An interview with Bonnie Brennan
An interview with Bonnie Brennan
Q: What is your biggest achievement in your life thus far?
A: I think the thing I’m most proud of is maximizing every day… with work, family or friends or service and taking every moment to live in that space.
I come from a large Irish Catholic Family and supporting others is very important… like Calvary, it’s very easy because you see the biggest benefits. It’s not like you are writing a check that goes into a black hole. You guys do a beautiful job with the stories and how your contribution makes an immediate impact. It’s a blessing and it’s wonderful.
It’s the same at the other organization I’m involved with – Cristo Ray – you see the immediate impact of the gift.
Q: What inspires you? What is your mantra?
A: A couple things, solving problems and helping people daily. I deal with families at the challenging times in their lives …the clients I’m focusing on have a complicated road ahead because they are dealing with the loss of a loved one …but the tangibles have to be sold for tax requirements. I have to be a compassionate service provider and I really want to do well. We work in a competitive environment and we offer a great service and the opportunity to help and share what Christie’s can offer and provide for clients.
I’m inspired by the energy of people. That’s why I live in New York City. Every morning that I get up, the many people that I see or engage with throughout the day – energize me.
Q: What brought you to Calvary? How long have you been with Calvary Hospital?
A: I think it probably started 13 years ago.
In 2006, I really admired Calvary Hospital and I wanted to get involved and when I expressed interest in the PAC. I was told by Beth Kougasian that it’s important that you meet the PAC members and you take the tour. That really impressed me because it means that commitment is an important part of being involved and they want us to know what it means to be a part of this esteemed group of leaders.
I was brought on because it was a point of transition at the auction house and previously someone else was involved and it was suggested that it might be a good idea that I become a part of this organization.
Q: What do you like about the Christie’s and Attorney Conference events?
A: Christie’s and Attorney conference events are well attended. Calvary Hospital donors appreciate the opportunity to engage with great works.
Q: How do you feel about the Christie’s event vs. the Attorney Conference?
A: I’m personally connected to the Attorney Conference because there is such an amazing energy behind the conference and there is a great warmth and a sense of community with the attendees around supporting Calvary. It’s an excellent program that offers an interesting ethics course. Calvary does a great job with the panel and speakers and the judges that participate.
Q: What inspires you to continue to your commitment?
A: I think each time we gather (Attorney Conference and/or Christies’) there are new stories that are incredibly moving that are shared. It’s another direct connection for the community.
Paul Rosenberg is a dear friend and hearing his story about how his wife ‘Chickie’ was cared for at Calvary was so moving.
I lost both my parents to cancer over the last four years. No one prepares you for that experience. My mother lived out of state (so that’s why she didn’t go to Calvary Hospital). This experience has given me more of an appreciation for what Calvary does for families every day. I have known several people that needed hospice advice and I referred them to Calvary – you guys were able to provide that guidance and insight.
The personal experience I went through with my mother at her end of life keeps me coming back. Calvary has been a solid example of what it means to care for people at the end of life. It’s very difficult work. You can’t change the outcome but you can provide the best compassion and care.
Q: How do you feel about your role in the PAC?
A: The PAC is such a smart idea… the PAC and the conference. It sets an example. Calvary has assembled a strong and dedicated team of ambassadors. I think the other brilliant ideas is the opportunity to solicit funds and it’s perfect. I think Mike Mariani and Mike J. Smith continue to be such great leaders.