Deedee and her team have been an invaluable resource to Direct on several important initiatives. Three years ago our Board engaged Deedee to lead our CEO succession effort, and more recently, to provide guidance regarding Board succession. On an ongoing basis Deedee provides detailed assessments of potential new hires, greatly improving our candidate evaluation process and our onboarding efforts. She has designed and delivered substantive training and development programs as well. These included an individual executive development curriculum for me as I made the transition from senior management to CEO, coaching and leadership training for our senior leadership and leadership teams, and a customized train the trainer program which enabled us to offer some of this content to all of our associates. Perhaps Deedeeā€™s most significant contribution has been her guidance during our organizational alignment work. Given the competitive nature of our industry, the ever-increasing need to provide our members with more value at lower cost, and the challenge of attracting and retaining highly skilled associates, organizational alignment is imperative. Three years ago our independent alignment assessment indicated that we were terribly misaligned. Today, this same assessment tells us that we are have one of the most aligned teams in the industry. Deedee played a significant role in this improvement.

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