Remembering Yossie A’H – By: Suzanne Simmons

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Suzanne Simmons and I am the Regional Director of Admissions and Marketing in the Central New York region.

I am pretty sure that anything and everything I say about our colleague and friend, Joe, this evening will have already been said or thought of.  Like everyone else, I loved Joe.  Through the many years of working together, just shy of 10, I always looked forward to his upstate visits and his big smile.  I also always looked forward to his calls, even if they were sometimes about fixing or asking about census.

Joe inspired all of us to work hard every day and to find that “secret sauce” that Misty so beautifully remembered in the video tribute.  And he left us, “At the end of the day” (as he always would say), feeling empowered.  He was always quick to remind us all that we were the best damn Admissions team in New York State, too.  He really was always so proud of us and genuinely celebrated our successes.

Many years ago, when we were much smaller, we upstate had got more time with Joe and how lucky we were!  As a leader, he led by example:  he encouraged us, he set goals for us, he supported us and even accompanied us to in-services and luncheons.  He always connected with his audiences, as well.  He set bets with us, he made us laugh, he brought candy, and he connected with our residents.  He was a great one to remember names, too – I was always impressed by that.  And he always left us, “At the end of the day”, happier and ready to conquer the world when he left.

Through the years, Joe and I often spoke of innovative ways to be cutting edge in the skilled nursing facility world with that master marketing mind of his.  We loved going back and forth on ideas we thought would work – some did and some didn’t.  We also talked a lot about other non- work stuff:  importance of family and faith, politics, vacation spots, and of course, Nordstrom sales.

It’s been a really hard year without him and difficult for me and my team to let him go.  He is missed every day but he gave us all something to live by in our own lives with his unique ability to connect with people, to respect people, to do for people, and, “At the end of the day”, leave people he encountered much better for having known him.

May God bless Joe, his family, and all of us.  We will never forget him.  Thank you.

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