Dec05_590What do you say when words just don’t do the trick? Well, such would be the case for Operation HOPE’s own Rachael Doff, my trusted right arm aide of 13 years, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for the organization, and chief of staff for me.

Rachael Doff, who we all lovingly refer to as the "Doffinator" within the Operation HOPE family, is actually very shy. As a result, many who have spoken with her by telephone or dealt with her over the Internet, have never actually met or seen her. Well, Rachael is here, featured in this very special photo from our 2005 holiday party at our home, 4th to the right or left, take your pick (smile).

If you joined us over the holidays for our holiday festivities, attended our 2005 national organizational retreat, received the recently produced "No More Katrina" CD, attended the grand opening of our new HOPE Center in Anacostia, Washington, D.C., or the Day of HOPE with Andrew Young in Atlanta, read one of our stunning newsletters, attended a Bankers Bus Tour in D.C., Oakland or Los Angeles, participated in one of our leadership teleconferences (national and international), read our 2005 financial literacy report on African-American young adults, opened one of our special event invitation envelopes, attended one of our special events, been present when we hosted a Head of State or introduced Royalty to HOPE, or frankly participated in most any activity which has in some way involved me… then you have experienced either a Rachael Doff effort in total, or one supported by her and her incredible team in part; individuals such as the amazing Ilya Monroe, our in-house graphics designer, Wendy Profit (the "Profit" of HOPE) and Juana Alba. A first class team, led by a first class leader, and increasingly a very capable manager of people, resources and ideas.

Rachael Doff is my most trusted personal aide, having earned that designation the hard way — and I am so very appreciative of her leadership, her competence, her commitment, her heart, her full and complete presence, and her love for all that we do at Operation HOPE. After all, Rachael was our first employee, back in 1992, and holds the unique distinction of having both taken a message for Stevie Wonder (which she admits to), and placing former President Ronald Reagan on hold (which she doesn’t admit to).

We love you Mrs. Rachael Doff. We love you. And thank you.

P.S. And a very special thank you to Charlie Doff, her loving and committed husband, and a former employee of Operation HOPE, and her entire family. Without your support of Rachael, she could not in turn support us, and me.

Onward, with HOPE

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