Friday, August 10, 2007

Alere Medical in Reno, NV

What happens when you add a mix of workers who save lives, a job motivating the workers, and a boss who believes in you?


You get a job like mine, trainer for Alere Medical in Reno. I found work at a great company. The Latin verb “to cherish or support,” Alere manages illnesses for people with serious, chronic conditions like heart disease. Our nurses keep in steady contact with our patients. They help them avert recurrences like second heart attacks and learn how to live in healthy and independent ways. The patients’ insurance companies pay for the service. Lately I’ve been telling everyone, “It’s something in the health care industry that’s working!”

Not only that, but Alere is growing so fast that our president says “we’re building the airplane as we’re flying it.” Beginning in 2004, our company has been a gazelle, a company rated by Inc. magazine as one of the top five hundred privately-held businesses – Inc.’s private company version of a Fortune 500 company. All this here in Reno , where in 1996 doctors founded Alere with a vision to save lives.

As Knowledge Management Coordinator (my official title) for Alere, I get to do the kind of work that brings me joy in the moment – I connect directly with people. I bring them tools to do great work and to inspire them to believe in themselves. My job is to build up my colleagues every day.

For all those long months until now of unemployment and grieving the loss of dreams, I comforted in teaching workshops to other job-seekers … some like me, searching for professional positions, others dealing with harder times than I’ve ever known (like felony convictions, addiction recoveries, and near homelessness). After each workshop, the students walked out the door believing they could find a job, no matter how steep or long the climb. Mostly they believed because they began to remember talents and experience unique to each of them. I know I’ll have daily opportunities to bring that same belief to my colleagues at Alere. It’s my job!

My boss is Nicki Graham, and she gives me good space sprinkled with direction. Her belief in my ability to do my job builds my confidence to do it well. I’m excited to find out how I’ll be able to soar in creativity, initiative, and dedication to the training I’ll both design and facilitate.

I couldn’t have made it though this journey of three hundred days without the love of a lot of people. I’ve thought deeply these past years about the nature of God, and I’m believing that God is the highest of us. Dozens of people who care gave me their best in the moments I most needed them …

* Networking wonders at Alere like Jeanne Underwood and Andrea Quinn;

* People who helped me in huge ways, like Herb Primosch and Steve Sprinkel;

* My Washoe County Democratic friends who showed faith in my ability to direct a party, even if I didn’t actually get the job to do it – people like Laynette Evans, Brian Hutchinson, Blythe Kladney, Barbara Stone, Neil & Kay Sanders, and Chris Wicker. Through their months of support, I sure learned a lot about that kind of leadership and just how long and far I can succeed in reaching a dream;

* ProNet people, those special workers and volunteers who throw lifelines to unemployed professionals, like Carla Arribillaga, Bill Kinson, Virginia Buckner, Barbara Dieringer (who also brought me into her home with unequalled warmth), Pearl Morris, Shirley Richardson, and Tom Yearnshaw (and wife, Cheryl O’Grady, honorary ProNetter);

* Former bosses and editors who remind me of my talents and people skills – friends like Fred Fichman, Larry Henry, Dennis Myers, and John Stempin; * My Reno First Congregational church family, including Bill Chrystal – and some of whom not only supported me, but gave me a home, like Liz Knott and Linda Taylor;

* And, my family of friends who always let me know I’m wonderful, no matter the circumstances of hardship – people like Shelly Braun, Pat Casey, Andy Geraci, Valerie Ingram-Hinkley, Joe Musumeci, Gerry Pollet, and Eric Suess.

So, love and thanks to each of you – and to others who also helped me through. You supported me in ways that gave me life. Know that I’ll support and cherish those who bring Alere’s services to the seriously ill.

Carol Cizauskas
Knowledge Management Coordinator
Alere Medical, Inc.
Reno, NV

We are made to persist. That’s how we find out who we are.

- Tobias Wolff, In Pharaoh’s Army

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