Today is my last day with the City of San Jose Housing Department; what a ride! It has been nearly 17 years working for the city and leaving is bittersweet; this has been an amazing place to work.
When I started my journey with the city, my boys were very young, now, they are grown men. Anybody who knows me, knows my priority in life has been those boys. The director of housing, Jacky Morales-Ferrand understood that, and because she is for her staff – regardless of your credential – she made that possible. I had the best, most flexible schedule allowing me to be at every activity, every sporting event, and anything that was important to my boys. Because of the flexibility in this job, we managed to raise outstanding men. I wish all directors could see their staff their way you do. Thank you Jacky!
Throughout my years I worked with many amazing people, some have since retired, some have moved on to other departments or jobs and some have passed away. I am grateful for everyone. Tedra Turner, you are a light in every department! Keep shining. Reggie, absolutely love everything about you! Rhonda Matos, a new friend! Sara Wright, you are a gem, keep looking up! Paul Lippert, one of the most truly joyous people I know.
I had some wonderful supervisors, Ron Schreck, and Alice Clark were among my favorites in compliance – rest in peace. Eric L. Calleja although you have moved on from the city and we have missed you ! You were always a fair, caring, fun, and mischievous supervisor; glad we are friends! But, of all the supervisors that came and went, Kathy Kaminski you were the absolute best! You made it an even playing field cheering for all your staff, always – you broke our hearts when you left! Robert Lopez and I were so fortunate to be a part of your team, and you taught him well because he emulates your style and has been absolutely wonderful to work under; right man for the job and this team. Thank Robert for all your support, encouragement, and laughs.
The grants team was my latest endeavor with the city and it has been more than good. I work with a great team of people who are smart, skilled, and down to earth, except that they are all anti-sugar. What is that all about? Therese (please enjoy life), Gabe, Shirlee V Triviño (proud of you) and Lynn, keep up the good work.
My rehab buddies, Guido, Sean and crazy Roger, always love the silliness and goofy talks of the day. So glad you three came on board, it has made the team even more fun!
The housing department has such a strong homeless team that sits on the other side of the partitions. I get to listen to them strategize, and fight for cures of homelessness; what a team! Vanessa Butera, Leif Christiansen, Lorena, and Christine Marcoida (keep looking up, stay focused Chris, there is a plan for you), I have felt honored to work alongside of you and be a part of this world, you all do such great work and are fun, easy and kind people. Kelly Hemphill, you continue to lead the way of curing homelessness in city but remember, you have too much to offer to NOT take risks – don’t be paralyzed by fear. That goes for you too Isaac Orona!
The fiscal team who has put up with endless mistakes of mine! I know I drove you crazy Rajvir Hayer, it wasn’t intentional! Yen Tiet, the cutest pregnant lady ever, Ann, your kindness and support spoke volumes. Clayton, thanks for all your patience!
We have a great admin team in this department, positive, friendly, and sharp. Maria Anne Malloy I thoroughly enjoyed all our conversations and will miss them! Sara Fulton, more than the oatmeal/chocolate chip cookies, I will miss your friendship. Delilah Chavez, never quit because you are going places! I will miss our conversations Madi, you are hilarious! Patti, the sweetest and most friendly lady! Selena Copeland, my sister in Christ, so thankful for all of you! And Brenda Charles, my little buddy, keep your head up, and hopes high and don’t give up because you have so much to offer!
I learned so much about customer service from Ramo, nothing but kindness comes from you! Monica Velarde, so glad you are here, you will keep doing great things. Janie Le you have been such a great breath of fresh air with your bubbly personality, keep smiling! James you had the girls, I had the boys, our families mirrored each other in many ways, and it was always fun bouncing life’s stressors back and forth! You’ve really come a long way, and deserve it!
So many wonderful people! Tina N. James, you are one of the sharpest people the department has, keep your head up and don’t let anyone rob you of your joy! Korey, the go-to guy for anything you need to know about the Union. Tascha Mattos, you are definitely, one of a kind! Lorena M Lopez and Ngoc Lily Nguyen, all I can say is, “it will get better.” Viviane Nguyenne, your smile and bubbliness makes everyone feel so good! Oralndo, I am so glad you got your trailer.
Rachel Zomermaand VanderVeenl, director some day? David Bopf keep enjoying retirement…wait, did you retire? Jennifer, a true up and comer. . Adam your calming presence is an asset to the department! Jacky, congratulations, this is only the beginning. Somya thank you for your encouragement. Fred, stay fun! Theresa, glad you finally made it, Ligaya Jareta Oliveros you know what retirement means? Kristen, I really enjoyed talking life with you. Don’t work too hard! Hsin-Ping, thank you for your encouragement! Fereshteh, you are amazing…maybe I wil see you in Texas! Mark, love talking about your boys! Kemit, good luck with all this! Chantel, Han, Amy, Jovette, Gabby, Lisa and all the newbies and people I may have forgot, I do wish I got to know you a bit more; enjoy the City! And so many more, you have touched my life, and I feel blessed to work with you all.
Finally, Kristine Kane, we worked together for 11 years at the Housing Authority, it was a blast. But having you come here was probably the biggest blessing of my time with the City. One of the sharpest women I know; you really are underutilized. Your humor, heart, passion, and friendship made the last three years my absolute favorite. Stay gold! I’ll miss you most scarecrow See you in March!
Thank you City of San Jose, and thank you Housing Department team for making the next journey in my life possible! I’m indebted, and walk away with nothing but gratitude!
PS – Please let me know who gets my desk….