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Q&A with Bellmont Partners’ New Vice President, Kathleen Hennessy

We are excit­ed to wel­come Kath­leen Hen­nessy to the Bell­mont Part­ners team as vice pres­i­dent. Kath­leen brings a wealth of knowl­edge from her years as an expe­ri­enced com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­fes­sion­al and writer. She start­ed her career in broad­cast jour­nal­ism and then went into the agency world work­ing as the chief mar­ket­ing offi­cer for a local mar­ket­ing com­pa­ny. Kath­leen has a pas­sion for every­thing in the gar­den­ing, home and hor­ti­cul­ture cat­e­go­ry and has worked with sev­er­al nation­al and inter­na­tion­al clients. She is also a pub­lished writer for gar­den­ing pub­li­ca­tions cov­er­ing new plants, DIY projects, kitchen gar­den ideas, wine and oth­er great out­door liv­ing topics.

We sat down with Kath­leen to learn more about her career along with her pas­sion for plants and how that start­ed and has turned into her spe­cial­ty for her clients.

You have had a long impres­sive career in broad­cast­ing, jour­nal­ism and agency work. Why do those jobs res­onate with you?

I know it sounds hokey, but I’m one of those peo­ple who thinks every­one has a sto­ry to tell. I real­ly love meet­ing peo­ple and learn­ing about what is impor­tant to them. Shar­ing those sto­ries is a nat­ur­al exten­sion of my curios­i­ty. I think that is what drew me to jour­nal­ism. That, and I want­ed to be Chris­tiane Amanpour!

I have always loved the jour­nal­is­tic approach to pub­lic rela­tions. Fig­ur­ing out the sto­ry behind a prod­uct, ser­vice or plant. Shar­ing what makes it inter­est­ing and why it can make life eas­i­er or bet­ter is fun for me.

You bring a ros­ter of clients you have worked with for many years, what is your favorite thing about work­ing with clients?
I work with fab­u­lous clients. They are smart peo­ple who are pas­sion­ate about what they do and real­ly want to make a dif­fer­ence. Their focus is on the big­ger pic­ture of how their plants and prod­ucts can make life better.

My favorite thing is learn­ing from them. My sec­ond favorite thing is help­ing them tell the world about the plants, prod­ucts and pro­grams they bring to market.

You have a love for all things hor­ti­cul­ture and home. When did that start and how has that made an impact on your career?

My par­ents used to make me, and my sib­lings weed our veg­etable gar­den when I was a kid. Forced weed­ing! After that, I nev­er thought I’d be inter­est­ed in gar­den­ing and home improve­ment. That all changed when I bought my first house. Fast for­ward a few years… I can’t imag­ine not gar­den­ing or work­ing with my hus­band to improve our home and out­door spaces.

I love plants. Lean­ing about them, dis­cov­er­ing their ben­e­fits and new attrib­ut­es, help­ing peo­ple envi­sion where they could go in the gar­den is ener­giz­ing. I love shar­ing their sto­ries and craft­ing the mes­sage for clients. I feel very lucky that my per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al inter­ests intersect.

I’m pas­sion­ate about gar­den­ing for many rea­sons. In addi­tion to adding beau­ty to your yard, pro­vid­ing fresh food and help­ing the envi­ron­ment, gar­den­ing can be ben­e­fi­cial for your health. It’s a def­i­nite stress reduc­er and can help you feel more con­nect­ed to the world around you. I’m real­ly excit­ed about ele­vat­ing the mes­sage of those ben­e­fits in the com­ing years.

As a pub­lished writer and con­tent edi­tor, what are you favorite top­ics to write about?
Not sur­pris­ing­ly, gar­den­ing and DIY are my favorite top­ics to write about. There is always some­thing new to learn! I also love writ­ing and learn­ing about food, wine and travel.

What drew you to Bell­mont Partners? 

I’ve known Bri­an and Jen for years and have always respect­ed their dri­ve to devel­op a great team. They have cre­at­ed an envi­ron­ment that focus­es on col­lab­o­ra­tion and real­ly strive to encour­age indi­vid­ual growth and cel­e­brate everyone’s suc­cess­es. It goes beyond ser­vant lead­er­ship. They’re tru­ly great people.

What do you do in your free time? 

In addi­tion to gar­den­ing, I love doing yoga and try­ing out new recipes. Now that they’re old­er and busier, spend­ing time with my daugh­ters is a rare gift. We enjoy trav­el­ing togeth­er and we have a cab­in in north­ern Min­neso­ta where we kayak, pad­dle board, swim and fish. It is my hap­py place.

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