Summer Connections: Joy, Laughter, and Table Fellowship

Date: July 8, 2024

Summer is here and this is the time of year many of us get to pause and break from our daily routine.  This summer I have been intentional about connecting with staff to see how everyone is doing, their families and friends.  Table fellowship is my preferred way to connect with people, so I have had many brunches, lunches, coffees and dinners with staff that have added to my summer joy. I enjoy these opportunities to learn what each person has been doing and what some of their goals and aspirations are.  A few weeks ago, the facilities team and I went to lunch and filled the restaurant with laughter as all twelve of us tried to talk at the same time.  It was great fun and I got to learn what vacations they all have planned and how their children and grandchildren are doing.  Cherished moments. The Butterfly House staff and I had an all-day meeting in Addison with special treats throughout the day.  It was so good to connect with them and have uninterrupted time playing games and getting to know each other better.

I have had several brunch gatherings with staff at my new favorite place “First Watch” in Baileys Crossroads.  I met with a group of new VTS employees and discovered that one is a published author and will be having her book launch in a few weeks.  Another group and I met, and I discovered that someone loves to journal as much as I do.  These have been life giving encounters that I cherish and will continue throughout the summer.  I have had some wonderful one on one conversations filled with laughter and pure joy.  I have quite a few more “catch-up” meetings to go, so if you haven’t heard from me this summer, you will.  My only criterion for these meetings is that we must LAUGH!  Afterall, some say laughter is the music of the soul.

As we move further into summer, I hope you have or will take some time for rest and rejuvenation.  However you spend your time, I hope that there is great JOY and much laughter!

Jacqui Ballou
Senior Vice President for Finance, Administration and Operations

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