06/16/09 - Kathy's Retirement Party - Kathy & Candy

Kathy's Retirement Party

6/16/09 - They threw me a wonderful retirement party at Chubb! Sabrina Mc Coy deserves boatloads of credit for it, as she orchestrated a warm & memorable evening for me. After working so closely together for the past 5 years, she knew exactly what would be important to me.

The event was held in the atrium at Chubb’s headquarters location in NJ. The Sodexho staff did a great job catering and serving up the food and drinks. Candy had created a few CDs of music that she knew I liked, so we had a soft undercurrent of tunes all evening. Candy also was the photographer for the evening, snapping lots and lots of hugs and kisses. About 90 people from all walks of my 28 years of Chubb life congregated to see me off.

There were people from my early days as a programmer all the way through to my final days as a chief diversity officer. A number of them worked with our media team to create a 5-minute DVD that spoke to the impact I had on them and on Chubb. They showed it just before the speeches began. It was a very touching tribute and I am so grateful for it. Sabrina & Merrily Riesebeck are both good friends who started the speeches off with reminiscences. Sabrina recalled the diversity impact I had on Chubb, while Merrily spoke a lot about my 23 years in Information Technology. Both wove in personal stories about our times together. John Degnan, the Chief Operating Officer of the company, worked closely with me during my years in the diversity office. He spoke about influence and tenacity, and about how much both Chubb and I gained from my tenure at the helm for diversity. Marylu Korkuch wrapped the speeches, before turning it over to me. Marylu is a friend who works in our external affairs office in Washington, DC. She presented me with a letter from Joe Solmonese, the head of the Human Rights campaign, thanking me for the work I had done to further causes important to each of us. She also surprised us all with a congratulatory letter from the First Lady, Michelle Obama!

It was a bittersweet moment when I took the podium to say my goodbyes. I shared memories of people and teams I’d worked with, as well as my plans for the future. I assured everyone that I would not lack for causes to become involved with in Arizona, but that I valued the shared memories we had created. As was typical with all of the speeches I have made at Chubb, I sprinkled in a little music to make my points. I ended the evening by playing an excerpt from a sentimental song from the musical, “Wicked”. The passage from “For Good” follows below.

I could not have asked for a better send-off from my Chubb family. I will miss them dearly and think of them often.

"I’ve heard it said That people come into our lives For a reason Bringing something we must learn And we are led to those Who help us most to grow If we let them And we help them in return But I don’t know if I believe that’s true But I know I’m who I am today Because I knew you Like a comet pulled from orbit As it passes a Sun Like a stream that meets a boulder Halfway through the wood Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? But Because I knew you I have been changed for good."


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