our story

In 1989 Richard Stone, the StoryWork Institute’s founder, had the good fortune to sit next to a couple of backpackers while traveling home on an airplane from a hiking trip. They asked him if he had ever attended the National Storytelling Festival. Not only had he not attended, but he also had never heard of the Festival or storytelling as an art form. His subsequent visit to the Festival was life changing, resulting in the creation of the StoryWork Institute and his devotion to using storytelling to make our world a better place in which to live and work.

About Richard Stone

In addition to founding the StoryWork Institute,

Richard has also been a nationally recognized presenter. His talks focus on the power of storytelling to transform healthcare, healing relationships, and enhance a culture of caring.


In addition, Richard developed the Disney Institute's initial StoryArts curricula, as well as taught at the Institute once the facility opened in 1996; instructed parents through his program Healing the Family Circle Through the Art of Storytelling; has served as an adjunct professor at both the University of Central Florida and Valencia Community College teaching courses on storytelling and its applications in community life.


He is the author of two books: Stories: The Family Legacy , a guide for sharing and recollection, and The Healing Art of Storytelling . He is currently working on a new book focused on stories to be shared by parents at the dinner table, and has just finished a new screenplay entitled On the Spot .


Most recently, Richard founded the Imagine This Company, an organization that is developing television, educational curricula, and home based games and activities based on using storytelling as a tool to enhance the literacy and imaginative skills of children ages 8 to 15.


Richard serves on the National Boards of Directors of the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough , TN , and the Spiritual Eldering Institute in Boulder, CO. In a previous career, Richard was the president of Stone/Golabuk Marketing & Advertising in Orlando , Florida .

About Ron Nicodemus

As a veteran television and video producer and director, Ron Nicodemus has created hundreds of award-winning programs for children and family enjoyment and education. Storytelling and a unique form of edu-tainment have been at the core of his creative work.


In the home video market for children, Ron created five award-winning tapes for Random House of more than 20 Dr. Seuss classic stories, selling more than 250,000 copies in the first month of distribution. Additionally, he produced numerous VHS tape programs featuring the works of The Berenstain Bears , P.D. Eastman and Sesame Street Read-Along stories.


Out of hundreds of television programs created, he has produced and/or directed more than 75 for national broadcast on PBS, CBS Cable, Showtime, Time Warner and other outlets, most of which focused on the performing and story arts. They have included the live pay-per-view broadcast from Broadway of the hit musical Sophisticated Ladies and the popular Anyone For Tennyson series for PBS that featured the works of classic and noted poets in unique dramatic style.


For children, he created the award-winning Wet Paint series featuring the creative works and performances of more than 120 kids, and has created several educational series in the areas of music, reading and science, including Barefoot in the Arts with Captain Kangaroo for PBS.


As an executive for Disney, Ron was on the original creative development team for the Disney Institute, a unique vacation experience rooted in life-long learning. In addition to developing programming in the entertainment arts, he created a special events business and a conference and symposium series focusing on some of the defining issues in society.


Prior to Disney, Ron ran two corporate communications companies in the New York City area creating strategic communications solutions and product launches for numerous Fortune 100 companies.