Wednesday, June 18, 2008


What happens when a baby-boomer Hallmark writer is the winner of the Barbara Marshall Award sabbatical? Well, she takes the summer to go back to her alma mater... living in the same dorm she did 30 years ago, making friends with students more than half her age and blogging about it.

Molly Wigand was granted a 3-month leave from Hallmark to dive into a very personal generational study. Enjoy every bit of it at her blog:

Back-to-School Boomerang

And for more information about the Barbara Marshall Award read below. Just goes to show how cool Hallmark is and the wonderful opportunities available to the creative community here.

Creative award inspires for past 10 years
( Wednesday, January 30, 2008 7:15 AM )

This month marks the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the Barbara Marshall Award. The award recognizes top talent within the creative division and gives recipients a sabbatical opportunity to explore various creative disciplines.

The award was established in 1998 to honor the 50th anniversary of Barbara Marshall, daughter of Hallmark founder J.C. Hall. Through the years, Barbara has been a strong influence on Hallmark greeting card designs — and the people who design them (see related story).

Commitment to creativity
“The Barbara Marshall Award recognizes the spirit of creativity that Hallmark was founded on,” says Don Hall, president and CEO. “It was designed to nurture creativity and allow time for innovation and creative exploration. In doing so, the award and its recipients inspire our entire creative community.”

The award is a testament to Hallmark’s commitment to its creative community and is a best practice among creative companies, adds Dan Foster, vice president – creative design and visual studios.

“For people considering a job at Hallmark, this award tells them a lot about how much Hallmark values creativity and the company’s creative team,” he says.

Thorough selection process
Members of the creative staff with more than five years of Hallmark experience may apply for the award. The rigorous selection process for the award begins with a focused review of all submissions by a core team of senior creative leaders. After the first review the team presents its recommendations to the entire senior creative leadership team for a vote.

“The finalists are invited to a meeting to personally present their idea so we can hear the passion and depth of what they’d like to do,” Dan says.

After completing their sabbaticals, past winners have presented their work to other Hallmarkers — for example, in a creative gallery exhibit on the 9th floor at headquarters — to provide inspiration.

“In 2008, we’re focusing more on the learning opportunity and re-thinking how we can present the winners’ experiences to other Hallmarkers — through an online blog or film, for example,” Dan says. “We’re excited to see what our latest recipients have in store for us.”

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