Town and Country Markets

In 1996 we began working, through various forums, with this great family business of grocery stores. It is such an enlivening company and place to work and such an honor to work with them in forwarding their future, “Nourishing the quality of life”.

In the Fall of 2015, Town and Country Markets completed a two year remodel project for their flagship market on Bainbridge Island, Washington. The market stayed open, serving customers the entire time. T&C Markets hired J.R. Abbott Construction to perform the remodel. The leadership of both companies had engaged in a considerable amount of work and graduate work with Gale Leaderhship Development over a number of years. The following was a letter written by one of the owners of Town and Country Markets:

“As the completion of our amazing remodel project is coming to a close and we are in the midst of plans for a community celebration, I wanted to take a moment to deeply acknowledge your contribution in laying the foundation for the glorious, and at times, miraculous work that transpired over the past two years. I think that those of us who were fortunate enough to be a part of the rebirth of our beloved home market will never forget the overall experience or the human triumphs that occurred along the way. We could not have completed this work and be in such good shape had we not been involved in the personal development work over the past several years with you.

This project was a two year case study of “The Heart of Accomplishment” on steroids. The coordination that was required on a daily basis was constant and unrelenting. Rick Pederson, Jeff Weimar, Clay Hubbell (and countless others) came to work every day with a shared vision, huge commitment/dedication and the tools to work through whatever new challenges presented themselves. They did so gracefully, wholeheartedly and with integrity for everyone involved. As Clay would say “this is just what we do”. With that leadership at the helm, we all knew that the project was in good hands and had faith that whatever came our way would be taken care of well on behalf of the larger community.

So, as I reflect, I think about the years of foundation building that was laid, the individual development work you have done over the years with our leadership and how that manifested in the success of a project that truly was larger than anyone of us imagined. I’ve always said that your fingerprints will be all over this project and they were (I think it is especially fitting that your handprint is immortalized in cement on our building). The work you have committed yourself to, on our behalf, allowed all of us to take the baton and run the race that we were meant to run. I cannot thank you enough.

Please know in your heart that your work has made a tremendous difference in the lives of those you’ve touched. The ripple effect of this work sustains through time and collectively makes a ‘dent in the universe’”. see related comment


“Good communication is a challenge for most companies. Amba Gale, of Gale Leadership Development LLC, has assisted us at the Town and Country Markets to create a better understanding amongst our people, remove barriers and have honest dialogue as our foundation, in our quest to build relationship, develop our team and fulfill our dreams.”


“Participating in one of Amba’s classes is unlike any other experience I have had in the past. Her intuitive ability to understand others creates a safe space for people to share who they are.

We have collaborated with Amba Gale since the mid 1990’s; and that relationship has made a fundamental impact on our business. As a small company, we believe our success depends on the development of our greatest resource – our people – and their ability to lead. Through her courses we have learned that authentic leadership begins with personal awareness and resonates from the inside/out. Creating a trusting environment that allows people to fully be themselves in search of what matters most is an invaluable life experience. We feel her programs are among the best investments we can make.

I would recommend The Heart of Leadership to anyone seeking a more purposeful life both personally and professionally.”


“Working with Amba has produced many wonderful results within the Company. I myself, having attended several different courses, within and outside of the Company, have experienced much personal growth, both professionally and personally. Most pleasing, though, is the opportunity to watch others in the Company develop and grow, as individuals, and as members of a team, built on a foundation of trust and mutual respect.”


“We have greatly benefited from an enriching relationship with Amba Gale, of Gale Leadership Development LLC. From our first meeting we recognized a true resonance with her work and the values in our company. She has helped us build a foundation from which people in our company are able to build stronger relationships, remove barriers to their effectiveness and find joy and meaning in their work and life. She does not let you become complacent in ‘who you are’ but invites you to become an active participant in the journey to become the person you “can be” -whether it is in your family, in your work or in your community.”


“I was hesitant to sign up, not from any concern about the course but from the fullness of my schedule. I won’t say it wasn’t challenging to manage my time for the past 6 weeks, it was. I will say that I don’t regret a minute of the time or energy required.

I take from the 5 days an improved understanding of the power of communication (big word) through effective listening and speaking. I take with me a closer connection to the tools offered. The awareness of perceptions (files) and emotions (feelings), the importance of relationships that are sufficient for the conversation, making requests, being accountable for what is said (and not said), taking stands that provide clarity and that answer the question ‘who am I’ in this manner, and developing pathways for fulfilling intentions. I take a new connection (foundation of relatedness) with Joel that I believe will be powerful.

A little over 4 years ago the Shoreline managers experiencedLeadership in Action a similar program. The tools from that course have become fully integrated into our culture, it was a map for how we would speak and interact with each other, along with training in communication from John Wood and participation in L&L, we became a group proficient at defining our intentions and using these tools to fulfill our intentions as well as build our relationships. I believe this led to accomplishments that would not have happened otherwise, to a common appreciation for the value of a well designed conversation. By exposing myself to these teachings again, now, they are immeasurably more powerful..(Having experienced these tools in practice and worked to develop these skills I am more committed than ever to keeping them grounded in our daily work and developing them more fully wherever possible.”



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