For more than 116 years, our dedicated team members have been doing good for the children and families they serve…. team members like Jacquelyn Brown, our administrative supervisor in Jacksonville.
A CHS rock star, Jacquelyn is celebrating her 40th year with CHS. To commemorate the occasion, we sat down with her to learn about her favorite CHS memories, what advice she’d give her “new team member” self and what she’s most excited about when it comes to CHS’ bold new direction:
Describe the path that led you to your current role as administrative supervisor.
I have always been a fan of the Perry Mason Show and admired his secretary Della, who Perry always referred to as his confidential secretary whom you could say anything in front of. When I was in junior high school, I taught myself at-home how to type on a manual typewriter. I then took shorthand in high school and additional business courses in college. I always knew I wanted a job where I could use those skills and have people depend on me and see me as loyal, trustworthy and able to keep things confidential.
How have you seen CHS evolve as an organization over the most over the past 40 years?
Technology has been a huge change – from one mainframe computer that everyone shared for all computerized tasks, including payroll, program statistics, donor information, etc. – to cell phones, tablets, Skype, etc.
There has always been change at CHS, but in the past 20 years, change has come very fast and often. Because I have been with CHS for 40 years, I am seeing some changes circle back around again, for example, regions. It’s clear to see that change is needed to keep up with the growing competitive business of providing excellent service to the children and families we serve.
What is your favorite CHS memory?
Of course in 40 years, I have several favorite memories. Two that come to mind include:
1. While working in home office, I had the pleasure of attending the R. David Thomas Child Advocate of the Year Annual Awards in a variety of locations throughout the state. It was wonderful to witness the sincerity of our award recipients. I also had the opportunity to meet various celebrity supporters in attendance, including Dave Thomas, Jane Russell, Burt Reynolds, and Gloria Estefan to name a few
2. One day–after I switched from home office to the local region–I overheard a toddler waiting to meet his new foster family. The boy was nervous and shy, so I asked if he wanted to come to my office and he said yes. I allowed him to sit in my office chair at my computer for a little while, and then we colored for a bit until it was time for him to go. He soon became irritable and nervous again, as though he was afraid to leave my side. To ease his worries, I accompanied him and our foster care team to the home. We sang songs and played hand games and he was quite content. It was heartbreaking to see him so upset, but I also felt that I had made a difference in his life for just a short part of a day.
What advice would you give to yourself on your first day with CHS?
Continue to be the same person you have grown to become today.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your role?
No matter what happens it is important to maintain your integrity. People will not always like you, but they can respect you.
What is your #MyCHSWhy?
Although I’m not out in the trenches providing services to clients, I know my role is vital to our mission. By making sure our campus runs smoothly and is in compliance with procedures, processes, and deadlines, I know each day I’m here for a reason – when our invoices are paid, clients can continue to receive services, when an emergency check is processed, a high school senior can participate in senior activities, when mileage reports are submitted on time, team members receive the reimbursement checks necessary to complete home visits and transport children and families to their necessary appointments. It all has value in our mission of good. I’m honored to be a part of the mission for 40+ years and to make a difference every day.