How does an organization say goodbye to a part of its soul? This question may seem saccharine or hyperbolic when used in the context of an individual’s retirement, but I think it is entirely appropriate in this case. Cindy Culotta has worked here for over 23 years. And though our name and her title have both changed in the intervening years, her role did not. During those years she was always our most senior finance employee. But she has also been our cheerleader, our friend, our head of HR (much to her consternation), our most persnickety proofreader (sometimes to our consternation), the protector of our staff, and the champion of our values. Greg, our COO, frequently uses the analogy of our team as crayons and how it is important to have different color crayons. A strong team has people who think differently than each other. At times, Greg is the lone green crayon in a box of all red. At times it is me, Andy, Cameron, or someone else. But more often than not, it is Cindy. More often than not, she is right. As the leader of our organization I value people who are honest with me, especially when they disagree with me. Cindy has elevated this skill to an art form. She is always honest with all of us, no matter what. And we are all better for it. If your soul doesn’t help ensure that you lead with and live by your values, then I don’t know what a soul is good for. So I intend to say goodbye to Cindy with a sense of gratitude in my heart for all that she has done for me and for the organizations. And I intend to say goodbye to her with an eye toward the bright future of our organization, a future that would undoubtedly be a little less bright had she not been here these many years.
For the last seven years and eight summers Cindy has been my partner though some of the most difficult and successful professional situations in my life, she has been my crutch, and she has been my friend. I know she has been that and a lot more to a lot of other people. She’ll be missed, but she promises to not be a stranger and we intend to keep her to that promise.
-Mark R. Dibble, September 16, 2022