Colleague

 

I had the pleasure of serving alongside Ande Truman as a teammate when she joined our team here in Trnava, Slovakia. The profound and lasting impact Ande made on our team and in the community during her short tenure cannot be denied. The purpose of this letter is to share just a few of the gifts, skills and qualities that make Ande an exceptional person and an asset to any organization.

Generally, the first few weeks of integration into overseas living is spent acclimating to a new environment and navigating the brain fog known as culture shock. In short, a newcomer isn’t expected to do much other than adjust for a few weeks. Ande hit the ground running and never looked back. During her first week here, we put on a Thanksgiving dinner for local students. Fresh off the plane, Ande planned the menu, bought the food (on a tight budget in a foreign currency), and cooked a meal for twenty people and delegated accordingly. When it came time for dessert, rather than serve buffet style, Ande sculpted and plated each beautiful and flavorful dish. Her attention to detail, thoughtfulness and conscientious attitude was just a foretaste of the year to come.

Ande is one of the few artists I’ve met who possesses a keen ability to not only conceptualize the spirit or theme of a subject but to implement it into an appealing aesthetic that bridges cultures. There seemed to be no end to our need or to Ande’s talents. Her creations were innovative, attractive and a constant conversation topic in the community.

Ande possesses outstanding leadership skills. She takes charge and delegates well without alienating members of the group. She successfully integrates others’ skills into the whole to create a better outcome. In addition to designing the advertising for English Summer Camp, Ande put a band together. This truly was a job for several people, but Ande single-handedly recruited volunteers, scheduled rehearsals, arranged the music, and trained the musicians. One of the musicians was particularly challenged. Many would have replaced him, but Ande spent whatever time she had teaching and helping him and we were all the better for it.

In a culture where foreigners are often viewed with suspicion, Ande’s enthusiasm and friendly demeanor broke down barriers and created friendships. In an environment where personal and professional duties overlap, Ande was able to problem solve with sensitivity and tackle challenges with finesse and verve. My only regret is that I was only able to serve with her for one year. She will be an invaluable asset to any employer.
Sincerely,

Gina Medairy
Team Associate
The Building
Trnava, Slovakia