Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Gayle Hart speaking at the South/West Regional Conference in Dallas
April 2007

Our national office is closing down for the move to Little Rock. I got this email from Gayle Hart, who is the only person making the move from NY to Little Rock with HIPPY. I wish them all the very best in their new endeavors, and welcome Gayle to the neighborhood...Little Rock is after all a half day drive or 1 hour flight away...

Good Morning,

I am here waiting for the arrival of the movers and wanted to take this opportunity to send the last email from the NY office. Yesterday, Diane sent an email to the Board members and talked of turning off the lights and mixed emotions. While last night, Jen, Danette and I turned off the lights at 11 pm after a bustling day of packing; making copies literally as the docutrend movers were removing their property; faxing on a fax that decided it was mad at us and stopped receiving; and laughing with one another. Nicole had responsibilities with her new position and couldn’t join us, but she was here in spirit. Merle was with us until late in the day and even Gloria Carney stopped by to give me some last minute training on the fiscal system! HIPPY’s are HIPPY’s until the end….and beyond! J

Yesterday was a microcosm of the time that I have had here with HIPPY. There have been so many wonderful relationships and excellent staff – HIPPY has been very fortunate to truly have some of the brightest and best at its disposal. And, the staff this past fiscal year – including those who have already moved on – were the Very Best Team Ever! And, while I know that new and wonderful relationships and more excellent staff will be part of the organization in Little Rock, I still need to take this opportunity to publicly say “JOB, VERY WELL DONE!” to all of the staff. I have said to the young’uns – Nicole, Jen and Danette- that are moving into other positions, they are bound to succeed - they already have intelligence, competence and expertise working for them!

One of the things that we have found out this year is that if you ever need someone to coordinate packing up, Merle is your gal! Danette has proven that all debts CAN be collected. I cannot say enough about Jen – she makes it possible for me to accomplish whatever I do. And, Nicole has taken HIPPYCorps to new and wonderful heights. All the remaining staff, plus Gloria, Liz and Sheetal who was only here for a brief time, and Mala our accountant consultant, have made the last 9 months quite memorable!

So though right now the morning is not exactly feeling good, I welcome the opportunities the relocation brings for the organization and for me. I look forward to serving the organization with continued commitment and renewed zest. Last, but just as important, I thank each of you for your personal and organizational support during a very challenging time!


M. Gayle Hart
National Program Director

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Laredo Expansion

l-r: Jesse Olivarez, Richard Perez, Ray Keck
Becky, Esther Hernandez, Carla Weir
While in Laredo last week I had the opportunity to meet the president of Texas A&M International University, Dr. Keck. TAMIU is the host agency for HIPPY in Laredo. The university has offered a wonderful home for HIPPY as well as visibility and connection to all the most important organizations in Laredo.

During our meeting we discussed plans for expansion of HIPPY in Laredo, to make the most of the 3 years of seed money that Mr. Mendell Granoff has provided us. A new supporter, the Fernando Salinas Charitable Trust, has provided funding to expand HIPPY into another location in 07-08, and will expand the home instructor team to 4 members.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Met the New Executive Director

Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet Duane B. the new Executive Director of HIPPY USA! He's from Dallas (actually originally from Roswell New Mexico but has been in Dallas many years) and has been working for Dallas Challenge for the past 17 years. What really impressed me about him was his passion for the organization he's worked with and his humble excitement about leading HIPPY. He's personable, intelligent, well spoken and energetic.

Meeting him got me reflecting on past leadership at HIPPY USA, and the two leaders who have, in my opinion, moved us forward the most. First of course, Miriam W. I first met Miriam in Jerusalem at the preservice training for new coordinators. She came back to New York to establish HIPPY USA, and I returned to start HIPPY in Dallas, the first program in Texas. The one word I would use to describe Miriam is visionary. She is also a person who can see both the forest and the trees, as well as the path that goes through them. She was able to build something from scratch with immediate credibility and strength. Our other most influential leader has been Elisabet E. My one word description for Elisabet would be analytical. Elisabet is a person who can see all the parts and how they fit together and work together, even while they are in motion and flux. She was able to take our organization at its most fragile state and strengthen it from the core. I admire both of them so much, on a personal and professional level, and aspire to take the best I've learned from each of them and apply them to our little planet of HIPPY Texas.

I'm eager to see and support the new HIPPY USA, with 90% new staffing, in a new location, in a new state! HIPPY has such a strong base, with excellent programs throughout the nation, research / outcomes, a clearcut program model, a cadre of excellent trainers--I know all these things will allow HIPPY USA to take the time needed to regroup and refocus so we can bring ourselves to a higher level of excellence.