Becky Gabriel: Becky is one of my best friends on the planet. This friendship however, may have one of the most oddest beginnings to a friendship ever. Back in the day before I could drive I spent a lot of time going to my sister’s basketball games. Becky’s sister Pammy and my sister Kourtney played on the same basketball team. Becky’s mom Eloise and my mom would always say how I should meet Becky and we should hang out, but it felt a little too much like a coordinated play date, which is so NOT cool when you’re 15. Eventually though Becky and I did hang out and from the first minute we were up to no good. Our first time hanging out consisted of being chased by mysterious people carrying flashlights, running through a field, then through a cemetery, and then hopping a fence and landing in what we would later find out to be an intense patch of poison ivy, and finally a blue light special. Oh, to be 18 again! After an experience as intense as that I’m pretty sure that we had no choice but to be best friends. We have done just about everything together and had a BLAST doing it. Our birthdays are just two days apart, although Becky will be sure to remind me to make sure everyone knows she is an entire year younger than I am. When my friendship started with Becky though it also extended to her entire family, which is now my extended family as well. Her Grandfather started Mr. G’s where I have worked, eaten, and learned more about life than anywhere else for more than 12 years. If one of us has made out better in this friendship than the other it is definitely me. Becky and her entire family have been better to me than words could ever express. Unfortunately though Becky now lives on Long Island, 300 miles away and we’re both terrible at making sure that we speak regularly. Even though I do not get to see her as often as I would like, when I do see her it’s as if we see one another every day and we don’t skip a beat. That my friends is a sign of a true friendship. Rumor has it that she will be making a special trip up to MA to witness my running (read crawling) of the Marathon and I am so excited. Thanks B you are the BEST!
She's such an expert she has her own headshot!
Diane Brown: This woman knows more about the Long-Term Care industry than I have ever known anyone to know about anything! Not to mention the fact that when she has her wingwoman, Margo around, these two could sell ice to an Eskimo. It’s amazing. She can tell you what happens or what should happen in any nursing home, anywhere in the country, in any scenario. She knows how to care for a patient, how to document that care, how to bill for that care, and then exactly how to pass a survey with flying colors. Let’s put it this way, this woman was able to explain things so clearly and so thoroughly that even I could understand it, enough said! Not to mention the fact that she really is just a joy to be around. She has great stories to tell about all of her travels around the country and when she talks about her grandchildren her whole face just lights up. She is just such a fantastic person I can’t say enough about her. Thanks Diane!
Erin and Kev
Erin O’Shea: I said this last week but it’s definitely worth saying again. The Pro has done amazing things for me career-wise, but the true value to “The Pro” to me is in the people that it has brought into and also brought back into my life. Erin is the person that HCPro has brought back into my life. This may be a surprise to some of you but Erin and I actually graduated from the class of ’99 at Bishop Fenwick. I think that this will only be surprising because I am so much younger looking than Erin (I think it should be about 10 seconds after I publish this that Erin will be screaming at me for this one…Just Kidding!). Erin and I knew each other in high school but didn’t hang out that much. We were in pretty different circles of friends, I was with the cool kids and Erin was with all the super preppy kids (AGAIN KIDDING). However, a little over 3 years ago I walked into the interview room in our Marblehead office to interview a candidate for a strategic marketing position that we had open. To my surprise there was Erin sitting in front of me. This really threw me off of my interview game and we spent a lot of time catching up on what one another had been up to since high school. Long story short, Erin became a “Pro” girl and has been one of my best friends ever since. Erin is one of the most thoughtful, caring, and genuine people that I know. She is a great time to hang out with, she cracks me up to no end, and she let’s me crash on her couch with her “muppet blanket” how much better can you get than that? Thanks so much Erin!
That's one lucky dad!
Jay Kumar: Runners, you want to talk about runners? Jay Kumar is your guy. Jay is an incredibly fast runner, in fact sometimes Jay and I will be signed up for the same race the only way that I know we are signed up for the same race is because I see Jay all calm cool and collected enjoying his second/third bottle of water while I am huffing and puffing and trying to get my ass across the finish line about 30 minutes after him. Jay and I work together at the Pro and he is a really great guy to work with as well. I don’t think that I have ever seen Jay lose it ever, he’s the most calm, cool, and collected guy ever. Jay also has two of the most adorable daughters on the planet and one heck of an athlete as a wife.
Joan and Tom's Gorgeous Family
Joan O’Hare: Who can guess how I know Joan O’Hare ? I am pretty sure that no one will get this one… go ahead I’ll give you a few minutes….
Give up? Joan was my freshman and sophomore Spanish teacher. Here’s why I didn’t think that many of you would get that, because how many teachers do you know from High School who are as great as Joan is about keeping in touch with and supporting students from 15 years ago? This woman sends me a birthday card every year! I can’t even remember my OWN birthday every year! This may actually come as a surprise to some of you, but my undergraduate degree is in Spanish and really it’s because of this woman. I took Spanish is 7th and 8th grade but it was when I got into Joan’s class that I really started to “get it” and once that happened I found out that I really LOVE the language. So much of the reason that I was able to understand it and fall in love with it was because of Joan. Her teaching style was incredible, she made Spanish fun and easy to understand and remember. It really astonishes me to think that if every teacher taught with the same enthusiasm and passion for her students that Joan did where our students could all be right now. More than just a love for Spanish, I think that one of the most important things that Joan taught me was to really believe in myself, that I could actually be an “honors student” if I wanted to be and I worked hard at it. I got to Fenwick right in the nick of time, I was one of the last students that Joan had at Fenwick, soon after my class she started a BEAUTIFUL family of her own and this brood definitely keeps her busy! I have no idea how she keeps up with all of these guys! Thanks so much Joan…for everything!
Kourtney Adams: Adams? Where have I heard that name before? Oh right, it’s mine! Kourtney is my sister, my savior, a really fun person to hang out with, and Wrigley’s newest snuggle buddy after I head off to work. I don’t know what to say about Kourtney other than she’s awesome. Growing up I am not sure that I would have had the same assessment, because we spent most of our time fighting over who was wearing the other’s clothes. I know that they say that when you have kids you get paid back for all of the things you did as a kid, which is why I have actually contemplated having only one because I cannot imagine having to referee fights as bad as mine and Kourtney’s were. We fought over shirts, pants, sweaters, sweatshirts, socks, just about every article of clothing you could imagine although, not so surprisingly never skirts or dresses. Don’t get me wrong there are still the occasional sibling arguments, but there is no one else but a sister that you can scream at one minute and then who will take your dog out and go get a beer with you the next. She also has one of the biggest hearts of anyone that I have ever met, she will do absolutely anything, for anyone, at any time. Sometimes this is not such a good thing because I have to remind her that we can’t take all the homeless people home, but most of the time it’s an incredible quality about her. So I am super grateful for her donation but I am more grateful to have a sister. (I think I should be writing Hallmark cards)
Leigh Stoecker and Doug Sector: Leigh and Doug are some of my favorite people ever. Again, another connection born at “the Pro” for which I am forever grateful. I was fortunate enough to work for Leigh for about a year. She hired me for a marketing communications role with terrible writing skills and very limited marketing experience, having been with the company for just about a year, and really gave me a shot. Leigh taught me more about marketing in that time frame than almost anyone else. I felt like she opened my eyes up to exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and really spurred a passion inside of me for marketing. (God that just made me sound like the biggest dork ever) The year I spent working for Leigh was one of the most fun years that I have had at the Pro so far. She put together a great team of people for me to work with and was a great mentor and manager. Not only did she teach me about business but she was also very mom-like, looking out for me and making sure that I wasn’t getting too far out of line. She is wowing them with her marcomm and management skills over at Wiley-Blackwell now, and it was super painful to watch her leave the Pro. However, I am really really grateful that I got to work with for her and with her for a couple of years and even more grateful that we still keep in touch. She and Doug are an absolute blast to hang out with and two of the most caring people I know. Thanks so much for the support guys! However they are also the only two people I know not on Facebook, hence the lack of image!