YMCA a wonderful community partner

I attended my first but the YMCA’s 51st annual Good Friday Breakfast this morning.  The program was moving and impactful as our speaker was a young man who was a very successful running back in the NFL for many years who has established a charity that helps single parents in acquiring their first homes by supplementing the required $5000.00  down payment and supplying furnishings and in some cases food need to get started in the new home. It has been very rewarding for him and for the 132 families he has helped thus far.

This young man who was raised by his mother and had an absentee father,  lost his own mother when he was 18 years old and had five younger siblings. His life changed completely in an instant, and although her went on to play college football, his college experience was certainly atypical as he helped his grandmother raise his five siblings from afar. He had a tough road to traverse and he has never forgotten those who helped him along the way.

Today, in addition to the charity mentioned above, he also has a mobile bereavement counseling charity designed to help kids ages 5 to 18 in processing their grief in the event of the loss of a loved one. Working through his own grief with a counselor had helped him so much and he wanted to give back.

Life changing breakfast this morning…

How the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Saved Georgia’s Largest Hospital

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As a vice president at Pathfinders, Gwendolyn Hix leads the company’s efforts to match top performing executive assistants with clients in Atlanta, Georgia. Gwendolyn Hix participates actively in the Atlanta business community and is a member of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

Dedicated to promoting economic prosperity and job creation for the city of Atlanta, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce traces its roots back to the 19th century, when it raised funds for public works, schools, and industry conventions. In 2008, the Chamber played a key role in revitalizing Grady Memorial Hospital, the largest public hospital in Georgia.

Troubled by corruption scandals, fiscal mismanagement and low staff morale, Grady Memorial Hospital faced financial crisis and imminent closure in 2008. Joining forces with the Fulton DeKalb Hospital Authority (FDHA), the Chamber established the Greater Grady Task Force to study the situation.

The task force, composed of a diverse array of local business leaders, produced a report with their findings, which recommended that the institution transition from a public form to a private one. Against significant political opposition, the FDHA voted to reform the hospital’s governance and establish the Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation, a new nonprofit entity.

Concurrently, the Chamber helped the hospital obtain $325 million in much-needed upgrades. Together with structural reforms accompanying the governance changes, the additional funds and equipment ensured that vital patient services could continue.

Chattahoochee Road Runners Supports Its Members’ Running Goals

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A recruiting professional with more than three decades of experience, Gwendolyn Hix has been the vice president of Pathfinders Inc. in Atlanta since 1997. In her free time, Gwendolyn Hix is an avid runner and a member of the Chattahoochee Road Runners (CRR).

Founded in 1983, CRR is a social running club, based in Atlanta, that offers a number of opportunities for runners to meet, socialize, and run with one another while promoting fitness and a healthy lifestyle. The club, which consists of runners of all ages and ability levels, provides members with a range of activities, including monthly meetings and special running events held throughout the year.

Each Saturday, CRR holds supported training runs for its members at various locations throughout Atlanta through its Go the Distance program. The program is designed to help CRR members train for long-distance runs but is also open to individuals who simply want to run with other people. Participating runners are provided with maps and regular fluid stops, and each runner is invited to run a distance that most suits his or her individual ability and fitness level. Most Go the Distance runs are typically no more than 20 miles in length.

NAPS Educates Recruiting and Staffing Professionals

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An experienced recruiting executive and consultant, Gwendolyn Hix has served as the vice president of Pathfinders Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia, since 1997. Dedicated to continually improving her professional practice, Gwendolyn Hix maintains memberships with several industry organizations, including the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS), an organization that supports the work of its members through initiatives and activities aimed at advocacy and education.

In addition to its continuing education initiatives, e-learning opportunities, and annual conference, NAPS supports its reputation as the staffing industry’s educator through its certification program, first launched in 1961. Since then, NAPS has awarded over 12,000 credentials to recruiting and staffing professionals throughout the United States and around the world.

Today, the NAPS certification program offers five professional credentials, including the first certification designation for physician recruiting consultants. Staffing and recruiting professionals wishing to obtain certification through NAPS must be experienced in their field, successfully pass an online or in-person exam, and agree to abide by NAPS standards of ethical practices. Once a professional earns a designation, he or she must re-certify each year by obtaining education hours through conferences and seminars, training programs, or continuing education courses.

Blueridge, Georgia

I spent a lovely weekend in Blueridge this weekend and was amazed at how much the downtown area has changed in the last 5-7 years. There are now several fine dining establishments in downtown Blueridge whereas I remember only a sandwich shop or two and a mexican restaurant just a few years ago. My friend and I enjoyed a delicious lunch at Black Sheep, a very charming restaurant that is located in what appears to be an authentic old home. We arrived at 2:00p.m. concerned that we may have just missed the lunch “window” but were pleasantly surprised that we were invited in most graciously and assured that lunch service continues until 3:00 p.m.. Although there was seating on the porch and there are ample heaters there, we decided to stay in the dining room where we felt could get more of the flavor of the restaurant. The experience was delightful and the food delectable. I tried the white bean and kale soup and my friend and I both had the rare tuna salad; both items were exceptional! We passed on dessert and took a walk instead,

The art galleries and boutiques once in short supply, are plentiful and have interesting and unique items to see and/or purchase. We had a wonderful afternoon and finished up by 5:00 to head home and think about dinner 🙂

Nashville

Last week I was in Nashville for the fourth time and for the first time saw something very special about it. I visited a friend in her beautiful new/historic home and was able to enjoy experiencing the town through her eyes.

We went to Whiskey Kitchen for drinks (whiskey) and I was surprised to find that the “New Fashioned” on their menu tastes a lot like a Manhattan from my college years. The atmosphere was young and fresh and sitting outside was wonderful as the sun was setting and the temperature perfect. I was even able to enjoy drinking whiskey!

We then walked across the street to Virago, a restaurant nothing short of fabulous! Sitting on the rooftop on a perfect night looking out over the skyline, didn’t hurt the experience, but the food completely held its own. We had the steak strips which we dipped in olive oil and then cooked on a small stone  (7 seconds on each side) and then dipped in one of three sauces – YUM! We then tried the steamed brussels sprouts in swiss cheese sauce and the spicy tuna served on crispy fried rice. It was a memorable meal to say the least. I can’t stop thinking about it.

I think I was surprised to find such a sophisticated spot in Nashville and I definitely plan to return. The Nashville bug as officially bitten me!

Perfume in interviews – kiss of death

The wearing of perfume or fragranced lotions in an interview is a mistake for various and unrelated reasons. Usually a candidate will apply lotion or perfume just prior to leaving for the interview, resulting in an often over-powering fragrance in what is usually a small, enclosed area like a conference room or an office. The assumption will be that if you are wearing fragrance in an interview, you will absolutely wear it in the office once hired. Many people/interviewers have allergies to perfumes and fragrances and rather than mention it or ask that the interviewee refrain from wearing it if they are hired, the hiring authority will avoid the discomfort of addressing it altogether and move on to another equally qualified candidate instead. If you are unlucky enough that your fragrance happens to be the same as that of the ex-wife or ex-husband of the interviewer, it could bring back unpleasant memories that the interviewer isn’t even conscious of, but that will affect the way they respond to you as a candidate. The sense of “smell” is very powerful and if a fragrance is familiar it connects us with the pleasant or unpleasant feeling of the associated memory immediately, even if we are unable call up the actual details of the memory itself.

The most important thing to remember is that whether you get the offer or not isn’t solely about “you” the interviewer, but also about your competition and how they compare to you on multiple levels. It is human nature to take the course of least resistance when at all possible. Why would an interviewer broach an uncomfortable topic with you when there is another candidate who they may also like and with whom those issues don’t exist? The best course of action as the interviewer is to ensure that any potential obstacles are removed so that you look not only like the best but also the easiest decision for the hiring authority.