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07/10/2015

Farewell Wishes for 46-Year Employee, Kathy Kessey

Lunch celebration for Kathy Kessey, a dedicated retiree. (L to R: Alex Morales, Kathy Kessey, Rosie Arakelyan).

Kathy Kessey retired from Children’s Bureau just last month. She has given her leadership, wisdom and passion to our foster care and adoptions program for 46 years!  Children’s Bureau was her first job when she left New York with her Master’s degree in Social Work.

Kathy has saved thousands of children and contributed to the training and development of hundreds of Children’s Bureau’s best staff.  It is a legacy of service that is unlikely to happen ever again in Children’s Bureau’s future.

Recently, I took Kathy out to lunch. I told her that she was welcome to invite someone to join her.  Who did she invite to join us for lunch?  She invited Rosie Arakelyan.  Rosie is one of the younger staff in our foster care program; Kathy supervises her.  Better yet, Kathy also mentors her.  Similar to Rosie, Kathy has mentored others for decades.  I think Kathy wanted to use her lunch with me to deepen Rosie’s connection with Children’s Bureau.

Kathy did not want a big farewell party.  That made it a bit difficult when the foster care and adoptions team decided to ignore her wishes!  They created a celebration for Kathy here at Magnolia Place.  They invited Mike Foster, a former staff member whom Kathy had supervised back in the late 1970s, and he worked with her until he left us in the mid ‘90s.  The celebration was also for Rudy Samora, foster care social worker here at Magnolia Place, who is going to retire, too, after almost 8 years of great service to our foster care youth.

When Kathy spoke at the farewell celebration party, she answered the important question:  Why did you stay so long?  She said it was about the wonderful community of people at Children’s Bureau over the decades.  This was a compliment to all of the people past and present who have been part of Children’s Bureau.  It is so like Kathy to let her light shine on us and not herself.  Please enjoy the light she shined on you.  Thank you for your commitment.  And, we are eternally grateful for Kathy Kessey’s many gifts to Children’s Bureau.  We wish her and her family the best, especially given that she gave us her best.

By: Alex Morales

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