A few months ago my husband Jonathan got a call inviting Rachel to speak at an event in Memphis. The call was from Mr. Bob one of Sedgwick’s Senior Vice Presidents who had served on the board of Special Kids and Families. Special Kids was the early intervention program we participated in when Rachel was born. It is where we met our dear and eternal friends Ben, Becky, Joel and Olivia. It is where Luisa, Kelley, Marian, Ruth and Emma forever changed the landscape of our world and so many, many others by investing in little ones who had developmental disabilities.
Sedgwick is my husband’s employer. We love Sedgwick for so many reasons. They are like family to us. Let me give you a little background. We moved to Memphis from Phoenix when Jonathan was hired by Sedgwick. We were excited to get back to the South, closer to family and the Razorbacks. We quickly developed deep, strong and abiding friendships with folks at Sedgwick. In the course of our first two years back in Memphis and with Sedgwick, Jonathan was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and we learned our unborn daughter had Down syndrome. Sedgwick, from top to bottom of the corporate org chart, embraced us and went on to embrace things important to us like Special Kids and Families and the Down Syndrome Association of the Mid-South.
When I say support, I want to tell you what I mean. Anytime we extended an invitation to volunteer or join “Team Rachel,” we were surrounded by Sedgwick friends. Early on we invited them to support Special Kids’ fundraising by sponsoring the Bunny Run. They answered the call. Beyond giving money, they recruited volunteers. Colleague’s families became involved. As someone who has done a lot of volunteer management and fundraising, I like to think in terms of partners. Sedgwick became a partner. They went on to become a partner with the Down Syndrome Association of Memphis and the Mid-South (DSAM). DSAM was in their infancy trying to grow a walk and become respected organization serving the needs of families in the community. Sedgwick was one of our first big name corporate sponsors for our the Buddy Walk. In addtion to giving us needed resources, that helped us by giving us legitimacy with other big companies in the area. Their relationship with DSAM has been molded in a different direction now. They are vital to helping the DSAM in the Parents & Schools Partnership and in conducting educational training programs. We no longer live in Memphis but Sedgwick’s commitment to colleagues and community has continued. Sedgwick’s philosophy is to think global and act local. In Memphis, that certainly is true.
Friendships we have developed at Sedgwick have led to so many wonderful opportunities. Doreen and E travel to Kansas City almost every time Rachel is in a show to see “Baby Rachel.” Rachel’s participation in Melina’s Bat Mitzvah in Chicago last year happened because of a friendship at Sedgwick. Our trip to NYC was fit for a Princess because of a friendship at Sedgwick. Ever so often I receive an email from a colleague saying we just saw the Just Like You video and it is amazing. One senior leader at Sedgwick sent it to his adult kids and said “Everyone should see this.” Just the other day a Sedgwick leader forwarded an industry blog that talked about the ABLE Act.
Back to this speaking gig though. A short time ago, Special Kids and Families merged with an organization called SRVS. SRVS has been serving families in Memphis for many years. Mr. Bob now serves on the SRVS board. Each year they host the Spirt of SRVS event. With about 700 attendees it is one of their largest fundraisers for the year. Mr. Bob agreed to co-chair the event and Sedgwick was the title sponsor for the event. As the board works on this marriage of the organizations, they wanted to recognize the history of the organization. So as I understand it, they said if not for Miss Rachel, Sedgwick wouldn’t be a part of all of this so we want to invite her to represent Special Kids. Of course, Rachel and her mom and dad were thrilled to be able to represent Special Kids and Sedgwick. Rachel was part of the welcome ceremonies of this beautiful event. Many Sedgwick colleagues and old friends were there and it was great fun for all of us. Oh and here is Rachel doing her thing.
So yes, Sedgwick is my corporate champion. In a time where we hear a lot about all the bad things corporations do, I am proud to be able to be a part of the Sedgwick family. I don’t want to embarrass anyone or leave out a name, but there is a lady name Gina, a guy named Jim and another one with the initials D and N who deserve a lot of credit for all of this. On behalf of many families, thank you!