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A former boss put the wind beneath my wings
Posted: Jun-24-2011

Jeffrey Gardnerr - Virginia United States

Within the Workplace

I've wanted to thank Jeff for so many years... I was an executive assistant to him from 1993 to 1998. I have never met a more generous, smart, considerate person. We worked together at a formative part of my career, and he had a huge impact on my professional development.

While working under Jeff, I was able to attend many business management courses and a Dale Carnegie leadership training course. I was a single mom at an early age and did not attend much college, so these classes were a tremendous boost to my job skills training. Jeff also nominated me for a president's award, which I received; it was a great experience and a tremendous confidence-booster.

Finally, Jeff allowed me to serve United Way as a Loaned Executive, during one of their annual campaigns. It introduced me to fund-raising and instilled in me an awareness of, and appreciation for the work of dozens of nonprofits in the community. As a result, I took a job with United Way, and ultimately matched my love of the arts with my management knowledge and created Tidewater Arts Outreach. I like to think that Jeff's investment in me has paid off through TAO and our work to bring the joy and healing power of the arts to people in our community who sorely need inspiration, creativity, compassion and community -- all of which can come through the arts. We also create awareness about people in long-term care and why they deserve the community's involvement and support. Thank you, Jeff! You have made a huge difference in my life, and I will always be grateful to you.

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