The clock says it’s time to share something beyond press releases. Asleep at midnight, awake at 3:30. I can only conclude my body wants me to post on this topic about a dearly departed friend and coworker before it will let me go back to sleep. Fair enough. She earned that and more. So here goes.
A few hours ago, I had the pleasure of sitting in the Lynnwood Convention Center and watching a tribute
to Cindy Gallanger. The Snohomish Big Brothers Big Sisters at their annual Dream Builders Auction honored her for service. Cindy passed away in March after a couple of long bouts with cancer. Cindy was a hero to her colleagues and friends, as you’ll read in a moment.
I’m no top executive at Comcast, but whenever I approached Cindy with a customer concern or issue, I felt like the center of her world as she relentlessly drilled down to what was going on. Cindy was the vice president in charge of the three Washingon state call centers, which take and initiate thousands of calls every day. She had a relentless drive for better customer service, which is a challenge when you supervise 1,000 people of different levels of experience, and factor in everchanging technology and offerings, 1.1 million customers who live in homes each of which is a little bit different, and complex customer questions and concerns. Whatever the challenge, she called people to the highest standard, and always with a smile. She was the voice of the customer. Cindy’s a big chunk of the reason why when Comcast measures customer satisfaction, the state of Washington does pretty darn well.
Anyway … she was also on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters. They decided to name an award after her. It was nice to see them talk about this with her husband Mike in the room, and many coworkers. This is what Molly Ringo, board chair, had to say. I found it fascinating that if you substitute the concept of customer service for Big Brothers Big Sisters in the following remarks, you get the same sense of what Cindy did at Comcast. Molly’s words pretty much sums up what we’d all say about Cindy here at Comcast too, except for the unspoken words said by the heart:
“This year we dedicate our 2010 Dream Builders Auction to our beloved board member and hero Cindy Gallanger, who lost her battle with breast cancer earlier this year.
“An Everett native, Cindy joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters board in 2005 and immediately plunged into fundraising for the agency, strengthening the parnership betwee BBBS and her employer, Comcast. Cindy’s vivacious personality was infectious. There was ALWAYS a smile on her face. Her enthusiasm for mentoring and BBBS motivated others to increase their level of involvement and giving.
“You could not say no to Cindy.
“Whatever the event – the Dream Builders Auction, Bowl for Kids Sake or the Invest in Youth Campaign – Cindy made sure that BBBS was well-supported by herself and by Comcast. She took a leadership role in the auction, often serving as chair of the committee.
“She made organization out of chaos, kept everyone on task, and boosted our confidence even in the face of impossible deadlines.
“She was our hero.
“Cindy believed mentoring works. She knew that sometimes it does take a village to raise a child and she did everything she could to make sure that there would be Bigs waiting for Littles (Walter note – that last phrase means “that there would be enough adults to mentor children.” There are more than 100 kids in Snohomish County on the waiting list for mentors and friends)
“Cindy’s involvement and presence on the board is missed. In recognition of Cindy’s passion and commitment to Big Brothers Big Sisters she is being recognized in two ways today.
“First, a flag has been flown today over the US Capitol in Washington DC in Cindy’s honor, and that flag will be presented to Mike Gallanger and members of their family.
“And secondly, to carry on her legacy, we have renamed our Auction Award in her honor. The award recognizes the individual who is the greatest contributor to the Dream Builders Auction.”
It’s very heartwarming that as the years pass, Big Brothers Big Sisters will remind everyone of the memory of Cindy Gallanger. Those who knew her at the company won’t forget her either.