Today I drove a little more than an hour to the New England Division of the American Cancer Society office in Framingham, Mass. I spent the time in car thinking back to 1994 – a short 23 years ago – to my interview with Peg Camp. She was the EVP (Executive Vice President) of the New Hampshire Division and I remember how nervous I was after buying a little black suit coat and black skirt to show a professional appearance. Of course I got lost, made a wrong turn on 291 and had to get out the paper map (no Google Maps or Waze at that time…) and find my way to Bedford. She greeted me with a smile sitting behind her big desk, surrounded with photos that shared her travels. She was warm and welcoming and so positive and encouraging. The interview process was unnerving to me none the less, because I really wanted this job. I was with the American Red Cross before and this was a perfect job for me because I love working with volunteers and am always up for the next challenge! Well, you guessed it — I got the job, despite my late showing. I was the new Area Director of the Western part of NH – covering 5 counties managing the Board of Directors in each county — recruiting volunteers for Reach to Recovery, Road to Recovery and raising money to support the mission through events like Jail & Bail, Daffodils, Golf tournaments and Love Lights a Tree. I truly loved my job — there was always something new, meeting new people every day and working with passionate, caring volunteers. Peg was my boss and I saw her once a week when i would travel into the Bedford office and report in to share stories of my travels and the volunteers that I had met and worked with that week. Our team was so much fun —- Louise was the Special Event Director and Kathy was the Income Director and Claire ran the office at the time and they were truly the best support you could ask for as a young 24 year old learning the ropes as a fundraiser and mission ambassador. 🙂
Fast forward 3 years when I decided to go to Colorado and become a Regional Relay For Life Director covering 3 counties in Northeast Colorado. It was with Peg’s encouragement to grow in the Society and branch out to new experiences that helped me decide to move west to ski country where i would also teach skiing at Keystone and make some amazing new friends in Boulder, Keystone and Denver. The Society has offered me the opportunity to move and work to share my experiences and love for working with volunteers and I was so excited to help to grow Relay in the Rocky Mountains. Where ever I went Peg was there for me — as my next move was to come back home and work on her team again, but this time for New England as a Relay Trainer. 2 years in that role, then I received another promotion to a Marketing role with the Relay Business Unit at the national level — from there I managed the National Corporate Team Program for more than 16 years. There was so much work to be done and I loved the challenge of directing that program and working with the amazing corporate volunteer leaders.
When the Volunteer Engagement Team was developed in the new organization Peg called me and talked to me about this role as Director in the East Region – she said to me “you are perfect for this role – your work with volunteers and direct impact will help you excel in this work” — her care and encouragement has continued no matter what and I truly appreciate all that she has done for me throughout my 23 year tenure at the Society.
Now think about how many other young professionals in their career in this non-profit that Peg has guided, advised, and motivated along the way. I know others will talk about what she has accomplished, but just like the ripples in the lake, Peg’s splash in the cancer fight is not just about what she has done, but who she has influenced to be successful. People like me. Here is a look back to all my Society memories I captured on my old blog — it has been a trip down memory lane today – I look back with so much gratitude.
Peg’s retirement is a celebration – for all she has given in service to the Society for the past 40 years. Those people like me that she has impacted and motivated and supported throughout those years are too many to count, but I know that I am one of them. She has become more than a colleague, she is family. I am blessed to have been a part of Peg’s team and will forever appreciative for all the support she has given to me in my career.
All my best to my dear friend and colleague Peg —Thank you for everything!
Happy Retirement — these are the best year’s of your life — Enjoy it to the fullest!