Ninmah Meets World Rotating Header Image

new directions

I’m thrilled to announce that this month I began working at The Grove Consultants International (a.k.a. the mothership of visual practice as I know it)! It was one of those moments when a number of different things seem to converge suddenly and then wham! You’re facing in a new direction, seeing new roads in front of you and new experiences all around. As the Director of Digital Services, part of my job is to discover ways to integrate technology into visual practice. Of course, I’ll be doing plenty of visual facilitation and recording, too.

For those who aren’t familiar with The Grove, it is a San Francisco-based company headquartered in the lovely Presidio, offering products and services related to visual practice and team development. It’s also where I first learned about visual practice. Grove President David Sibbet facilitated the first NMC Board Retreat that I attended, after I’d been with NMC only a few months, and I was just blown away by the dynamic nature of the process. He generously shared his time one afternoon to tell me about visual practice, and I was hooked. I had lots of opportunities to develop those skills with NMC and I’m very excited to be moving into a space where I can continue to learn, practice, and grow in those areas.

As wonderful as it is to move toward new and exciting things, it’s always difficult to move away from those that are well-loved and familiar, and it’s with more than a little sadness that I say goodbye to the New Media Consortium — but not to all my friends and colleagues, thanks to the miracle of social networking. I’ve learned so much over the past six and a half years, and education continues to be a passion of mine. I am deeply touched to have been named the first Vice President Emeritus of NMC and I’m proud to have been part of such an outstanding organization.

a very welcoming sign

They have certainly made me feel very welcome at The Grove! This hand-lettered sign greeted me from the wall above my desk on my first day at work. I’ve admired the work that they do for a long time and I’m really honored to be joining such an excellent and talented team!


  1. WOW! Congrats, Rachel! Sounds like a fun gig. And hanging out at the Presidio every day wouldn’t suck, either :-)

  2. Congratulations, Rachel! Grove lucked out, I say.

  3. Andy Rush says:

    Congratulations Rachel! With your visual notes skillz, sounds like you are a perfect fit. Best of luck.

  4. Carole Burns says:

    Congratulations Rachel! I would love to talk with you more about Visual communication – as you know my PhD deals with social media and individuals on the Autism spectrum. I really think this type of communication skill works right in with this research. Perhaps there is something we can work on together between the Grove and Marquette!

    I’m glad social media keeps us close! You are a fantastic individual and The Grove is very fortunate to have you on board!

  5. ninmah says:

    Thanks, folks! I really appreciate your kind words. @D’Arcy the Presidio is so beautiful, and the building the offices are in is full of light. Really lovely. @Carole let’s do keep in touch. Sounds like there are some good connections between your research and visual practice.

  6. Brian says:

    Rachel – sounds like a great fit for your many gifts, and I expect this will be a wonderful opportunity. Huzzah!

  7. Pumpkin says:

    How awesome! Congrats!!!

  8. Alan says:

    You do rock at whatever you do, and now you’ve gotten to professional doodler! I’m so proud and happy for you. Rock and draw.

  9. […] with The Grove Consultants, in San Francisco, where I am sure she will rock the graphic world (read more on her blog and check out her work on flickr). Okay, I am a serious fan […]

  10. Congrats Rachel! How cool to be doing what you love AND living in San Francisco. The whole NMC community will miss you. Hope you’ll make it back to some of the conferences both live and online.

  11. Giulia says:

    I’ve been linking to your Flickr pictures for months and tweeting links to “visual recording on the iPad: illustrated” but I realized I’ve never actually thanked you directly for the inspiring work you do.

    Grant Potter referred me to you last spring and I have been amazed ever since.
    At my institution we are very involved in Instructional Skills Workshops and their spin-off, Narrative Skills Workshops. The iPad was purchased for me to experiment with visual note taking, graphic facilitation etc, as a way of capturing feedback and narrative. All I had to do was show the “folks-in-charge-of-buget” your work and they immediately saw the potential. So, I really do owe you a big thank you.

    I am contemplating attending Northern Voice 11 but since I work in a teaching centre and my blog presence is not huge, I’m still undecided. With this change in position for you, will you still be attending nv11? I would love the opportunity to watch you in action and thank you in person for your work in this field.

  12. ninmah says:

    Hi Giulia,

    Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m so glad my work has been useful to you. It was really nice of you to take the time to write me a comment.

    Unfortunately, although I would love to go, I’m not able to attend Northern Voice this year. I would still recommend it to you; it’s not just about blogging, but also about connectedness and social media and how to develop your voice and express yourself in the highly networked world we live in. I’m certain you would take back a list of ideas and things to try at work, and the conference is so energizing and inspiring. Go if you possibly can.

    I would love to meet you sometime, though. Any chance you might attend IFVP 2011 in October? (

  13. Giulia says:

    Thanks so much for that. I think I’ll make the pitch for nv11. IFVP looks great too. I do hope a meetup is in my future.
    Keep drawing!