by Debbie Gisonni, Interim Executive Director
Have you ever had a book recommended to you at the exact time in your life when you needed that information? Or have a solution to a problem come your way magically? It’s always amazing how perfectly life is orchestrated.
When you’re in between jobs, everyone wants to know what you’re going to do next. My answer is always the same – “I’m waiting to see what the universe brings.” About two weeks after I ended a contract assignment, an email about the Media Center Interim Executive Director position showed up. After I read the description, I got excited. That’s my barometer on whether to pursue anything. If it excites me, I go for it. If it doesn’t, I move on. The timing was perfect and the position combined two of my biggest passions – helping organizations through transitions and inspiring people through media. “Inspiring Media and Wisdom” has been printed on the back of my business cards for over a decade! After meeting the stellar team at the Media Center, I realized I had landed in the perfect place at the perfect time with the perfect group.
In this month’s lead story, we feature a new series we’re producing for CHIPAO, an Stanford-based organization opening dialogs in Asian-American families to understand teen challenges and prevent teen suicide. Having experienced the suicide of my own sister, I know first-hand how suicide can destroy, but also unite families and communities in search of solutions. I wrote a book about losing my sister (and the subsequent deaths of three other family members) to give a voice to a topic that’s often swept under the rug. I’ve also written articles to help people understand suicide and reduce teen stress.
Life’s challenges give us an opportunity (and a choice) to stand strong and make a positive difference. Even though some situations we find ourselves in may not be pleasant, I do believe life leads us to be in the right place at the right time. My sister’s suicide changed the trajectory of my entire life and career, and today I’m leading an organization that, among other things, is producing a show to help others heal and prevent suicide. That amazes me! I encourage you to watch the CHIPAO series and participate by attending a taping.
Now for my personal “public service announcement”. These first few weeks at the Media Center have clearly demonstrated to me how critical public access is today more than ever to inform, teach, empower, entertain or heal. In order for the Media Center to continually support the voices of your community – without filters, without judgment, without rhetoric – we need your support. Please donate. The time is now! Every voice and every dollar makes a difference.
I look forward to seeing you at the Media Center! In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you – firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Midpen’s Interim Executive Director, visit Debbie’s website.