Remembering a Remarkable Leader and a cherished Friend

Last month, the UMA family mourned the passing of Debbie Reed, President/CEO of Chaddock. Debbie was a long-time champion of UMA and EAGLE, serving as both a UMA board chair and chair of the EAGLE Accreditation Commission. Beyond her professional dedication to UMA, Debbie was also a colleague, mentor and friend to many UMA members across the country. Comments made on the tribute wall of her obituary honored her influence both personally and professionally. Indeed, her vast knowledge, her inspirational leadership and her enthusiastic zest for life have impacted more people than perhaps she ever imagined. 

One of the biggest themes in the memories and stories shared about Debbie was the relationships she helped to foster and the relationships she nurtured with others. I was blessed to have had a relationship with Debbie that stretched beyond several decades. It was Debbie who connected me to UMA, encouraged me to become certified as an EAGLE peer reviewer and enthusiastically supported me when I left Chaddock to join the UMA staff as the Director of the EAGLE Accreditation Program. 

Through EAGLE, I have developed incredible relationships with new friends across UMA – colorful relationships, candid relationships and comforting relationships especially in the past four weeks. Relationships were primary for Debbie and relationships are at the heart of what makes EAGLE so valuable and meaningful. In the year ahead, I challenge you to make the most of your EAGLE relationships. Whether serving on an EAGLE team, supporting the accreditation process at your own organization or by deepening connections with EAGLE colleagues at the upcoming UMA Annual Meeting. 

While we continue to pray for both Debbie’s family and the Chaddock family during this difficult time, we must also give thanks for the relationships she planted for each of us. For it is the harvest of our relationships that will honor her legacy. 

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