Category Archives: STFM News

Office Stories

I find office spaces interesting. The piles (or lack of piles), photos, and mementos share a glimpse of the personality of the people, work styles, and things individuals value.

Stacy Brungardt, CAE STFM Executive Director

A little more than a year ago, STFM revamped our headquarters office. In our 4,000 square-foot corner of the 5th floor of the AAFP building, STFM staff publishes the journal, plans our conferences, and runs the more than 40 initiatives of the Society. We wanted the space to be both inspiring, practical, and reflect the core values of STFM. We squeezed a lot from our lean redecorating budget and started by getting rid of stuff—old office furniture and unused items you collect over time that clutter the mind. That felt good.

Now when you walk in our offices, the first thing you’ll likely notice are five 8-foot color images of a stethoscope and lab coat, tree-lined arched path, a journal/smart phone, a circle of hands, and a capital building. These images depict the Society’s core priorities of workforce development, professional and leadership development, scholarship and innovation, professional relationships, and policy advocacy. They’ve added a splash of color and meaning to our space. This wall used to display all our past presidents’ photos. We took those down and put them in a nice scrapbook. Admittedly, they were interesting to see and are missed by some of our staff. At the same time, staff agreed that the message we want to communicate to one another and visitors is that we are here to serve and celebrate all our members, not just those who move to STFM’s highest ranks.

As part of the revamp, we took a storage area and interior office and created a conference room as a space to come together for meetings or just to build relationships by eating together at lunch or special occasions.

We painted several walls nutmeg (think nice burnt orange), which added warmth to our sterile walls. A little table and lamp provide an extra homey touch. Around the top of all our walls we have black and white framed and matted pictures. These are pictures staff provided of images that inspire them. The pictures show children and grandchildren, landscapes and beaches, and people and places that matter to each of us.

Staff selected a quote for the top of one wall that says, “You can’t discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” This reminds us that taking risks is a necessary part of our business, and the success of the Society depends on it.

On two walls we created a montage of members, photos and conference locations. Highlighting another wall are images that spell out the letters STFM in photos, a thoughtful gift to staff from past President Terry Steyer.

My favorite part of our space is my office wall with member photos of individuals who have had an impact on my career with STFM. My favorite shot is a photo of Lucy Candib and Peter Coggan dancing on stage when Lucy accepted the 2010 F. Marian Bishop Award. That moment captured so much of what I love about STFM – the joy and celebration of our members who make a difference in the world every day.

That’s our story. Does your space reflect the values you want to communicate? Let us know; we’d like to share your story.

Everybody Oughta Make a Change

Change in the weather, change in the sea,
Come back baby, you’ll find a change in me.
Everybody, they ought to change sometime,
Because sooner or later we have to go
down in that lonesome ground.—Eric Clapton

Listen to the song at

Stacy Brungardt, CAE STFM Executive Director

Anybody out there love Eric Clapton? What a talent to be an artist who can entertain and give a message.

This song speaks to the value of change. At STFM, we’re working to embrace change, not just for the sake of change, but because you can either react to change or be proactive and guide change for the future you envision.

How are we doing this? By scanning the environment, asking tough questions of ourselves, talking to stakeholders outside our leadership, and taking a hard look at what we do well and what we strive to become.

For example, we’ve taken on online education. We’re not great at it yet. It takes us a long time to develop online programs, and we don’t have great processes in place for measuring their relevance to members. But we believe that STFM has to be great at providing other types of education beyond our outstanding meetings, so we’re willing to struggle through this learning.

Changing our logo is another example. After thoughtful research and conversations, we realize the logo doesn’t communicate the level of professionalism that STFM and this discipline should expect. We plan to celebrate how well our logo has served us and give it the retirement it deserves. You can expect to see some new logo ideas in February.

My New Year’s resolution for STFM is to preserve what is special about STFM and make the right changes for moving the Society forward.

Thank you for making these changes with us. It is an honor to serve you and the values you represent.

We’re Listening – STFM Logo Take Two?

Jeri Hepworth, PhD, STFM President, & Stacy Brungardt, CAE, STFM Executive Director

Thanks to all of you who have commented on our logo drafts. As we discussed at the Board meeting, your input is an important part of our vetting process.

Please allow us to clarify this process.

The current logo has served us well, without question. It is a statement to members about our values.  However, as we increase our role with others, an internally-focused logo is not useful and can be detracting. Our role in medical education, transformation of health care, and advocacy work with governmental bodies and other professional organizations requires us to move forward with communications and messaging that convey the importance of the Society. Our recent communications audit tells us that others outside our membership (and even some within) don’t see our logo as one that communicates a professional, progressive organization. We celebrate our current logo, its history, and our founders who developed it. A new logo doesn’t undermine or ignore that history.

Your comments are part of an important vetting process that includes our membership, Board, and staff. The two logos that were presented are not the final logo choices, and we have not spent extravagantly in the design process.

Here’s what we are learning from our feedback gathering process.

  1. Our members read our communications. Within 24 hours, 1,522 of you had opened the email, 689 had clicked through to the web page, and 701 had clicked through to President Jeri Hepworth’s blog post. It’s good to know our messages are reaching you.
  2. Our members are engaged and feel a real connection to STFM. If you weren’t connected, you obviously wouldn’t care what our logo says/looks like.
  3. Your suggestions are constructive. You didn’t just say, “I don’t like it,” you explained why, and provided recommendations. Overall, we didn’t get the sense that most of you are opposed to change, per se, you just don’t like the change direction.

We wish we could sit down with all of you and have a conversation to listen, learn, and discuss. It’s clear that many of you want a family symbol in the logo, and we understand how important the family and the relationships it represents mean to STFM. But, we’ve also had members tell us that the definition of family is changing, and the three-person image is not inclusive of all families.

If we show a family, how does that image differentiate us from, say, a family services agency, a church, a community park, or a YMCA? If we add a medical symbol to the family, perhaps we’re then showing family medicine, but that seems like it might make more sense for an AAFP logo. We’re really about education, so do we add a book or an apple to the family and medical symbol? That would be one busy logo.

Then, consider the logos for organizations that have probably invested mega-bucks for logo research. How do golden arches visually represent cheap hamburgers? And what does Walmart’s star/flower say about discount retail? Wouldn’t a picture of a car be a more literal logo for Mercedes than a triangle? Do we really need to repeat what’s in our organization’s name in images?

Logo design principles say logos should be simple, relevant, scalable, and memorable. Your feedback indicates we may have missed the mark on “relevant.” So, we ask you to continue to share your comments, below. This is a process and everyone at STFM is listening closely to what you’re saying.