In November, I joined Health Forward as Qiana’s executive assistant. I will be supporting Qiana and her leadership team through an array of tasks, but especially by managing their complex calendars, creating visual presentations and agendas, and coordinating with the board of directors and Community Advisory Committee.
My path to Health Forward is not the typical philanthropy journey. Around the time Health Forward Foundation was formed, I was beginning a career as an executive assistant in the oil and gas industry in Houston. This career lasted 15 years before I left for Health Forward.
Obviously, the in-office mentality from my last role to this one has been a big change, but a welcome one. The oil and gas industry is all about making money, a very “cut-throat” kind of industry. Health Forward’s mission and service is a lot more rewarding. In attending our meetings, I am in awe of how much the foundation supports and gives back to the community.
This spirit of giving is one that better matches who I am. Before I moved on to my role in oil and gas, I worked at a medical clinic as a medical assistant for 12 years. From that time, I saw the need of Houston residents who were without stable housing and basic necessities. I co-founded All for One and One for All, a small nonprofit organization that helps people through personal outreach. A group of 10-15 volunteers would meet and assemble care packages for people who live on the streets in downtown Houston. We personally delivered these packages and developed trusting relationships with them. We wanted them to know that we saw them as people, and to give them resources to find help.
While I miss my Houston friends, I love it here in Kansas City. People are so genuinely nice and helpful. There is no traffic and it is less crowded. And the weather is amazing. You get the four seasons here but in Houston, it’s just hot!
I have loved exploring the city, but I am also looking forward to learning more about the communities served by Health Forward. I hope to see many of you on future site visits to get a better understanding of all that Health Forward stands for.
Being here in Kansas City and working for Health Forward, I know I made the right decision in moving.