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 (www.eastbayspca.org). 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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