THE COURAGE OF A FIGHTER
We rarely achieve success on our own. True success in life is very often the result of helping others achieve their own success. Here’s a story about someone who made a difference…
When Mr. and Mrs. Hart bought Rideau back in 1968, Michelle Verville was one of the original five employees. You would walk into the factory and would see Michelle working on a punch press in our stamping department. In fact, Michelle was our President, Mr. Peter Hart’s, first boss! Over the course of her career she did it all…from the factory to office related work. And no matter what the job was, she did it with care and enthusiasm. It didn’t matter whether the client was internal at Rideau or an external customer, Michelle’s dedication to her work was exemplary and it earned her our Employee of the Year Award in 1996.
Michelle’s huge impact on Rideau’s culture was truly amazing. Everyone loved working with her! She had a wicked sense of humor and her laugh was infectious. When Rideau was smaller, Michelle used to sing personalized “Happy Birthdays” over the intercom system…in French, English and Vietnamese! Courage and tenacity were other qualities Michelle had that were a source of inspiration to many of those who worked at Rideau. Michelle retired after 41 years of service with Rideau.
Sadly, Michelle battled many different health issues in the last years of her life. A year before retiring from Rideau, she was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive breast cancer. Her first reaction was to stand up at a company event and encourage everyone at Rideau to get regular checkups for breast cancer. During the last months of her life, when she was in the hospital, her Rideau friends and colleagues took turns visiting her every lunch hour, in the evenings and on the weekends.
Unfortunately in 2009, Michelle lost her fight and didn’t have a chance to enjoy her retirement. Although she may have lost that battle, no one ever displayed so much courage. She never, ever gave up hope or her love of life. She always displayed remarkable tenacity and courage.
Michelle will be forever remembered at Rideau for the culture she helped create and the wonderful legacy she left behind. And although she is gone, she will never be forgotten. The lessons she taught us are that people are what make a company’s culture great.
Although some may make more of an impact than others, you never really know when it will be your turn to inspire. You may be able to help individuals make changes in their own lives.
We hope you’ll feel free to comment on this success story and to share some of your own!!!