In my quest to find just the right word to pay homage to the late Virginia Dandridge “Dandy” Stevenson, I chose the word indefatigable. Webster’s Dictionary defines indefatigable as “…someone or something that cannot be tired out.” That fits her like a glove. 

Dandy, who passed away some 26 months ago, was my long-time executive assistant. But labeling her as an executive assistant is akin to describing our country as experiencing a bit of unrest at the moment.

Dandy was so much more than an executive assistant.

She was tirelessly optimistic, creative, opinionated, energizing, protective and beyond proud of everything we’d built at Peppercomm. (Note: I hired Dandy in the immediate aftermath of her being downsized as the EA to the CEO of Porter Novelli. I knew a good thing when I saw it.)😊

Everyone who came into contact with Dandy over the years has a story to tell. She loved to be deeply involved in everything from creating new business decks and critiquing the type face and color on business cards to contributing creative ideas to our legendary holiday cards and videos as well as taking notes at staff meetings.

Her note-taking is arguably the best illustration of Dandy’s indefatigable DNA. She wouldn’t just distribute a mundane report of who said what at the meetings. Instead she’d channel a combination of Lewis Carroll, ee cummings and Franz Kafka to create some of the most original (and, yes, bizarre) employee communications known to man.

And I’m intent on keeping her memory alive.

To do so, we’ve created an annual Dandy Stevenson Award in which we ask our employees to nominate the one person who most closely defined Dandy’s multiple qualities, which we listed as:

  • A great sense of humor
  • A never quit attitude (See: Indefatigable above)
  • A heart of gold
  • A passion for living life to its fullest
  • A deep sense of pride in working for Peppercomm
  • Unflappable resilience (Note: Were she still alive, I have no doubt Dandy would have found myriad ways to keep herself and the agency energized as the days, weeks and months of this endless pandemic dragged on).

Last year’s recipient of the Dandy Stevenson Award was Hannah Robbins, one of our superb West Coast employees. Hannah received $250 for herself and another $250 to donate to her favorite charity ( Dandy would have loved that. She absolutely adored her two cats. 😉

In closing, one might describe me as indefatigable in continuing to pay homage to one of the most memorable and important persons in Peppercomm’s 26-year history and my professional life.

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16 thoughts on “Indefatigable

  1. Great post, Steve. Dandy was the best in many ways. For me, she had the best mock British accent, which I enjoyed hearing every time I called.

    What an honor it must be to receive this award.

  2. Dandy had a heart like a lion. That’s why everyone still loves her. Great post Steve, just wonderful to be reminded of her again.

  3. As per Dandy and my wishes, Ali gave me a ” zippy ” of her ashes and I took her to a beautiful site in Alabama and placed her in a waterfall. This was on our family property where I will I rejoin Dandy
    some day and imagine conversations and jokes and stories about our lovely families .Dandy was truly one of a kind. Although our meeting began due to her illness and was much too brief, I am
    richer in spirit for having known her..

  4. Cannot be tired out is an understatement. What a special lady and it was an honor to sit right outside her desk for as long as I did. Even on the hardest days, she was a breath of fresh air.

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself, Sam! Sitting in close proximity to Dandy for those few years was likely THE highlight of my tenure at Peppercomm. Missing her always.

  5. Thank you for recognizing my dear friend, Dandy Stevenson ❤️ She was all that … and more. I miss her and all the adventures we’d planned for our “mature” years! (If we ever figured out when that would be?)

  6. The memories of Dandy’s laugh still echo in my head 14 years later. She was lightening in a bottle and made everything more fun!! She grateful I hit to call her a friend and colleague. Her memory is a blessing for us all. Thanks, Steve!!

  7. How wonderful of you to honor Dandy’s memory in this way. We grew up together, and she was truly one of a kind. Would love to read a collection of her meeting minutes. We do miss her greatly, but her unquenchable spirit lives on in our hearts.

  8. Thank you for this post and for keeping my mom’s memory alive. She treasured her time, her work, and her relationships.

  9. Once again, thank you for remembering my sister with such a thoughtful tribute. Her family misses her terribly.

    • I only new Dandy for her last few months on this earth but she made a lasting impression on me and she is forever in my heart. To know her was a wonderful gift.

      • Marsha, we were grateful for all the care and attention you gave Dandy. You were a help to all of us in Knoxville.

        • Evie it was my pleasure to make Dandy comfortable and I loved getting to know you and the family she loved so much. Thank you for sharing her with me… I will remember this time fondly.

  10. What a nice tribute to a great lady! Even more interesting, her spirit seems to embody the strong, values-based culture of Peppercomm. Wish I’d had the opportunity to have known her…