Farewell Message From Lori Comallie-Caplan
Dear SENG Friends and Family;
As I approach the end of my term, I want to use this final opportunity to offer much appreciation and a few reflections regarding my SENG journey over the last six years. It was six years ago that I was elected to the board and in the next month the Secretary of the Board. Two years later I was elected President Elect and for the last two years it has been my extreme honor to serve SENG as President of the Board. I laugh with my husband and say that I gave the six best years of my life to SENG, but the truth of the matter is that SENG made those last three years the best of my life. I have had the privilege to work with the most dedicated, talented and inspiring people – and each has left me with gifts and life lessons that I will always treasure.
Jim Webb taught me to dream big and to lead people to dream even bigger.
Arlene DeVries taught me to love what I do with all my heart.
Ed Amend taught me to work hard and play even harder.
Wenda Sheard taught me to take a risk.
Heidi Molbak taught me to open my arms to new friendships.
Rosina Gallagher taught me graceful forgiveness.
Sheri Stewart taught me that anything worth doing is worth doing well.
Mary Lovell taught me to balance responsibility with innovative decision-making.
Sheri Plybon taught me to value silence and the importance of listening.
Lisa Rivero taught me the courage to put my feelings in writing.
Carolyn Kottmeyer taught me to be adventurous and to enjoy the journey.
Jane Hesslein taught me that any problem can be solved with a little intellect and a lot of laughter.
Steven Pfeiffer taught me to fearlessly stand up for what I believe in.
Tiffany O’Neil taught me to enjoy the spontaneous moments.
Rose Blackett taught me to look at things from multiple perspectives.
Marianne Kuzujankis taught me to never give up.
Tiombe Bisa Kendrick taught me to value and appreciate people in all their diversity.
Joy Navan taught me to take time to smell the roses and it’s never too late to plant new roses.
Stephen Chou taught me the great skill of diplomacy.
David Berg taught me to never stop fighting the “good fight” for the gifted.
Amy Harrington taught me the road less traveled is often the best road.
Molly McLeod taught me there are no regrets, only celebrations.
Kathleen Casper taught me the pleasure of unlimited enthusiasm. (She also gave me a run for my money with my nickname, “the Energizer Bunny”.)
And finally, I thank Vidisha Patel, who gave me and taught me friendship, loyalty and love.
There are many others I have met on this SENG journey who have added to the blessings in my life in innumerable ways. Our current Executive Director, Elizabeth Campbell, has taught me that I still have much to learn and to continue to enjoy this journey from another role.
SENG changes lives, changes futures. But SENG is the people who serve its mission. It is their service that continues to make a profound difference in the lives of gifted individuals around the world.
I have no earth shattering or dramatically different observations than those who have preceded me. I continue to say that SENG is at a tipping point. I know that to thrive and “tip forward” as we grow, we need all our constituents to be willing to serve and give back to SENG. I continue to encourage our constituents to reinvest in supporting the social emotional needs of the diverse gifted community. I am proud to stand behind SENG’s definition of diversity as it embraces diverse gender, race, age, ability/disability, socio-economic status, language, culture, religion, sexual orientation, and national origin. SENG serves us all.
This last six years has been interesting, stimulating, and motivating and has renewed my faith in both the importance of SENG’s mission and the critical need for us to stand together in supporting the emotional needs of the gifted. SENG’s success did not happen by accident, it happened because of 31 years of dedicated people standing together and understanding what really matters in the lives of gifted individuals. To the incoming board, I say, “You are the stars of this SENG show.” Talk about standing together, I am already in awe and so deeply appreciative of all that you do and all that you will do to lead SENG to new heights. Your work will, I believe, be something that you will take great and enduring pride in.
It has been an honor to serve. In looking back, I can honorably say, with the support of the Board of Directors and the Executive Directors, I did my best, and especially given the importance of this cause, I hope my best has been good enough.
As I say goodbye, I am reminded of my favorite quote by Hillary Cooper, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths that we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” The last six years have left me breathless.