Hayley’s 5 years!

Last week we surprised Hayley at the end of a Board meeting with a little party to celebrate her fifth anniversary with Baobab Tree. Many friends showed up from Baobab’s past and present. Hayley de Bie started as our office manager in February 2006 when the office was still in my house and our rehearsals and classes were at Fisher Park Community Centre. Hayley’s position was generously funded in the beginning  by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. We knew we were getting a top-notch administrator with strong financial skills, but we lucked out with her amazing people skills and love for the Ghanaian drumming world. She accompanied us to Ghana at her own expense that first year, just to gain the insight into what gives us inspiration, and what helps us keep going through tough times. She is one of those people who just gets the job done, no matter what it takes. And it takes ALL kinds of skills! Organizing volunteers, sorting silent auction items, putting towels down under leaky ceilings, driving the drum van on tours, picking up kids when needed, chatting with audience members and families, putting up posters, learning about new social media, lugging Cocoa Camino chocolate in and out of the studio, not to mention dealing with government financial forms and keeping up to date with charity laws! She knows how to connect with our students, adults and kids, their parents, and she knows to keep clear of me on stressful concert days!  Simply put, it feels like Hayley has been part of the Tree for a long time…we can’t imagine it without her!  You’ve probably talked with her on the phone for registering for our programs, you may have seen her bopping in the back of our concerts, but whatever the case, everyone in the community has benefited from her positive and skillful presence. Here are a few pics of her time with us so far and a few comments from her…
“Baobab is a terrific community to be included in.  I have really enjoyed working with every person involved with us.  It is always lots of fun to be around each and every one of you.  You all bring unique qualities to our community which makes it a very exciting place to be.”

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