Meet the YCI staff.
How many of you have received phone calls from Lauren, Jess and Gabriela? What about one of Nucci’s emails? Have you ever wondered who these folks actually are? Wonder no more! Allow me to introduce you to the people of YCI.
I want to start with Nucci Walsh, aka Miss Nucci Lein. Nucci is YCI’s Program Developer and Marketing Manager—at least that’s her day job. When she is not at YCI, Nucci occupies her time stalking celebrities like Glee’s Cory Monteith (she recently took a picture with the guy). When Nucci is not in the look out for Brad Pitt or Leonardo di Caprio, she is crumping, popping or engaged in some acrobatic dance manifestation. Watch for her on the next So You Think You Can Dance Canada.
Gabriela Nunez is YCI’s Administrative Assistant. She’s usually your first contact with YCI (so be nice when you send in an application or a general email). Gabi, as I like to call her, has a bright personality but you could never tell by looking at her wardrobe. 96.7% of all her clothes are black, grey or something in-between. Random fact: she has really good hair. Yes, her hair is black.
Next in line is Lauren Chender, Volunteer Communications Coordinator. Lauren is our resident diplomat. Her politically correct sensibilities have spared her from several embarrassing situations. She’s really good at answering questions like “Do you like my new hair cut?” Or “Do I look good in these pants?” I have a lot to learn from her.
Sitting next to Lauren in the Toronto office is Jess Lockhart, International Programs Coordinator. Jess fascinates me for many reasons, but mostly for her ability to retain loads of semi-useless facts. How many people can answer, “I do” to the question: “Does anyone know where I can find trampoline classes in Toronto?” If I were Jess, I’d find a way to become a contestant on Jeopardy.
I want to talk about Steve Cumming now. You may not see this guy or hear him, but he’s hard at work making sure our international programs are alive and well. We envy Steve for his ability to wake up at 5am and hit the gym before coming to the office. I wish I could do that but I like to sleep too much.
Adrienne Knowlton is our Finance Manager. She also goes by Dragon (I have no idea how this came about). Adrienne is not afraid to share a piece of her mind with anyone. She’s an avid critic of the Toronto Transit Commission and anything related to decaying public transportation systems.
And then there is YCI’s Executive Director, Bryan Cox. God bless him for managing this crazy crew. Bryan has an amazing sense of style, especially when it comes to argyle sweaters. I never met anyone who can rock as many argyle sweaters as this man. It must be a British thing.
And that’s the YCI Canada staff. (Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to work with Jane Baldwin, our Program Development Manager in YCI’s New York office, or Amanda Stephens, YCI’s Volunteer Program Manager, who is currently on maternity leave.)
Next time you receive that phone call, remember who you are talking to. Don’t forget to comment on their nice hair, dancing skills or outfits. Ask them a random question about digestive enzymes, spark-up a conversation about the subway expansion, ask for fitness advice or what they think of your new haircut. You have a lot to learn from these folks.
-This article was written by Fernando Aloise. He has just completed a three-month position at YCI as the University Program Development Coordinator. He likes long walks on the beach and warm coco on cold nights.