Muito Obrigado Querido Amigo…

By: Cathy L. Gallagher

In August of 2005, after working at PLNU for 2 years, I was recruited by Randy Ataide to join him as he began his work as the Director of the Fermanian Business Center.

Although I had met Randy, I did not know him well, had no idea why he would be recruiting me since I didn’t think he even knew who I was… (ask him to tell you that story sometime!)… and was a bit reluctant to “jump ship” to join a team of 1, other than myself.  It has been 8 ½ years since we began that journey together… a journey where I have never looked back and learned much along the way… We often joke that in those early days, after setting up our phones and computers, we waited for students to stop by and business professionals to return our call… but that only lasted about 2 weeks and the rest… as they say… is history.

It has been a pleasure and a joy working “with”… not… “for” Randy… as he affectionately reminded me many times over the years. We have been blessed with growth and now have a full time staff of 6, 2 part time staff (economist and analyst), 8 student employees (60 + student

employees over the years…), and several MBA researchers. Our staff are family… we love, admire, and care for each other deeply.

It is impossible to sum up these last 8+ years in a word or a phrase, or to simply say thank you… but rather a few things that come to mind…

Time Passages… a song by Al Stewart that I have always enjoyed… came to mind as I began to think through the years… the words of the song don’t necessarily all ring true, but it puts me in a state of mind of recollecting moments, events, milestones that we experienced along the way…

Invigorating * Exhausting * Exhilarating * Fun
Staff meetings… our work… the team… the growth… the ride.

Inspirational – Transformational * Motivational * Dedicated
These words are modeled in Randy’s teaching, management style, and leadership. Although I had been a teacher, manager, and leader in a past role and for most of my professional career, Randy has refined those skills in me, both in the classroom and in the office and I am ever thankful. It has also been a pleasure to watch him, and at times sit with him, with students, alums, young (and old) professionals, friends, and colleagues as he shares his mind, his expertise, his wisdom… It energizes, feeds, and sustains him in many ways…

Transition – a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another.

Although the work of the FBEI will continue, it is important for me to acknowledge the incredible work, outstanding leadership, dedication, vision, energy, and passion that Randy poured into his students, our staff, and the work of our Institute. We have been successful under his leadership and are fortunate to have his continued support and counsel as needed in the days ahead of the Institute, and perhaps even more fortunate are those new MBA students whose education and lives will be strengthened by his knowledge and expertise in the classroom.

Para me… Randy, my colleague, boss, teacher, advisor, and most importantly my friend, the investment that you have made in me over the last 8 ½ years as all of these, has made me a better person… personally and professionally… stronger, wiser, and ever appreciative. Your encouragement, affirmation, and support… (not to mention the size 10 EE shoe…) …has motivated and uplifted me through even the most challenging times, and left me in a much better place. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I would not be where I am without you.

The foundation for the work ahead is firm thanks to you, and I look forward to continuing the great work that we started and am ever so grateful to work with such an incredible team.

A wild ride indeed!
Muito Obrigado Querido Amigo… Thank you very much my dear friend.


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