A short study of leadership

I first met this woman almost 10 years ago when I was newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s. She and two other employees of Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon politely listened to me read from my blog as we sipped our wine in the bar at Valley River Inn in Eugene, Oregon.  If I thought hard enough I bet I could remember what I read. But I will get on with this story.

I have had several brief interactions with Holly Chaimov in her role as the executive director of Parkinson’s Reasources of Oregon since then. Last fall I asked her to write a cover “blurb” for The Ribbon of Road Ahead.  She enthusiastically agreed and put up with reading a rough manuscript.

A couple of months ago Holly called and asked if I would apply to attend the Parkinson’s Policy Forum in Washington DC. After a long conversation I applied. I was accepted and was awarded a scholarship which made it affordable for both Charlie and I to go.

in Washington DC I met up with Holly again. She travelled at her own expense to take part in this amazing process.

Holly and I visited at length on two separate occasions.  From her I heard the goals and fears she has for her small independent non profit as she guides it into the future. What I felt was the continued passion of this leader, who had already been at the helm of this organization for twenty years. And what I saw was a person of integrity, a person who was not afraid to be bare bones honest, her  transparency apparent in every word.

In her description of the road she hopes to travel, she demonstrated to me elements of leadership I wish I had known in the years I was the “boss”.

Holly Chaimov, you have a great vision. I wish you success in guiding your organization in its mission to assist people with Parkinson’s with services that really make a difference.


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