Come. Sit. Let us tell you a story.

How do you stand out in a crowded world? How do you share a mission and message that’s different? Our clients create brands and tell stories that stand out.

Our clients are courageous leaders who want to speak bold truth — and change conversations. We are humbled to guide them in their journey to create timeless brands.


Bison Ventures

In the summer of 2021, established mortgage industry executives and lifelong friends, Stuart, Ryan and Jeremy, decided to finally follow their dreams and start their own mortgage company. Their aim was not just to begin a business, but to build a bold, recognizable brand that would highlight the change they wanted to embody in their industry and reflect their unique personalities. 

Root + River worked with the three founders Stuart, Jeremy and Ryan, to form the foundational elements of the brand: vision, mission, core beliefs, cultural standards, messaging and positioning/category. We also helped coach them through the process of naming the brand. 

The Root Session was a critical moment in the formation of the founders’ shared vision and connection that was articulated in the consistent, evocative messaging that would eventually launch the brand. 

After a successful first few months, Bison was already creating buzz in the Phoenix market with its brand name, brand strategy, positioning and audience development unusual in their space. As a result, the team and the business is growing rapidly.


Neil Edwards Coaching

Neil Edwards does what he does for the sake of humanity. He wants to see leaders move from leading some to leading everyone.

Neil came to us with a desire to reach more people and sink deeper into his own why. As a highly credentialed and experienced executive coach, trainer and mentor, Neil was seeking a branding partner who could help him distill his empathy, drive for change and vast experience into the soul language of his brand. 

He wanted to express his work with language that attracts those who believe what he does: building trust and creating the future requires profound intimacy, and he wanted to repel those who don’t hold those same beliefs.

Root + River guided Neil through a Root Session, helping him fill his reservoirs with epiphanies and clarity. From there our team updated the content for his website reflecting the root system and language of his brand, his mission, beliefs and standards, his ideal audience and how he can amplify his brand to retain and attract clients and partners.

We were delighted (and maybe not surprised) that on the day he announced his new website and offerings on LinkedIn, he received multiple inquiries from new potential clients, and began working with two of them.

Bridgeway Capital Management

INVESTMENT TRAILBLAZER | Established Company Rebrand

Bridgeway Capital Management

Bridgeway Capital Management had grown accustomed to its quiet way of serving its clients, but saw a significant opportunity to finally tell the remarkable story of Bridgeway. Since its inception, Bridgeway has donated 50 percent of its profits to charity, but had not fully differentiated themselves in the market. Tony, Bridgeway’s director of marketing, was seeking a branding partner who could commit to helping him articulate and codify the brand and then enroll the diverse and opinionated partners in embodying the brand. He also was seeking a partner who could help him create storytelling content and train his team on marketing and sales approaches to grow the brand. 

In collaboration with the Bridgeway team, Root + River successfully developed a differentiated message that brought together Bridgeway’s financial and philanthropic aspects that appealed to and enrolled all the partners. We created and executed a content strategy that established a new category the CEO fully endorsed and supported. After two years of working together, the Bridgeway team was thrilled with the result.

 “We never could have done on our own what we did with Root + River. They changed the way we looked at branding and marketing and solved a years-long debate over how to articulate our culture and differentiators,” said Tony Ledergerber, director of marketing and communications. 

Etienne Consulting

CHAMPION FOR INCLUSION | Thought Leader Branding

Etienne Consulting

Before starting her consultancy, Jina Etienne worked as a CPA in public accounting for over 25 years.

She came to Root + River knowing that she could reach more of the right clients if she could distill her passion and belief into powerful, clear, language that helped her stand out. 

During our Root Session, Jina discovered her root belief: Hiding is the most dangerous thing we can do. Being seen is how we unlock our superpowers. The Root + River team helped her unearth that her client needed to have a desire to be seen and they needed to be willing to practice fearless inclusion – the freedom to be yourself and the ability to create space for others to do the same.

After her Root Session and following the delivery of her brand strategy, we co-created content with Jina that reflected more clearly her passion and exclusive ability to help bring belonging to the world of accounting professionals. 

During our work together, Jina discovered some of her offerings were no longer serving her or her clients’ needs and that she wanted to focus on training fearless inclusion and speaking about hiding, being seen and belonging. 

A SPACE APART | New Brand Launch

The Little Daisy

Beginning from scratch, and without any brand message or specific language to match this distinct property, Brian, the owner, and Loren, marketing leader and partner, behind The Little Daisy, crossed paths with Root + River. 

Their goal was bold: to take a hundred-plus year old legacy property in Jerome, AZ,  into the future as a unique, character-rich destination. Built in 1916, this historic property has changed hands multiple times, fell into disrepair, and was then lovingly restored in the mid 90s and early 2000s. Brian Grooms purchased the renovated hotel in 2020, and its two sister properties in 2021, with a vision to continue the tradition of the hotel, and the town of Jerome, by hosting adventurous spirits, dreamers, artists and seekers at their property.

Brian and Loren knew they needed to craft a brand for this unique space that spoke to its history and to their vision of hosting uncommon and distinct gatherings that celebrate exceptional moments. They also needed a brand team that would blend with their design team, and outsourced events and marketing team (and we love to collaborate!).

The Little Daisy is now booked with personal and corporate gatherings from the elegant, to the offbeat, and the spirit of the property lives on.

LEADING BELONGING | Established Nonprofit Rebrand

Valley of the Sun YMCA

Established in 1892, before Arizona became a state, Valley of the Sun YMCA is a 130-year-old nonprofit with deep ties to the community. Their CEO  approached Root + River because the organization was struggling to put words and language to an innovative new vision. They needed a message and structure around strategic initiatives that would differentiate their organization in the national YMCA space and within their local community.

We worked with VOS YMCA in a Root Session for the executive team during its annual retreat, and then in subsequent exec working sessions and, finally, several board presentations. The sessions gave the leadership and board a unique space and the time in which to dream – and then articulate – both a new direction. Finally, we presented the new brand language, pillars, positioning and brand narrative to the Y’s full-time directors and leaders of more than 200 during another retreat. We facilitated interactive activities to help integrate the language into the culture and make it personal.

After our work together, a new tone was set, a new vision articulated and a resonant new brand message integrated into all YMCA platforms. 

BRANDING A FIRESTARTER | Thought Leader Branding

Terri Broussard Williams 

Terri Broussard Williams was an accomplished lobbyist and executive who for years had been planning on developing her own personal brand. 

When she came to Root + River, she had no message, no website and a minimal social media presence. Through a Root Session and brand discovery coaching, we uncovered and articulated her message and helped her establish her category and platform. 

Today, Terri is an award-winning author and founder of the #MovementMakers community and movement and has a dedicated following of thousands. Her book, Find Your Fire, is an Amazon #1 bestseller and was named #6 best nonfiction book of 2020 by Cosmopolitan. She is a frequent national speaker.

CARING FOR THE COMMUNITY | Established Company Rebrand

Caretaker Landscape and Tree Management

Caretaker had been serving Arizona and Colorado for over 35 years when they came to us seeking support to reignite the brand mission, message. Its leaders were grounded and people-oriented and looking strengthen its market position in a very competitive, and collapsing (thanks to competitor buyouts) market. They felt their brand did not highlight a key differentiator – innovative technology – and that it lacked impact and clarity. They wanted a new message in alignment with refreshed mission, vision and core values. They also wanted guidance on digital platforms, collateral and advice on how to roll brand updates forward into culture, sales and into brand experience. 

After working together, Caretaker’s brand is bold, clear and differentiated and is enjoying the buy-in of its internal teams. The leadership and sales teams are enthused with the new direction. The brand has a new, evocative message, mission, ideal audience and positioning that differentiates it in its industry.  

Amber Buck

A BOLD NEW MESSAGE | Thought Leader Branding + Rebranding

Amber Buck

We first met Amber Buck Setter when she was leaving corporate accounting and moving into a coaching, speaking and consulting practice. 

She was seeking bold messaging that reflected her vision for the industry and matched her no-nonsense, but loving approach to her work. Our first engagement was vital in launching her personal brand. 

Years later, she returned to us having built upon the initial brand with the launch of a new brand, Conscious CPA. Her dogged vision is to guide accountants back to their wholeness through coaching.

WORTHY MISSION, NEW VISION | Established Nonprofit Rebrand


Upbring had all of the makings of an excellent brand — a worthy mission, a track record of amazing work in the community and a talented team full of rich stories to tell. What they didn’t have was a consistent way to share their message across multiple audiences — donors, stakeholders, community members and employees. 

They also wanted to honor their storied past and Christian values but also communicate their desire to be warriors of love. Root + River worked with Upbring on a yearlong project that brought together their leadership team to sharpen their message, recommit to their mission and unify their team. 

Root + River also executed a multi-phased research and listening initiative that surveyed their team, community members and influencers about Upbring’s critical role in the community. We conducted messaging training from top to bottom, including a three-part media training series for the CEO and storytelling training for the marketing and communications team. 

Upbring now is armed with messaging that touches every aspect of their internal and external communication, setting up the century-old organization for another impactful 100 years.

Words of Mouth

“Root + River helped me define my mission of challenging people with love.”

— Zack Barna, CEO of Boompromo

“Even though it’s been awhile since our Root Session, I’m still experiencing the benefits of it. It’s been the most worthwhile time we have ever spent on our brand.”

— Denise Malkoon of Americano

“It feels like you went into my head and pulled out the words I had been trying to say,”

— Susan Hwang, owner, Best Dispensary

“What you do is so necessary, it was a no-brainer to pay you.”

— Sonya Stattman, Owner and Host of The Feminine Lens

““I now feel free to be me. The time in writing my social media has significantly gone down because I feel so aligned with my message and creative brand, and I am attracting the phone consults, podcasts, and other types of marketing strategies that fit me (and don’t feel badly anymore if they don’t).”

Dr. Serena Goldstein