The Haberman story is an evolving narrative, very much a work in progress, which begins in the 1980s at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. There, Fred and Sarah Haberman met and fell in love. Little did they know that their shared interests and subsequent adventures would lead to a new kind of mission-based marketing communications agency focused on the idea of modern storytelling.
Wilderness was and is a constant source of inspiration. Fresh out of college, Fred and Sarah worked at Camp Manito-wish, the largest YMCA camp in the nation. After a stint in public relations in St. Paul and corporate marketing in Minneapolis, they journeyed to Kazakhstan, to open the first American office-products retail store in Almaty. Later, they started an adventure travel company, Simply Wilderness, and led groups to remote areas in the Himalayas, Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Canada’s Quetico Provincial Park. They also consulted in organizational development, a passion that still influences the firm today.
Despite helping others connect their personal passions with their work, they longed to create their own company, capitalize on their life experience and skills, and make a larger global impact.
By the mid-1990s, after experiencing many different cultures worldwide, they realized with growing certainty that people everywhere have transformational stories to share. Storytelling – an ancient craft at home in the modern world – could cross divides and span media channels. It could engage audiences, drive positive social change and help businesses grow. With newfound clarity, the entrepreneurs opened Haberman in their two-bedroom house. Eventually, as more storytellers joined, the firm expanded to office space in downtown Minneapolis.
Today, nearly 50 storytellers work at Haberman, resolute in their mission to tell the stories of pioneers making a difference in the world.