Uplifting Feedback For A Young Staff Member
By Richard Friedman,
BJF Executive Director
Anyone who knows me knows that I am proud of our younger staff members. We have a great team of Millennials at the Birmingham Jewish Federation, young adults in their 20s and early 30s, who work together as a team and make a huge imprint on our agency.
One of those staff members is 27-year-old Samantha Dubrinsky, our Director of Community Impact, who is one of the hardest working people I’ve known. Sam is dogged, determined, smart, creative and passionate, and her skills and dedication strengthen the BJF every day.
Sam and I recently visited Dayton, Ohio in response to an invitation from the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton, to help staff members and lay leaders there work through an assortment of challenges. We were invited because of Dayton’s awareness of the BJF’s success and national reputation as one of the most innovative and effective mid-size Jewish Federations in the country.
Having Samantha join me was great. Her multiple talents and intuitive understanding of Federation challenges were on display as she and I co-led three workshops and then separately did some one on one consultations with key staff members.
One of my nicknames for Samantha is “Home Run Sam” and she clearly hit it out of the park in Dayton as one particular email she received afterward illustrated. The email came from a veteran staff member in a key position who Sam connected with right from the start.
“Samantha, What do I say? How can I even begin to thank you?” this person wrote. “What an inspiring, confidence building two days we spent together! Thank you for your insight, listening, guidance — I could go on and on!”
“You have fueled me with newfound confidence to make positive changes for myself and our organization which I care so much about!” this staff member continued. “I will check in with you and turn to you to help with some strategies moving forward — I am so lucky to have you as a resource.” And then this person ended her email with this: “What a beautiful partnership we have.”
Samantha was deeply touched; it was great validation for a young professional who had never done any consulting. Sam knew in her heart that she had impacted lives, as well as having her own life enriched, and I could see her quietly beaming as she thought about this wonderful email.