I’ve had the great fortune to be blessed with a few mentors in my life. My sociology professor, Lakshmi Bhardwaj, opened the door to Gandhi and critical thinking during my graduate school days. This became the platform for my future profession and world outlook.
Throughout my chosen career of nursing home management, I had two brilliant mentors. One was Jim Smith, an unrecognized pioneer with mind-blowing visions that were way ahead of their rightful time. I was Jim’s Chief Financial Officer, absorbing his visions and wisdom like a sponge.
The other was Virginia (Ginny) Fraser. She was Colorado’s state ombudsman for over 20 years. She developed the model and high standards that the national ombudsman movement emulated. Embodying the virtues of independence and advocacy, Ginny employed the principles of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi in both her work and her life.
Ginny was a great professional friend and mentor of mine. Through all my changes and permutations – times when you often lose friends – Ginny remained steadfast in her belief in me and my company Piñon Management. She offered me exceptional advice and comfort over my entire career.
While both Jim and Ginny are no longer physically present, their wisdom, compassion and vision, however, are always with me in my consciousness. Thank God for mentors.