Today is December 15, 2019 -
I spent 13 years running Federation’s accounting department before moving over to the corner office. My first task as CEO, therefore, was backfilling the hole that my promotion left.
Enter Gail Kendall. Before the paint dried on my new office door, Gail called me to see if there could be a part-time place for her in the vacant accounting department. She was looking to wrap up her career with a slower-paced, part-time, flexible job that would be less stressful than the demands on a large synagogue executive director. With also part-time Jessica Benson, CPA, we put together an amazing team that has elevated the department to new heights. Under their watch, annual audit and IRS filings were completed earlier than ever before, and Gail closed a whole bunch of projects that I had opened during my tenure as CFO. Yesterday, Gail retired and I am incredibly grateful for her five years of dedicated service.
I met Gail when her youngest child and my oldest child started at Temple Israel’s nursery school together more than 20 years ago. They went on to Hebrew Academy and then Albany High School together, and Gail and I have remained in touch.
Gail moved from Boston to Albany in 1990 and spent time as the Director of Finance at the Albany Institute of History & Art. She served as Executive Director of Congregation Gates of Heaven and then Congregation Beth Emeth. She has served in various volunteer capacities at Hebrew Academy, Temple Israel, B’Nai Sholom Reform Congregation, Congregation Beth Emeth, and various secular organizations.
I think that Gail’s first post-retirement project is to assist with the moving of Hebrew Academy to its new home in Congregation Beth Emeth. After that? Whatever she does, she will bring her skills and passion, and she will be amazing. I thank her for calling me on exactly the right day five years ago and being a great colleague. I congratulate her on her retirement and wish her well in future endeavors.