Over 17 years ago, Mary Jo Deysach joined the Family Matters family as Director of Administration and Human Resources. In that capacity, she has worked with countless staff members, volunteers and program participants. Mary Jo has participated in, and assisted with, 16 of the the last 17 Walk-A-Thons, missing one due to surgery. Ever dedicated to Family Matters events, she “walked” in the 1997 Walk-a-thon using a wheelchair, since she was recovering from a broken leg. She remembers that, despite the rain that day, many dedicated friends took turns pushing her along the 5-mile route.
When asked about other favorite memories, she says that she particularly enjoyed each December as the programs prepared for the holidays and staff members turned intoHoliday Angels. “Two of my favorite ‘warm fuzzy’ memories are sitting in my office listening to Sophie and the Family Connections children practice holiday carols; and the staff parties at which our Holiday Angels were revealed.” (Kim DeLong declares: “Mary Jo is an angel to all of us, every month of the year!”)
“The Principles of Leadership (utilizing peaceful conflict resolution; embracing positive thinking and language; and illuminating the power of responsible decision-making)permeate every aspect of life at Family Matters. They are the foundation of all of our work. I participated in Principles of Leadership workshops, led by Kim, two separate times. The trainings are attended by staff, volunteers, board members, and community residents and leaders. There is a lot of personal sharing so one becomes very close to a very diverse group of people. The Principles are life changing and life enhancing; they are a great gift that I take with me into retirement.”
Among other recollections of her time at Family Matters, Mary Jo talks about working with many fabulous and interesting people. “Family Matters seems to attract kind, thoughtful, supportive, generous individuals…I have learned so much from them,” she says. She is always delighted to run into Family Matters “graduates” out in the community. She is struck by how friendly they always are and how fondly they recall their time at Family Matters.
We will miss Mary Jo’s smiling hellos and her warm, generous nature. Please join us in wishing her much joy and peace in her upcoming adventures!