Remembering CJ

By Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D.

Recently, I heard about the sudden, unexpected death of my friend, CJ Dorgeloh, of Asheville, NC. I am trying to make some sense, (is there any to be made?) of this shocking news.

CJ was a brilliant project manager, facilitator and proponent of peace. But she was so much more than a job title. When I met C.J. in Atlanta over 12 years ago, I, like so many others, was immediately drawn into her light.

She had that rare blend of creativity and organization. In one moment she could be arranging a friend’s entire office.  In the next, she was navigating the tricky waters of corporate meetings.

I will always remember the  joyful emails and beautiful nature photos she sent after a move to Bainbridge Island, WA. Her updates sounded so full of hope and wide-eyed wonder at the beauty around her.

When I told CJ about my research on introverted leaders I once again felt that exuberance.  She passionately believed in my work and took pleasure in the project’s unfolding. In true introvert style, she expressed herself beautifully through writing.

In fact, we are fortunate to still have her blog, aptly named, “Listening for A Change, which  reveals a special glimpse into her keen insights and sensitive soul.

I am so grateful that she was able to contribute to my book. Here is one nugget she offered that drew on her own experience and strength:

“C.J. said that being an introvert brings great value to the processes of negotiating and getting buy-in from teams and partners. ‘I work very well in one-on-one conversations, giving people a feeling of being heard and listened to and creating a sense of trust in the relationship. I am not easily distracted or prone to multitask, so I bring a focus to my conversations and interactions which I have been told feels good . . . .’”

C.J, You have no idea how good it felt.  I will miss you very much. Peace, dear friend.


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