Conversations with the CEO: Bill & Patty
These days it is common for people to move from one job to the next every few years. So when someone spends an extended amount of time, over 20 years, working at the same company it says a lot about the joy and passion the individual has for their work. It also says a lot about the organization where the person chooses to work.
In this most recent Conversation with the CEO, Bill Meier talked with Patty Eagon, Advancement Services Manager, about what it’s been like to work at Kingdom Workers for over 20 years and what she loves most about her work.
Bill: Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
Patty: First, I’ve been married to a man named Jack for about 17 years and I have nine children. I’ve been working here at Kingdom Workers for over 20 years now. I started as the office manager and now I work in development.
Bill: Patty, thanks for giving 20 years of your professional life and time to Kingdom Workers. So, what do these 20 years all mean to you with Kingdom Workers on a personal level?
Patty: Wow, yeah I have grown so much over the past 20 years. I used to be a quiet, mousy, sit-in-the-corner type person and Kingdom Workers has really helped me grow. It’s given me the confidence to be able to say, ‘I can do that.’ And so that’s what Kingdom Workers has really been beneficial in my life.
Patty Eagon, far right, has served at Kingdom Workers for over 20 years.
Bill: You saying that, I’ve got to tell a Patty story. When I first started and I was getting to know everybody, Patty, I remember you saying to me, ‘I love Kingdom Workers. I love this organization, I love the mission. I love the people, I love the volunteers, and I will do anything and everything possible to help this organization serve more people, and get more volunteers active. Except, please don’t ever ask me to get on an airplane, and I will never go see donors. I prefer to not even phone them or call them.' So, Patty, how many times have you been on an airplane in the last year?
Patty: 1,2, well I guess for everything there and back I’ve been on six or seven different airplanes.
Bill: And how many donors have you visited and seen in their homes this year?
Patty: In the last year it’s probably about 20-24 total between this year and last year. So, I’m a work in progress, Bill.
Bill: You keep doing things you announced you’d never do so I’m grateful. So speaking of airplane trips, we were together in Quito, Ecuador back in June with almost all of our co-workers from around the world. There were about 90 people there, including guests, volunteers, donors, and a lot of board directors. Just for a moment, what was your personal experience being with everyone there in Quito at our Global Gathering?
Patty: I guess the best word that comes to mind is—wow. It was so wonderful to see all of the people that I never ever would have been given the chance to meet before. It really brought the whole Kingdom Workers mission to one spot. It made me really reflect on what’s happening in Indonesia, what’s going on in Grenada, what’s going on in all of the other parts of the country—all around the world. To me it was very beneficial to be able to see that. Because you know you see things from afar and it doesn't really affect you. But then having everyone come together, it brought it all together for me.
Bill: I’m grateful that you got on an airplane and went down there. One of the fun elements of the event for me was that we recognized three volunteers and three co-workers from all different parts of the world. We recognized them and honored their work with an award called the Heart and Soul Award. Well, one of the highlights was giving you one of those Heart and Soul Awards, Patty. And I think everyone in the room, even if they hadn’t met you before, knew who you were. And they were all happy and grateful that you were recognized. You turned around and said, ‘To God be the glory and none of this would be possible if you weren’t working with me,’ which is a demonstration of your humility and gratitude and everything else about you. Anything else to add to that about being one of the first recipients of the Heart and Soul Awards at Kingdom Workers?
Patty: It was very humbling. I have always said to myself, and probably shouldn’t say this that often, but, I don’t always feel like I’m all that and a bag of chips. And it was very humbling and those who put in their vote for me to get that award, I’d like to thank them. I see myself as a team player. We all have to do this together. It’s never just one person that can make an organization grow the way it’s been growing. You know, I’m just a very small piece in a bigger world. And I just really appreciate it and it was just very humbling.
Patty was awarded the Heart and Soul award for her dedication, humility, and hard work at Kingdom Workers.
Bill: Well, we’re all just so thankful for all that you do, Patty. And not just in the here and now, but for everything you’ve done for the past 20 years.
Patty: I just love helping people. And I love seeing things grow. And if my small piece in the world can make somebody else bigger and brighter, that’s what I want to do. I want to help people grow. I want to help Kingdom Workers grow. And if I can do that in my little world, then that’s what God wants for me.
Bill: You're the person that is most often on the phone. And most often you’re speaking with the donor. And now that’s very central to your role. Can you tell us a little bit about your role in Mission Advancement and serving donors.
Patty: You said earlier before that I said I would never once call donors. And that probably is the thing I love the most at Kingdom Workers. I love it when they call me, I love it when they need help. I love calling to thank them for their gifts. It’s their hard-earned money and they chose to give it to Kingdom Workers and I am so grateful for that.
Bill: Your attitude shines through. Thank you for that level of wonderful service to all of our people.
Patty: Well it’s easy when it turns out that you love what you do.
Bill: So on that note, is there something about your work that people might not know. Is there something about your work that you wish more people knew?
Patty: Not really. I mean, like I said, I don’t need recognition for the things that I do. Anybody can come to me at any time if they need help, I am always happy to help where I can. So I just don’t need that recognition. If that’s fair to say.
Bill: Well that’s consistent with who you are, Patty. So, slightly different topic. Share how your personal faith and your relationship with Jesus has been impacted by either your position or the people you work with at Kingdom Workers, either our supporters or volunteers or coworkers. How has your faith been impacted by Kingdom Workers?
Patty: Extraordinarily impacted by the people I work with. My prayer life has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. My faith has just become stronger. We have bible study every week and that alone uplifts me. I can’t even put into words how much my faith has grown over the last 20 years, and is still growing. Every day I’ve got questions, and every day I pray. And I’ll tell you the Lord just answers the prayers. He just always does. My prayer life is probably one of the most important parts of my being right now. And I know I wouldn’t have that if I wasn’t working at Kingdom Workers. And I think the way I ended up getting this position, God knew what I needed when I needed it. And being here 20 years, it’s the longest position I’ve ever had. And He’s continuing to bless me, He just has.
Bill: Just to note for everybody. You and your husband Jack are very active members at Pilgrim Lutheran church. I know Kingdom Workers isn’t a church but it’s still part of God’s family. I know that your time and energy and worship with Pilgrim and your time and energy here at Kingdom Workers they all feed off each other. And I’m grateful God has connected you in all these ways. Patty, is there anything you wanted to share about that I didn’t ask?
Patty: No, not really. I mean I just keep going back to how blessed I am. And how the Lord has blessed Kingdom Workers. I just keep saying I can’t believe how much we’ve grown and how much God has blessed us. Beyond even my wildest imaginations. And then I stop myself and I say, ‘Why are you so amazed?’ God is in control.
Bill: Yeah, God is great. So, Patty I’ve never done this before. Is there anything you’d like to ask me on the spot?
Patty: Oh I wish you had given me a little warning.
Bill: Well that would defeat the purpose if you had time to plan.
Patty: Oh I wish I could come up with something but this is where my brain shuts down. I know I’ll think of something later. I guess I’ll just take some time because I remember when you first came on board you were, and maybe I’ll embarrass you now, but you were like the last applicant to apply. And then you were late to your interview. And they hired you anyways. And I just know that as the Lord saw what was going to go on with Kingdom Workers, there’s very few people who I think could have done what you’ve done in the last 11 or 12 years. So I personally would like to thank you. You’ve been a great boss, a great friend, a great co-worker.
Bill: It’s all mutual, Patty. None of this would have happened without the two of us working together with a lot of other great people. Well, thanks so much Patty, you’re a blessing to all of us. God’s used you to do so many wonderful things. And He’s used you to do things that bless tens of thousands of people around the world.
Patty: To God be the glory.