Our RDF Familia Reunites
Last month, the Raza Development Fund Familia reunited in-person for the first time in over a year. It was a momentous occasion full of smiles, hugs and a bit of work.
“RDF prides itself in pursuing staff relations as a Familia. With COVID-19, those relational bonds were difficult to live out virtually. Words cannot express the delight to finally connect with our colleagues and extend our heartfelt abrazos and joy to finally meet again in person,” says Francisca Montoya, RDF’s Director of Community Development & Special Projects.
Just like many working teams and family members, our Familia has relied on virtual platforms to stay connected this past year. Together, we have all been working remotely as we’ve monitored the national and local health updates during the pandemic. While it was a change, it wasn’t a setback. We’ve continued to grow as an organization efficiently maximizing our projects and support we provide to our communities. Every other week, we enjoy a staff meeting and see faces in our Zoom screens as we catch up on major projects.
But this time we walked into the same meeting space and shared tables. Although technology is a great tool, we all realized how much we’ve missed each other’s company. Per usual, we took time to catch up on general projects and organizational updates.
And we had the opportunity to truly meet new faces! Over the past year, RDF has welcomed quite a few new team members who have onboarded completely over Zoom, like Pedro Chaves, RDF’s Senior Credit Underwriter.
“It was invigorating to meet the members of the Familia in-person. It was delightful to reinforce the bond that we had built through online meetings and professional collaboration,” Pedro says.
Of course, we couldn’t leave out our out-of-state Familia who support RDF’s East Coast Region, Pacific Northwest Region and South-Central Region offices who joined us via Zoom.
We will have the opportunity to be with our extended team members though in August for our four-day all-staff retreat focusing on strategic planning and organizational development. We even planned some time to include all of our home families.
To prepare for the retreat, each of us were provided with a copy of the book ‘The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement For Life’ as a guide for individual growth.
“It is helping me figure out my mission, my goals in life,” Marina White, RDF’s Front Office Administrative Assistant says. “So far, The Path has put a lot of things in perspective for me. Thank you, Tom, and all the team that is helping to put together this fantastic retreat for us.”
We wrapped up and said, “see you soon.” This meeting was only a preview to many in-person meetings to come as we prepare to move into RDF’s new headquarters in the heart of South Phoenix this fall. We are also already planning for our Christmas Posada gathering in December where we celebrate the holiday with our families.