The greatest pop star of all time, Rod Stewart.” And on one fateful day, she had a chance encounter with Mr. Forever Young himself.
“Rod Stewart sang Maggie May to me… on the phone. It was the best thing ever, even if it was only for work related purposes. He wanted to demonstrate what portion of the song he wanted us to use for a commercial we were doing. I’ll never forget it.”
Maggie is coming up on her third year at Willow and if you ask her, aside from waiting for that glitter wall approval, she couldn’t be happier. She loves and thrives managing all of the moving parts—from nationwide campaigns to client sponsored events. She’s like the queen Minion behind the curtain making sure everything goes as planned. But I wanted to know what exactly was her favorite part about her job:
“Well, besides the people it has to be that there is always something new—everyday is different. Each project poses a new challenge to overcome and I look forward to it.”
When Maggie isn’t at work, you’ll likely find her doing any number of things from her laundry list of hobbies. Including, but not limited to:
- Live music (“The smaller the venue the better.”)
- Makeup (“It’s my creative outlet.”)
- Fashion news (“E! News is my jam! Right, Sue?”)
- Yoga (“There are so many benefits mentally and physically.”)
- Teenage drama series (“One Tree Hill, The OC, 90210 (the original one!)… yeah I don’t know what it is, I’m just a fan.”)
- Wine and coffee (“Wanna meet up for a cup of coffee… or wine?”)
- Her dog and cat (“I’m the mother of two four-legged children—Elizabeth my seven-year-old Shih Tzu mix and Gracie my 10-year-old Siamese cat.”)
As per the tradition, I asked Maggie what she is looking forward to most about Willow’s future?
“Seeing what the next project is, what balls need to be juggled, and which client’s industry I get to learn about next—it’s one of the things I like most about my work. I now know a little bit about a lot of things!”
Maggie is in the classic people-person club—where “stranger” has no meaning. From her innocuous ability to make people laugh and feel comfortable, to her selfless disposition to lend a helping hand or ear—she keeps it real, or 100 as the kids say. As one of my earliest mentors here at Willow, Maggie taught me the valuable lesson of leaving fear out of the equation when doing anything.
“Everybody fails but that shouldn’t ever keep you from trying,” she told me.
She let me fall—flat on my face at a few stretches—but she was always right there to help me learn from it and get back up. And come to think of it, I never really thanked her for it.