One of the key roles in the operation of ABC, as in any other nonprofit or for-profit business, is the person who “manages” the executive director or chief executive officer. I’d like to introduce you to my ‘boss’ – Lucy Bruno.
Lucy came to ABC last summer with prior work experience that includes serving as a personal assistant and a flight attendant for about 10 years. She was one of the chief international flight service managers for Continental Airlines on over 400 flights from Newark, New Jersey to various cities around the world, including Milan, Paris, Madrid, London, Tel Aviv, Munich, Copenhagen, and Honolulu. During the time she worked for Continental she also worked at the Vatican assisting the Webmaster under Pope John Paul II, translating letters and statements to the public on the Vatican’s official Web site. After Continental, Lucy worked for the Palestinian Ambassador at the United Nations in New York during the Summit Meetings after September 11, 2001.
Born in Sicily, Lucy speaks 5 languages: English, Italian, Spanish, French, and some German. These language skills make her invaluable in much of her communications for ABC, especially since we have so many members in countries all over the world. (Now, if she could only learn Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian……)
Lucy has a great attitude about her role at ABC; she throws herself into her work and takes on as many tasks and responsibilities as she can. And she does so with a positive attitude and a great sense of humor. (Whenever I want to try out a new line for an upcoming speech, I often start with Lucy. However, she laughs at almost everything, so I don’t know if this is really the best way to test new lines!)
Lucy’s duties are manifold. She handles all of my appointments, conference calls, media interviews, invitations to speak at conferences, and travel arrangements (airplane, hotel, car rental, etc.) for all staff. She is the main interface with my communications with members of the ABC Board of Trustees (BOT), Advisory Board, and Director’s Circle. She also takes the minutes of all BOT meetings and prepares the agenda and documents for BOT meetings. She is our key event planner, e.g., for the ABC’s annual American Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony, which we hold in Anaheim, California as part of the Nutracon and Natural Products Expo West.
Lucy also handles many other administrative functions for the organization. These include keeping track of media inquiries, issuing press releases and ABC member advisories, coordinating the shipment of educational materials to conferences, and many more items, too numerous and detailed to list here.
There’s recently been a big change in Lucy’s life: the birth of her baby Vittoria Maria. We may redecorate Lucy’s office so that Vittoria can join us at ABC and begin to learn about herbs early in life!