This morning I woke up to a Facebook post from Viji, announcing that today was her 12th year anniversary working at The Max Foundation. Wow, but, who is counting anyway? A lifetime and a really wild ride, these 12 years seem like yesterday.
I have to start the story by explaining that The Max Foundation existed before there was GIPAP, although we were an all volunteer organization. And the concept of a MaxStation also existed before there was GIPAP. But in May 2002, a few months after GIPAP was started, we received an email from Novartis India, telling us that ‘they’ had hired a MaxStation, and her name was Viji Venkatesh. That did not exactly sit well with me; how can they hire a MaxStation.. MaxStations are Max Foundation people. So, with quite mistrust I wrote to this person, and to my surprise, this person answered with a lengthy email in Spanish! Now it turned out this person from India, this Viji, spoke perfect Spanish LOL.
Ok, she made a small hole in the wall between us, but it was not all roses from there either. back and forth and back and forth, I was at the time overseeing the young GIPAP program, and was trying to convince Viji that we needed some sort of a reapproval process, to which she found millions of concerns. Until one magical day, I still remember, she wrote to say ‘ok’, let’s put the re-approval process in place. Halleluiah, was my answer.
I don’t remember but somehow we invited her to come to Edmonds in October as we got together to celebrate Max’s day on October 19th. By the time we met in person, the deal was sealed and we were forever bonded.
It seems like yesterday I said at the beginning of this post, but does it ‘look’ like yesterday? you tell me. I set aside some time this afternoon to take a trip down memory lane.
Found a first glimpse of Viji, October 19, 2002, at the party.
From there, I jump to 2003, when we invited her again that October, and this year we gave her an award. I suppose we thought one full year at The Max Foundation was quite an accomplishment. So here it is…
Well, this one is just a bonus. Another person working for The Max Foundation visited us in 2004. She just wrote and announced that she was coming, and requested someone would have to lend her a coat. guess who?
ok, enough already. And the rest is history….
Thank you Viji for giving us these 12 years; it wouldn’t be the same without you. Looking forward to the next 12!
PS: 12 years ago…Michael Root was…12? geez