Introducing … Joanna Roche, Development Associate

If you’ve ever planned a large party or event, you know the onslaught of details and tasks that occupy the final days before everything falls right into place. It’s inevitable. RVNAhealth Development Associate, Joanna Roche, knows all about this — especially this week as the RVNAhealth philanthropy team puts the finishing touches on this Saturday’s Autumn Dinner.

Nonetheless, Joanna, a true team player, took time from her busy and varied day to share her story.  Read on … it’s a good one.

Where did you grow up and where do you reside now?
I was fortunate to have had a very enriching childhood. I was born in Paris and from there lived in Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua, and Malaysia. At the age of 18, I had the opportunity to work and live in New York. After that, my life took a dramatic turn. After many flights across the Atlantic, between London and New York, my future husband brought me back to the States. Some 27 years later, I currently reside in the tiny rural town of Sherman, CT.

What brought you to RVNA?
A change of career! My husband and I founded a small media communications agency. After 18 successful years running our own business, it became time for me to find my own career path. An acquaintance spoke highly of RVNAhealth and encouraged me to apply for a job in the Development office. I soon realized I had found my calling working in Development and Fundraising.

What is your role at RVNA?
I am a Development Associate, providing support to MJ Heller, Director of Philanthropy and Alice Meenan, Director of Donor Relations. I assist with donor cultivation, acquisition of new donors, donor retention, and I solicit donations through fundraising events, mailings and direct donor engagement. I also coordinate the execution of annual fund appeals, manage/maintain our donor database, and prepare daily correspondence to thank our donors, and keep the department organized and on track!

How long have you worked at RVNA?
I joined RVNAhealth three and a half years ago in February 2015.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I really enjoy developing and maintaining donor relationships. This requires reaching out to donors thanking them for their donations. A phone call usually leads to why they support RVNAhealth and I hear their gratitude for the wonderful care they receive from our clinicians and caregivers and how they deeply value RVNAhealth and our mission.  At RVNA, our donors are also partners and friends and that makes my role a very nice one.

Did you ever consider being a nurse?
No, but I really admire those that have chosen this profession.

What do you love to do when you’re not working?
I love relaxing at home, taking my dog for a walk, seeing friends, going out to a great restaurant.

What is your hidden talent?
Hmmm that’s a tough one – I have a knack for remembering strings of numbers, like credit card numbers and phone numbers. Odd but true!

What would you do if you won the lottery?
Travel the world. Have another home in England to spend more time with my family, and maybe a villa in France or Italy that produces wine.

Do you have a favorite RVNAhealth moment or story?
I do. I have an absolutely fabulous RVNAhealth story to share, but you’ll have to come to the Autumn Dinner this Saturday to hear it.  You’re going to love it!

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