S: Lisa Moriyama
BC: August 2, 2011 | Presented to Lisa Moriyama From: | Nancy Albin Karen Brown Doug Castor Karen Copeland Tracy Edmonds Cecilia Fohl Kathy Frazier | Ann Hansen Terry Holloway Linda Jimenez Cathy Kelaghan Mike Melloh Marc Nathan Kathy Potos | Randy Brown
FC: Happy Birthday Lisa
1: Little Lisa!
2: Lisa: If we did this right, we roasted you pretty well at dinner. So I’ll shift gears a bit for your book. When you think of how many people pass in and out of our lives, only a small subset leave a lasting impression. Sadly, we often wait too long to tell people that they are “unforgettable” and more importantly, why. So, at the risk of sounding like Nat King Cole (because you are 60, you know who he is), I thought I’d use the occasion of your birthday celebration to tell you that you are one of those unforgettable people in my life, and why that is so. Big and small things make people unforgettable to me, and it’s never one thing, but a combination. And since neither of us like verbosity, I’ll get right to it. These are 10 things I admire about you, like about you, and appreciate about you: You, the “cherry” -- soft on the outside but with a tough core. Culture sharing – for me, the importance of the number 5; for you, “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.” The way you like a good laugh. Hard to remember a conversation we’ve had where –no matter the topic -- we didn’t somehow wind up sharing a laugh out loud. You are one of the only people for whom I drive around in circles or sit in my driveway, just so we can talk.
3: The life you have with Stanley and Mitsu. The richness of your relationship shows up not just in the stories you tell about them, but how you tell them. You, the listener, coach and teacher. I don’t know if you fully realize the depth of the impact you have on others. You care, you are straight up, and you are supportive. People keep coming back to you because you lift them up and help them become more of who they hope to be. Individualization, our shared signature strength. Courage and positude. Spell check says the latter is not a word, but I think it is. These two words describe how you show us the art of dealing with pain, adversity and challenge. Really amazing. Your wisdom and perspective. I always want to hear your take on things. Graciousness. You give with ease and bring a gentleness to every interaction. So, even though Libby says I conveniently forget a lot, I am sure I will not forget you. We are fortunate to meet great people during our careers, but blessed when those people become not just our friends, but our unforgettable friends. Thanks for being such a friend. And here’s the best part – more years ahead and more memories to create. Happiest of birthdays, Lisa. | Randy
4: Happy birthday, Lisa! In all my many years of work/life experiences and journeys, none has meant more to me than the opportunity to work for you and now alongside you. I have had the benefit of many mentors in my life --- some good ones and some not so good --- but you are by far the one mentor that has truly made a difference in my life. Having worked for you so closely over the past year and a half I can say I am riding the wind of change, on the threshold of a major transition to a leadership role due in large part to your support and sponsorship. Do you remember the Roman mythological character, Janus? He was designated as the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings, and endings. (The month of January is derived from his namesake.) The interesting part about Janus is how he is depicted – with two faces, one looking to the future, the other to the past. Today Janus comes to mind as I reflect on the impact you have had on my development as a leader. Like Janus, I look towards a new beginning while thinking back through the nearly 25 years that I’ve been a lawyer, a diversity practitioner, a wife, mother, daughter and friend. You’ve taught me to be proud of my successes but also note those occasions when I could have done things better or differently. No person is successful in this environment on his
5: Linda Jimenez | or her own; I am no exception. I want to thank you for being a part of my experience at WellPoint –you have enriched my skills, perspective, leadership and self-confidence. I have been most fortunate and consider myself blessed to have met and worked with you. My underlining take-away from my experience working with you: appreciate every person’s talents and skills; if you don’t immediately recognize what these are, invest the time to discover what they might be. Strive towards a collaborative culture of ability. Work through divisiveness and whenever possible, reinforce team successes. And, most of all, respect each person’s perspectives, even and especially when they do not agree with your own. What is right for you may simply not be right for others. Respect and belief in ourselves so that others can do the same in return is a goal you have instilled in me. Just imagine what a circle that would create if we all practiced this! It comes back to what we define as success – I say it’s when we make a positive difference in what we say, how we perform our work, and/or how we interact with one another. Success is achieved by personal initiative, applying strengths with willing participation, and leading by example. That is the foundation you have left with me. Turning 60 is a HUGE celebration. You will be in my thoughts in the days ahead. Good luck, good health, and God bless. And, thank you.
6: I first met Lisa while I was out on maternity leave at another company. She was to be my new boss and invited me to an offsite with her team which I attended with my infant son. This made quite an initial impression on me because at the time – while it was acknowledged professional women sometimes had children – it was unusual to be so welcoming and open to the circumstances that would necessitate a baby attending a meeting. All went well and I quickly came to appreciate Lisa’s talent for inclusion and adaptability. I had been considering leaving that company and Lisa persuaded me to stay for another year. Over the course of that year she challenged me with a variety of assignments that allowed me to grow in a job I had held for some time. While I stayed with that company for another two years – Lisa left prior to me to join WellPoint. I felt fortunate at that point to consider Lisa as my friend (and should note at that time she had long hair and wore bright colors!). I later joined Lisa and her new team, working in the Newbury Park office. While I have not reported directly to Lisa for most of my career with WellPoint, I have continued to appreciate her for the attributes I see her consistently bring to her work: Welcoming * Open * Inclusive * Adaptable * Persuasive * Focused on growth Happy Birthday Lisa – with many happy returns! Julia | Friend
7: I am just a finance person so I am not very good at telling stories but Lisa uses story telling very effectively when she is relaying her ideas. One of the best stories I remember is when Lisa used gazelles to convey the information she was presenting. I don’t remember the information she was sharing but I do remember her laughing and saying, “You know you can’t keep gazelles fenced in because they can jump right over the fence.” Since the day I heard her gazelle story whenever I see a gazelle or hear a gazelle story I think of Lisa. Cecilia Fohl
8: TOP TEN BIRTHDAY QUOTES
9: 10. And in the end, it is not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years, ~Abraham Lincoln 9. I'm sixty years of age. That's 16 Celsius. - George Carlin 8. Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. - ~Henry Ford 7. Old age is no place for sissies.. ~Bette Davis 6. Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. ~Mark Twain 5. There is still no cure for the common birthday. ~John Glenn 4. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened. ~Cora Harvey Armstrong 3. Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese. ~Billie Burke 2. The best birthdays of all are those that haven’t arrived yet. ~Robert Orben 1. Birthdays are nature's way of telling us to eat more cake. ~Anonymous Lisa, congratulations on this wonderful milestone and best wishes for a very happy 60th birthday! I feel very blessed to have you as a teammate and more importantly, as a friend. I so appreciate your humor and your wisdom as well as your unfailingly positive spirit. I hope you have a fabulous birthday – Here’s to the next 60! Enjoy your day! Nancy Albin
11: Happy Birthday, Lisa. It has been a pleasure working with you the last several years. I have tremendous respect for you and very much value the role you play on our team. You always stay grounded in the business and encourage the rest of us to do the same. One of my fondest memories working with you dates back several years ago when you were describing what it was like to support 4SB and its business leaders. You described them as gazelles. Upon hearing your description, I nodded my head in an attempt to demonstrate to you and the rest of the team that I knew what you were saying – that I got it, that the analogy was not lost on me. As I looked around, I saw a lot of heads nodding. I didn’t want to be the only one who so obviously did not get it so I nodded. Now that it’s your 60th birthday, I think it’s high time you knew – I really didn’t get it, and I still don’t get it. What the hell are gazelles and what do they know about running a health plan? Happy Birthday and may this year be among your most treasured and blessed. | Mike Melloh
12: I recall a wonderful conversation I had with Lisa 3 yrs. ago at a restaurant in Denver (“Strings”, I think) when I discovered that she too was a social worker in a former life. I had an opportunity to learn about her human service work, as well as her immediate and extended family. She’s had a fascinating past life, and I’m guessing, given her compassion for people, that she was as successful in her social work career as she is in corporate life. And, I learned to tell the difference between people of Japanese decent vs those of Chinese heritage . . . Paul Parente | Lisa, I appreciate so much about you personally and professionally, it’s tough to capture it in a few words. You are a terrific mentor, teacher and friend and I have learned so much from you. Your passion for talent development has given our team great energy and excitement and it is a joy to work for you. Happy Birthday, enjoy it, you have earned it! - Terry Holloway
13: It’s rare that any of us encounter individuals who literally radiate from within. It’s equally rare for colleagues, beyond long-standing friends, to recognize such light in a way that rally yet soothe. Serenity. Kindness. Realness. “There-ness”. These were each of our impressions when we, as a Corporate Social Responsibility team, first met Lisa Moriyama. As we are honored each day to help our company help others become their better selves through innovative community-based remedies, it is a daily joy to know that we are helmed by a remarkable woman who is perfectly suited to such generosity. As Lisa anticipates celebrating her 60th year, perhaps she does so, in part, by contemplating how the full circle of her life has brought her into WellPoint’s philanthropic orbit as a leader, colleague, and friend. We are grateful to have her wisdom on our side as a fellow advocate for work that demonstrates how our company cares about creating pathways to healthier, balanced tomorrows. Happy birthday, Lisa. May your coming days and years be filled with all that you have and more. Your friends WellPoint Corporate Social Responsibility and Foundation Team
14: All things grow better with love. | Stanley
15: Lisa & Dr. Doggie | Mitsu
16: Lisa, Lisa, I first met you a few months after WellPoint Health Networks purchased Cobalt Corporation. My new team was Corporate HRIS, and I was working hard at transitioning into a new culture; one which I perceived as being very different from the culture at Cobalt. The HRIS manager had scheduled an all day offsite at his home for the purpose of team building. The new Wisconsin HRIS team members were invited to come to the offsite. Up to this point, my exposure to my new team included lots of shouting, unrealistic demands and little promotion of team work outside of our unit. When I walked into the offsite, there you were. You immediately approached the two of us from Wisconsin and introduced yourself with a warm welcome, explaining you were the offsite facilitator. The day was filled with exciting team building exercises showcasing what I soon realized was a more true picture of WHN’s corporate culture. I will never forget how uplifted I felt flying home that night. I was amazed at how much you had accomplished with the team throughout the day to help us understand the true meaning of a team and, was very impressed with how you did it – in a quiet, assertive and very effective way. Thank you Lisa for being there at a very critical juncture in my career at WellPoint! Ann Hansen
17: Lisa, It has been an absolute pleasure to work with you over the past almost 7 years!! You bring a calming influence to everything you are involved in and it is very much appreciated. Your intelligence and passion around strategy, development, and process improvement are infectious and your ideas are always well thought out and helpful. Congratulations on your upcoming birthday – I hope I look half as good as you do when I reach 60. Cathy Kelaghan
18: I would like to say Lisa has been one of the most influential people I have known that has helped me with my professional growth in the 10+ years that I have known her. I can also say that some of what she has helped me on with my professional growth has also helped me with my personal growth. Therefore, the nicest thing that I can say is that Lisa has helped me become a better person. The funny and serious part of the story is that I am on PTO on a cruise for 2.5 weeks and there are not many people that I would write about from a cruise ship in Greece. But for Lisa, it is my honor to be able to do so. Thank you for letting me participate in this special event. Thanks Larry Rehhaut
19: Lisa, best wishes to you on this significant milestone birthday. I have always so appreciated your stories. They usually make me pause and see a situation from a completely different angle that I hadn’t thought of. So please don’t stop story-telling! Also, something I will always remember is how your parents taught you to always find the north star. I need to learn how to do that. Happy Birthday! Linda Goldsmith
20: Lisa hired me in January 1999. It was a time when a turnaround state plan (Blue Cross of CA) was the largest entity of a parent company, WellPoint Health Networks, which was becoming a national player through acquisitions of Mass Mutual and John Hancock (which eventually became UniCare and part of the Specialty business areas). Needless to say, it was a CRAZY time our processes were disconnected, inconsistent, payroll was a challenge. In fact, there was a time when bonus checks were printed, but distributed manually (lack of faith in the process). Lisa got all of us in a room and we manually sorted and checked bonus checks against spreadsheets to make sure they were done properly. Since we all know how doing detail work like this is a strength for Lisa (NOT!), it was quite a sight seeing hundreds of envelopes spread across a small conference room, a handful of HR staff tripping over each other, with Lisa as the leader trying to organize us. So realizing she was getting in the way, she just stepped back and let us play to our strengths. The task got organized and completed. Checks got out, no complaints. Lisa sighs in relief. The story illustrates Lisa’s faith and trust in her teams. It is the confidence that she builds which motivates her teams to keep doing the best we possibly can do.
21: David Ibarra | Shojin is an ancient Japanese cuisine developed in Zen Buddhist monasteries. Following the Buddhist principle of not taking life, Shojin cuisine does not use meat or fish. Meals are prepared from fresh, in season vegetables, legumes, wild herbs, seeds and grains, chosen at the moment in the season that best reflects their flavor. In New York, Lisa took Ron Nelson and I to her favorite Shojin restaurant, Kajitsu. What I appreciated about the meal, was not just the stories Lisa shared about the culinary techniques, but the experience of sensing a meal, not just eating it. In almost a meditative way, taking the time to observe the ingredients, the angular nature of the plates (each one a different shape or size than others on the table), the presentation of the food, the rough surface of the table top which represented a wave. This was a lesson in living in the moment, a Be Here Now, discovering and sharing an ancient Japanese tradition. There was a peacefulnessa deep appreciationa spiritual bonding that I will never forget. Lisa has a way of connecting to the soul and for this I am grateful.
22: Lisa, Happy 60th birthday! I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be able to share in your celebration. While we haven’t had the opportunity to work together directly very often over the last several years, and we haven’t been able to spend much time together, I’ve certainly learned a lot from you in the way that you carry yourself, and the leadership shadow that you exhibit including: Patience * Perseverance in the midst of obstacles, and in the midst of ambiguity * Life-long learning * Taking joy in the work you do * Commitment * Balance I can honestly say that these qualities and how you’ve exemplified them consistently has made a lasting and positive impression on me. I’m thankful to have people like you in my life and in my path to model these characteristics, and to help to teach me to be a better version of myself each and every day. Thank you for that! May God continue to bless you with the continued richness of friendships, love and joy. May the Lord also grant you many, many more wonderful and blessed birthdays. Happy birthday Lisa! Todd Williams
23: Happy Birthday Lisa! Tracy Edmonds
24: Lisa – I love when I talk to you I go away feeling the possibilities! I love that you so get my work. You have wisdom and a truly caring nature for the universe. You allow people to be who they really are! May you have the best Birthday ever!!! Kathy Frazier | One of my favorite stories was when you compared the Consumer Business to a gazelle. You explained that the business needs to be fast and nimble in order to survive. That image has always stuck with me. I’ve grown professionally through working with you. For that I am grateful. Happy Birthday to you! Karen Brown
25: I really appreciate Lisa’s metaphoric storytelling and descriptions of her culture. I also appreciate how she acknowledges your presence and demonstrates a true appreciation of you – your talents, perspective etc. I will always remember when I worked for her how she would leave voice mails ( if she could not reach you directly) saying how much she enjoyed seeing you at meetings we were involved in and how much she appreciated your participation. It really means a lot to me that a leader would take that kind of time to recognize her team members. Darlene Andrews
26: Shimmering Lisa 2011 | I have an image of you from one of Mary Oliver’s poems: “I go down to the edge of the sea. How everything shines in the morning light.” Another year is ahead and is filled with morning light – drink it in! Shine on, Lisa! Happy Birthday with love, admiration and gratitude,
27: To my friend, mentor and an amazing human being - You are inspiring and inspired. You breathe life in. You watch, smile, listen, nod, and reflect. You hug life and hold it close to you. You give your energy and your light to the world. You shimmer. You believe in others and believe in yourself. You embrace the day. You embrace what’s next. I celebrate unique you and I honor you as you celebrate unique others. You do it well – that which you wish to do: “To help others be their best and most happy selves.” You bring blessings to us all. | Lynn Heinzelman
28: 1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good. 2. When in doubt, just take the next small step. 3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. 4 Take a deep breath. It calms the mind. 5. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful. 6. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger. 7. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer. 8. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special. 9. Over prepare, then go with the flow. 10. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple. 11. No one is in charge of your happiness but you | Life Lessons
29: 12. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?' 13. Always choose life. 14. Forgive everyone everything. 15. Time heals almost everything. Give time time. 16. Believe in miracles. 17. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young. 18. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved. 19. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere. 20. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back. 21. The best is yet to come... 22. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift. | Happy Birthday Lisa! Karen Copeland