Much of what we post here is the public-facing news and information about the Coast Guard Foundation's programs and projects, and how they benefit the men and women of the Coast Guard, and their families. We like to keep the spotlight on the people we help, and not broadcast the internal goings on of our office.
Today, though, we share with you the story of a dear friend and colleague, who lost a courageous and fierce battle with cancer this week. Her name is Lisa Reed, and although many of you didn't know her, she worked day in and day out as a tireless advocate for the men and women of the Coast Guard, always committed to working hard and raising funds to support the Coast Guard community.
To say that it's a huge loss for us personally and professionally is an understatement. Our thoughts and prayers first and foremost go out to her family as they deal with this tremendous loss. Lisa started at the Foundation in 2009 as vice president of individual giving, and over time, took on the role of working with and coordinating our board of directors. Her efforts centered on working with donors who wanted to give to specific projects, and seeing those plans to fruition.
She was a fantastic researcher and writer, and she was great with people, because she was the most genuine person I have ever met, who asked thoughtful questions and truly cared to hear your answers. Lisa also had an amazing memory. She could recall the name of someone she met once at a reception several years earlier with ease. As a friend of the Foundation said, upon learning of Lisa's passing, "She was the nicest person I've ever met."
Here are some of our favorite moments we shared with Lisa.
We're a small staff of 12 people, 10 of whom work in the Stonington office. We are more of a family than an office. We spend a lot of time in Stonington, and on the road at our special events, smaller receptions, boat and trade shows, and donor visits.
Whether it was Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, St. Pete, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Seattle, Oklahoma City, Traverse City, San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, Annapolis... Lisa was there. I will particularly treasure the great memories of the times we shared at the Annapolis Sailboat Show. As a team, we worked hard, and had a ton of fun together.
Throughout her battle with cancer, and especially these last few months when her health wasn't great, she worked hard to carve out time to come to the office and contribute what she could to our team. "Lisa," we'd say, "it's okay, we can do this. We'd rather have you here with us, but we can do this."
But Lisa would have none of it. She wanted to know what was going on, who we were seeing next, and how the programs and projects were progressing. And how she could help.
I never once heard her complain.
Rest in peace, Lisa Reed. You are gone far too soon from this earth, but you will forever be in our hearts.