A Family Affair: Working and Thriving Together at The Hickman
January 15, 2024
Part of the “It’s a Family Affair at The Hickman” Series
It’s not often that you find a place to work that you love so much that you want to recruit those you know to work there, too. The Hickman is one of those places; not only does its close-knit atmosphere attract employees who want to stay, but it is truly a family affair for over a dozen of its employees! Indeed, pairs of parents, children, sisters, aunts, nieces, and grandchildren are represented across nearly every department at The Hickman; what a testament, to just how much working at The Hickman not only feels like family but is family!
When I sat down to chat with Melissa Abraham and her aunt, Cathleen Helmuth, about their experience working together at The Hickman, what I heard was a story about legacy, compassion, and teamwork. Melissa, who works as Executive Assistant/Business Manager, had already been working at The Hickman when a position became available in the Advancement department that she felt was perfect for Cathleen. Unbeknownst to her, Cathleen had already given her notice to her prior employer with the plan to take a little time off before searching for a new job. In a coincidental sequence of events that they look back on now as perfect timing, Cathleen decided to look into this position at The Hickman a little more. “I really had no intention of finding a job so soon, and I never thought I would be looking at a job in healthcare at that,” Cathleen shared. “I know Melissa well, and if The Hickman is a good fit for her and is a place where she’s happy, it must be worth my consideration.”
Melissa described their family’s long-time connection to Quaker Hill, which was a factor in her decision to leave her prior job and join The Hickman. “My [late] grandmother worked as Secretary at the Meetinghouse and volunteered at the Friends School when I was a little girl. I remember spending time with her in her office as a child, so being back here again years later is really special.” Her grandmother also lived at The Hickman for a short time, yet another tie to the beautiful Quaker campus and one that played a role in Cathleen’s decision to apply for the Marketing and Events Manager position.
Both Melissa and Cathleen touted the genuine, caring nature of the staff at The Hickman. “The staff are so compassionate. They really care about each other and the residents. It’s a safe and supportive environment that encourages creativity and thinking outside the box,” said Cathleen. “It’s easily been the happiest year of my career.”
So, what’s it really like working with a family member? “We’ve grown closer since working together,” said Cathleen, “and being in different departments, we do our own thing.” Melissa agreed, sharing that “[Cathleen and I] can always go to each other, but The Hickman is just like that anyway; we’re all a team here.”
Hearing the stories of how Melissa and Cathleen came to work at The Hickman, it’s plain to see how so many of its staff want their loved ones to experience being a part of this family, as well—a family that has fun, supports each other, and shows the utmost compassion towards the residents who live here.