September 11, 2001.
In my workshops on change management, I share that this was the day that brought much change to my life both personally and professionally. I had been working for the United States Customs Service in Newark, New Jersey and we had offices in the Trade Center - Tower 7. On that fateful day, I had arrived at the Federal law enforcement training center in Glynco, Georgia to shadow a communications class I would be teaching.
What is now referred to as "9/11", changed my future job possibilities and current job responsibilites. September 11th was the catalyst for discussions in Congress about creating an agency that shared resources and operated more efficiently. In this new organization, communication was to be effective and information shared openly. That organization broke apart existing organizations and built a mega-agency known as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). My job offer as the Port Director in Denver, Colorado was recinded through "restructuring" and my role in my former organization had changed, as I was now part of Customs and Border Protection. In my new role, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to work with consultants and design a supervisory training program for future leaders of DHS. (I still feel extremely blessed to have worked on that team with so many talented individuals, one of whom is my husband.) What I've failed to mention thus far is that the person I was dating at the time was unaffected and unsympathetic about the events that occured on September 11th, which ended our relationship. (Thank heavens! See previous paragraph...) How anyone could have been untouched by the images on the television that day still amazes me!
Lastly, I lost my dear friend and mentor, Anthony Infante. He was a hero to me, not because he gave his life, because he gave great advice, taught me how to be a "tough" upside thinker and shared leadership lessons that will last a lifetime. Interestingly enough, two weeks before the buildings came crashing down, Tony gave me a crystal replica of the Twin Towers -- what he referred to as a touristy knick-knack. To all of the unsung heroes, like Tony, who provide leadership insight and mentoring without expecting anything in return......thank you.