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Helen's Retirement_Wendy

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1: Helen always has great stories to tell about her travels. A couple of years ago, she and a friend made a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Peru to visit Machu Picchu high in the Andes. The trip went fine until they arrived back at the airport in Lima to board their flight back to the US. Helen was wearing a top that zipped up the front like a jacket. When it came time to go through security, the guard insisted she take her jacket off and run it through the scanner with her luggage. Helen explained that it really wasn't a jacket, but the guard would have none of it. "But there is no blouse underneath," says Helen. "Take off the jacket," the guard repeats. So faced with missing her flight, Helen peeled off her top and went through the scanner in her underwear! There's nobody like her, and I have been fortunate indeed to have worked with her. Ray

2: “I remember when... Helen first came into the office to interview for her job supporting Ray. All of us were very protective of Ray, and we knew that hiring the right person would make everyone's life better (including not having Ray mad at us for hiring a doofus). I'm sure we asked her many hard questions, put her through the wringer, if you will, because we didn't want to hire just anyone. Turns out we hired not only the smartest, most-qualified person for the job but also someone who would be a friend for life!" Kathy King

3: You know we will always be grateful for your help and support in getting the advocacy work/Centre up and running. It has developed nicely from those important beginnings with your help. SFMI loves you, H, and wishes you a healthy and active retirement! Kurt Schacht

5: "I will always remember... Helen's deep knowledge of Charlottesville. She took me to places I didn't know existed, even though I've lived here over a decade. The College Inn on the Corner, the little soda fountain in the back of Pharmacy on the Downtown Mall. Everywhere you go with Helen, someone knows her. Then, of course, you also get the scoop on who people are. Nobody can give you the history like Helen can. Helen, you've been a great ally, generous friend, and fabulous home decorator. It will be very strange not having you in the office! I have no doubt you will stay active and enjoy your retirement." Wendy Conklin

6: "I remember when... the Daily Progress reported that bears had been cited in Helen's neighborhood – you know the usual roaming kind of generic stories. Well, according to Helen, she was minding her own business and happened to look out her window to her backyard. There she saw a HUGE bear proceeding to take the top off her hot tub and have a good long soak. Being quick with the camera, Helen was able to catch the freeloader in all his glory! Helen loves her hot tub, and her screams at the top of her lungs (and Helen can shriek) sent him packing. The story ends with Helen getting rid of her hot tub, because she could not “bear” the thought of being in the hot tub when he came to call again!!!" Cindy Kent

7: “I remember when... Helen had a knee replacement one week before I had a hip replacement. She called to express her concern about me because she hadn't heard anything since my surgery. I was taking painkillers, so my thinking was a bit slow. Eventually, I said, “Helen, I emailed you the day after my surgery. We exchanged emails.” There was a pause. “We did?” “Yes, we did.” “I don't remember that.” So, I will always remember when Helen and I were both taking drugs although neither of us will remember many of the details." Dot Kelly

9: I remember when... I arrived in CHO on the eve of the 2009 blizzard and rented a car. Upon arrival at the office, there was talk of road closings and bringing in the National Guard. I quickly realized I would not return home the next day and needed to return my rental car. Helen, ever the take charge person (and kind soul I must say), offered to help me return the car to the airport...but we had to leave immediately as she had a 4:30 appointment to get her nails done. I was so grateful for the ride... I just fell in line. We raced out of the building and into the Hatz mobile. To say that traffic was heavy is an understatement and we slowly made it up 29. Then it dawned on me. I looked at Helen and said, “This is so nice of you, but I have to tell you WE FORGOT THE CAR! Panic, then laughter....this seemed like something Lucy and Ethel would do (I still call her Lucy sometimes!). Thank God Helen knew the back roads and we made it back to the office. I then made it to the airport and Helen made her appointment! Helen was my savior that day. She's always there for you in a pinch! All the best Helen, you will be missed. Meg Kelleher (aka “Ethel”)

10: “I remember when Helen... shared some anti-aging secrets with Annette and me. She talked about using regular household products. The one I remember most is to apply Preparation H to your face to get rid of wrinkles and lines." Mary Whalen

11: I have been fortunate to work and travel with Helen on CFA Institute business over the course of my many years of volunteer involvement. One of my favorite trips, as a member of the DRC, was to Paris in 2009. I spent three jam-packed days with Helen and her sister walking the streets of Paris and experiencing all things French. Our first meet up was for lunch at a little café near the Louvre. I used my high school French (or, memories of!) to read and interpret the menu explaining to our non-English-speaking waiter that what was most wanted by these American girls was a hamburger! Another fun experience ensued in Geneva and Megeve. We trooped all over the village and took the ski lifts to the mountain top with Denise Farkas and Joe Dabney. As we departed from that meeting, Helen asked me if I had any spare change (which I gave her). I promptly forgot this until my final board meeting for CFA-I at which she presented me with a necklace she made for me out of trade beads & my coins from the UK, Switzerland and France. It is one of my most precious keepsakes. Helen is a consummate professional and thus a joy to work with. She is always up for adventure and I was lucky to participate in several with her. Janet Miller

13: I remember when... Helen, during a 2008 trip to Australia, indignantly expressed room service sticker-shock every single day, triumphantly completed the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, and pulled leeches off the legs of panicked guests. After the meeting, four of us flew to Queensland's Gold Coast for a week's vacation. Australia was experiencing its first monsoon in 20 years. We spent the better part of our vacation either at the pizza shop or watching dubiously as Helen would ocean swim against the red flag rip tide warnings. At the end of the week, Helen and I were at the Gold Coast Airport and stopped to buy the standard airport souvenirs. Helen found a shirt she wanted to buy (no, had to buy) for Eddie – but the shirt was on a male mannequin. Uninterested in retrieving a new, folded shirt from inside the store, Helen set out to take the shirt off the mannequin. It happened in slow motion: as Helen fondled the mannequin, it caved into itself and began to noisily crumple to the floor. Its female partner was unaffected but this mannequin had been the victim of a drive-by dual leg amputation. People were staring. Airport security was curious. The store staff was horrified, and Helen was screaming. I've never had so much fun in an airport in my life. Helen: peace out, gal. Cortney McCoy | My best story of Helen? Hmmmmm.. That's a tough one. In part, because she is an amazing storyteller and lives life so fully that she has so many to tell. There is no question that Helen will be missed, and even by the folks that don't particularly like her so well. Helen knows this, and I'm sure she is nodding her head reading this and getting a chuckle out of it too! I'll miss hearing all the work gossip. I'll miss being told what I need to hear that most people are afraid to tell me. I'll miss hearing her fight all the good battles to keep Ray and her peeps well cared for. And most of all I'll miss her giant smile and sharing good laughs with her. Helen, you are truly one of a kind and I wish you all the best in what I'm sure will be a full and fun retirement. Jennifer Taylor

14: "I remember when... I went to Helen's house for the first time. When we got inside, we were greeted by a snake in her kitchen. I bolted to another room and shut the door. Helen seemed to have the situation under control and laughed that her cats must have dragged it into her house. Needless to say, it was a quick visit. Helen is one of a kind, and I will miss seeing her around the office on a daily basis." Wend Ruschmann

15: "I remember when... I discovered that Helen had been on a date with my father back when they were in their early 20s. Helen doesn't remember him, but he hasn't forgotten her! Helen's response was, “I could be your mother! Scary!" Lauren McAdams

17: “I remember when... Helen realized that I was having the most hellacious day. Everything seemed to be going wrong, and because I was sitting near Helen, she overheard some of my, shall we say, frustration. Around lunchtime, she stopped by my desk and told me she was taking me for pizza at Anna's and to get my coat. She bought me two slices of pepperoni and talked with me for an entire hour. I came back to the office with a new outlook and a new friend. Helen, you're priceless, and I will miss you!" Michele Armentrout | I remember when... A group of CFA Institute colleagues formed a Red Hat Society Chapter (for women 50 years old). Helen opted not to become a member, but generously offered to host a party for the Chapter at her home. We had a great time! Just mention the word “party”and she immediately perks up. It doesn't matter where or with whom, she is ready to kick up her heels and have a good time! Polly Johnson

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  • Title: Helen's Retirement_Wendy
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