Elena Brondolo – Cross-Country Adventure
For Healthcare Management Professional
Written By coWORKer Linda Jay
Elena Brondolo is a newbie from New York who landed in Petaluma – and at WORK — just three months ago. Friendly, open, soft-spoken and good-humored, Elena and her partner Kyle had been living in New York City, where Elena is from, post-graduate school, looking for jobs.
During their last semester of graduate school, the pair decided to move all of their classes to online coursework and take a three-month cross-country road trip. “My dad helped us buy an old van. Then Kyle, my dad, and my brother-in-law spent weeks gutting the van and built out an amazing home on wheels! I tried to help by making sure we always had delicious sandwiches to eat. I love to cook for people!” Elena recalls.
They set off at the end of September 2017, and eventually ate – and camped – their way through 30 states. On the trip, there were challenges: Kyle and Elena had to pull over and finish term papers by the side of the road, manage multiple time zones for group chats of projects, and find quiet spots to take exams.
After Kyle was recruited for a position at World Centric in Petaluma, the couple (and their dog, Marbles) found themselves driving across the country in the van again, just three weeks after returning to start a brand-new adventure. “My whole family is back on the East Coast, and I miss them tremendously,” Elena remarks. “I have never not lived in New York before, so the separation is a little difficult. Here in California, it’s just Kyle, myself, and Marbles.”
“Marbles, a great dog, is a plott hound mix (we think). She would really prefer just to eat cheese all day and have her belly rubbed. Marbles had a lot of trouble adjusting when we first moved here, but she has finally settled into our new apartment.”
Elena’s professional areas of expertise are team development, change management, and organizational development. She observes, “I love working with a team of physicians – one of the most fun and challenging populations to do change management with. My favorite job was working at Columbia University Medical Center, in collaboration with New York Presbyterian Hospital, to create culture change and improve emergency department patient flow. In this role, I was helping to manage a large initiative. I got hands-on experience in mapping workflow, negotiating resources, and working with a team of incredibly smart and dedicated people. My mentor and the whole team made it such fun to work there, and we learned so much.”
In New York, Elena started a small consulting group that worked on addressing collaboration issues among researchers. She comments, “I’d love to start something similar here, and create collaboration and growth opportunities for coWORKers! I’m so grateful I came across WORK, and Natasha. Coming to WORK has made the transition from East Coast to West Coast a lot easier. It’s helping me build a community.”
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