A Sad Goodbye: Tami Jacob
I knew this day was coming, I just didn’t know exactly when. Tami Jacob, our Development Director, is leaving CASA to attend law school. Her last day with us will be July 27. I’ve lovingly joked with her that I plan to work from home that day. She assured me she will come knocking on my door. Goodbyes are hard, especially this one.
Tami came to CASA of Central Virginia in the summer of 2014 as one of our Court Appointed Special Advocates in training. During the seven-week training course, she was a stand-out student with glowing remarks from the facilitator. During the induction ceremony, a local television news crew attended and wanted a new CASA volunteer to share their story. I pulled Tami aside and without any hesitation or anxiety, she gave an excellent interview. I’m sure that will come in handy as a lawyer!
In December of that same year, it became obvious that CASA would need to hire a part-time employee to help with day to day operations, but most importantly to help us kick off a new fundraising event for 2015, the CASA Superhero Run. We had not even put an ad out or told anyone we were planning to hire when one day Tami came to my office wearing a superman t-shirt and asking if we knew anyone who had any part-time job openings. It was certainly meant to be. Her transition to staff was seamless. She already knew the mission and she even continued to serve as a volunteer advocate on her case while on staff. Her active lifestyle and networks within the running community helped jumpstart our Superhero Run planning into high gear. In our first year, we exceeded expectations and had more than 700 runners!
Within three years, Tami was promoted from Executive Assistant, to Development Coordinator and finally Development Director. She assumed more fundraising responsibility with an emphasis on donor cultivation. The relationships she has built and care she has taken with our donors has certainly laid a strong foundation for the next development staff member that we hire.
If you know Tami, you know her favorite superhero is Wonder Woman, which is quite fitting for her. Like Wonder Woman, she is passionate about “fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves.” Her passion for helping children while armed with a law degree will surely invoke systematic social changes and lead to an active career in the public sector and possibly within our government. There is nothing that can stop Tami once she has an idea or vision.
Tami, I’m thrilled for you as you set sail (you know I had to put a ship somewhere in this post) on this new adventure. I know this isn’t really “goodbye”; it’s more like a “see you later.” You might still want to bring extra tissues on July 27. I will miss my sidekick!
-Allison Stronza, Executive Director, CASA of Central Virginia