1981…Excerpts From My Memoir

The philosophy for my nascent company was coalescing around the psycho/social model, implemented with strong management systems and generating good financial returns. Clearly, this mandated a balanced approach through a dialectic process. For example, psycho/social programs needed to be balanced with great clinical care, a profound lesson I learned with one of our early nursing homes.

With my company moving toward having management responsibilities, I quickly realized that I needed a new name for this organization. I huddled with my colleagues and challenged them to come up with recommendations and ideas for a fresh moniker and corresponding logo.

A few days later, one of them had noticed an exit sign for Piñon Canon. She liked the phonetics of the word Piñon, saying it rolled off the tongue smoothly and effortlessly. She thought we should call ourselves Piñon Management.

I pondered this for a while and the more I meditated on it, the more I liked it, easy to say and remember, while equally distinctive and unique. It reinforced the objective of being different, yet not too far out there.

Commencing that autumn, Financial and Accounting Services legally established its “doing business as” Piñon Management. Now with a name, we needed to develop a logo. I immediately thought of the Yin/Yang symbol as the perfect logo, reflective of the philosophy and vision of Piñon Management.

Developing my company, I took liberties with the Marxist philosophy of dialectics, understanding that through competing interests and arising conflicts new and improved realities ultimately manifest. I synthesized that conflict management should be approached with the spiritual notion of oneness, encompassing the duality of the material world. I also desired to implicate the concept of balance, which the Yin/Yang depicts so eloquently.

Perfectly integrating Piñon’s philosophy and values and marrying Marxist dialectics with spirituality, the Yin/Yang symbol inevitably became our new logo.

Decades later, as Piñon enjoyed an excellent reputation in many areas, including creating innovative models of care, people would inquire of me what was the genesis of the name Piñon, each anticipating some sort of a mystical or profound meaning. Realizing the high expectations of a sagacious response, I would dodge the question. One time, at a karaoke event for a spring conference, I joined a few others to “perform” the Dylan song “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”(Everybody Must Get Stoned).” While introducing the song, I told the story of how people always asked me how I came up with the name Piñon. To poke a bit of fun at those who sought a deeper meaning for our name’s origin, and I then said that this song would explain it all!

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