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Some Things I (May) Know For Sure In Saying Farewell to Rachel



As most of our monthly magazine readers know, OPRAH has a feature in which Ms. Winfrey offers us her views and opinions on things that are important in her world, a sort of public service announcement of all she deems worthy of her attention and therefore, ours.  This column is called “Things I Know For Sure”, and every time I program the magazine I always marvel that she is bold enough to make a long list twelve times a year that fills us in on what she believes are irrefutable truths.  Granted, some of the things she knows for sure are things that just about everyone knows and even take for granted, such as, “We all want to feel like we matter to somebody.”  Um, yes, Oprah, obviously that is quite true. But what if Oprah actually told us some things she knows for sure that are more specific, instead of generalizations that pertain to everyone?  For instance, if she revealed information that we might not find out otherwise, like “Gayle likes to eat frozen circus peanuts as a snack” or “Sometimes Steadman tries on my shoes”?   I’d look forward to reading her column a lot more every month if she told me something a little more interesting than the equivalent of “All you need is love.”   So, in the spirit of compiling lists and sharing truths, I’m taking on Oprah’s column in this blog and revealing ten things I know for (pretty) sure about Rachel Stickney:

1. She has great hair, and it grows really fast.  Also, her eyes are a remarkably vivid shade of blue

2. She is very close to her family, particularly her mother and father.

3. Three years ago, when she first became the event coordinator at WRBH, she could not cook.  Now she creates fabulous French meals with friends and even won the coveted Porkpourri award at this year’s Hogs for the Cause, for her adorably delicious Piggy Macarons.

4. Rachel is terrific at all things technological, and is rarely without her phone.

5. A few of the many things she loves are the Saints, Talbot’s, Paris, fashion, JazzFest, babies, riding in Muses, and vanilla more than chocolate.

6. She has an envy-inducing collection of purses, including a colorful Tory Burch tote and an elegant Valentino Red bag.

7. She hates cilantro.  Green onions, too.  Bad weather, especially loud thunderstorms with too-close flashes of lightning, scare her.

8. When she was a child and her parents took her to Blockbuster to rent movies, she always picked “The Twelve Dancing Princesses”.  Okay, I’m not COMPLETELY certain that is the correct title, but I do know it was about princesses, and it was always the same movie.

9. She is organized, efficient, neat, and capable, and every day when she left WRBH at noon she headed out to her second job at the family shop, Pralines by Jean and Cupcakes Too. And lastly…

10.  She is leaving WRBH to accept a job at Tulane, and we will miss her.

I also asked Rachel a few questions for the blog, in order to get HER “What I Know For Sure”
answers, and here they are:

1. How long have you been at WRBH?  I have worked here for nearly 3 years. August would be my 3 year anniversary at WRBH.

2. What has been your favorite part of the job? My favorite part of the job has been the opportunity to help bring about A Blind Taste, our new, wonderful fundraiser to WRBH. It was such a success last year and I really enjoyed working on that inaugural event. I am so excited to see how it continues to grow over time.
3. Tell me one of your best memories of working here.  I think one of my best memories working here was when Wendell Pierce came in to read “The Gift of the Magi” for our Holiday Story program. I had corresponded with his manager for several weeks to set up a time and date that worked for him, and he was on kind of a tight schedule when he was coming. He ended up enjoying it so much that he asked us to find “The Birds for Christmas” so he could read that as well. I think he stayed about an hour over his scheduled time. He was so gracious and kind and it was just a really fun day. His two stories are some of my favorites out of a wonderful collection of Holiday stories that we have.

4.  What will you miss the most? I will miss the people the most. I have had the opportunity to meet and interact with so many lovely people in my time here. It is a great office staff and amazing volunteers. I have also been incredibly blessed to work with great event committees over the years. I feel like I have made some great friends here and I will sincerely miss all of the people that I’ve met.
5. Describe your new job. I will be a Senior Program Coordinator in Annual Giving, working specifically with the Director of the Tulane Fund Gift Clubs.

6. Any parting advice for your replacement?

My biggest advice for my replacement is to have fun, be organized, and be adaptable. This is a really fun position and you have the opportunity to work with a lot of great people. Enjoy it, but be organized! People might look at you like you are a bit crazy sometimes, but you have to be super organized to make sure all of your i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed. There are so many elements at play in our events that if you aren’t organized, it will show. My final bit of advice is to be adaptable. Things won’t always go exactly as you planned (trust me, I know this–we had rain the day of the golf tournament every year I was here!) but you have to be able to adapt when that happens. It can be hard when you put so much into planning something and it doesn’t go exactly as you’d like it to, but you have to be okay with that!
Everyone who knows Rachel knows that she will be successful in her new position, and that if there are any Saints fans in her department at Tulane there will be a lot of lively discussions happening in the fall.  We all wish her the best, and fondly bid her farewell.  I also want to pass this last bit of advice on to her from Oprah herself, from her “Top Twenty Things I Know for Sure” list.  Here is number 2:   “You define your own life.  Don’t let other people write your script.”  and number 14: “Find a way to get paid for doing what you love.  Then every paycheck will be a bonus.”
Actually, I think she already knows both of them…for sure.

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