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Ann Inspiration to Us

jlamb1
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Carrie Underwood, Jessica Simpson...Watch out for Ann Hafertepe! Ann's Birthday Celebration Although I'm more interested in Dallas Cowboy QB Tony Romo's "on the field" success than his "off the field" romance, I do have a suggestion for him. Have lunch with Ann Hafertepe instead of Jessica or Carrie. You will never be the same.   Ann is an inspiration to our Department.  Ann was born with Downs Syndrome and moved in with her sister, Karen, who works in the OnBoarding Department.  Ann is very task oriented and loves to work on routine projects.  She would occasionally come to work with Karen for a few hours and assist her sister with various duties.  It was quickly determined that Ann could be a big help to this department by assembling New Hire packets and stuffing anniversary cards.  Now every Wednesday, Ann bounces into the HDQ proudly wearing her Southwest I.D. around her neck. She has her own cubicle complete with her self-proclaimed title, "Team Captain." There is no bigger fan of Southwest (or Tony Romo when he is on a run) than Ann.  When the Wright Amendment legislation was officially signed into law, Ann called our Director of OnBoarding out of a meeting to declare, "We need to all wear matching T-shirts, have a BIG 'OL CAKE, and make a toast!"   I see Ann every so often scurry around from one part of the Department to another, delivering an envelope or putting together new hire packets. She always has an ear-to-ear grin on her face. (See Ann at her recent birthday celebration above.)  
13 Comments
Leah4
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Oh, wow! What a great story, Jeff! That's so neat-it really is. I LUV it! 🙂
Frank_Kachurak
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Way to go Ann! Another great example of how one person can move a boulder, but a whole team can move a mountain! That's why I am so proud to be a SouthWest customer!
Leah4
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Do you have many people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing who work for SWA? I'm curious, because I majored in Deaf Services and minored in Interpreting. Thanks, Ann & all the SWA employees! Keep up the great work. I LUV you all! Southwest is definitely my favorite airline! 🙂
FriendofBlogBoy
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Jeff, My compliments to the people who not only originally allowed Ann to accompany Karen, but also to the ones with the wisdom and powers of observation to recognize that you had a true gem in your midst! One of the biggest challenges that many managers face is identifying talent, nurturing it and then channeling it in a direction that is both beneficial to the company but also mutually rewarding to the individual. It is very obvious that Ann is a HUGE asset to the HDQ staff, for the output of work that she generates, but even more importantly, for the output of goodwill and joy that she generates and spreads throughout the building! Just one more reason that whenver I've been to HDQ, there is one song that I am reminded of. It is definitely true that "LUV is in the air", literally as the 737s rumble off the nearby concrete at Dallas Love Field but also figuratively in your own building. Thank you for sharing her story, Jeff, and Ann, THANK YOU for ALL that you do! Kim 🙂
Francisco_Delga1
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Nice story.. What a blessed company to have Ann as one of their employees. Keep up the good work. Francisco
Jeff_Lamb
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Thanks for all the wonderful comments about our "Team Captain" Ann. She is so special.
Jenny4
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Hey Jeff, I know you guys can assist in building houses in seven days as well as restoring faith in humanity...so getting Ann a lunch date with Tony Romo should be a cinch! She is obviously hard working and dedicated. She brightens the office and shares her enthusiasm! Gosh, can't think of a cooler way to say "you go girl" than to let her dine with someone she LUVS! (I;m serious, someone should make this happen - if not lunch, at least a meet and greet)! Ann is an inspiration to us all and I can't thank you enough for sharing her story with us and proves we are only limited by the hurdles we place before ourselves. The message here is clear, Ann has found a place that understands her strengths and encourages her to do her best. We should all try to do the same, no matter what task is placed before us. I think you are right - if Tony Romo could spend time with Ann, he'd see what makes a woman "real" and sincere. A heart of gold. A can do attitude. A sense of family and a LUV of CAKE!!!! :) Jenny Frasco (can I be a BLOG GAL?)
dave_mackay
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I continually look for short inspiring stories...... I use a google alert for that purpose...... and today this blog appeared in the alert....... I am so impressed with the initial blog , the writer and the comments.... I will be sure to pass this along to others..... this is excellent..... Thank you for brightening my weekend dave
Jeff_Lamb
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Blog gal, You are so right. We'll have to put our minds to it. Ann luvs the encouragement. I'll make sure she reads your "go girl" comment. Thank you. Jeff
Jeff_Lamb
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Dave, With all the winter weather around the country this weekend, your posting brightened mine as well. Thanks.
kelli-bartlett-
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Jeff, Your story simply warmed my heart. Another example of why I feel proud to work for this company! Please let Ann know her fan club is growing. I LOVE ANN!
Jeff_Lamb
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Kelli, I did. Thank YOU! Jeff
Pam13
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Loved this little story!!!! Obviously, you all are focusing on Ann's Abilities rather than her DISability. I have a 14 yo son who is disabled with something similar to Down syndrome. It's "Down" not "Down's", by the way. My late husband and I had an only child born w/DS; unfortunately she died of the heart defect that frequently comes with the syndrome, at age 6. But wow, was she ever a little personality. Ann, you go girl!