Family is not measured by the numbers and love is not measured by the years. For certain, these things can only be measured by the heart. And for Gail Donohue — one of nine siblings in childhood and a mother of four in adulthood — even her heart can barely be measured.
But perhaps Gail's story is best told from the beginning.
Growing up, Gail was a drama kid, which she loved because theater was all about community and getting young people involved in something they were passionate about. In high school, she met her husband during their performance in Grease; she was Sandy and he was Kenickie.
Twenty-eight years and four kids later, the Donohues are still going strong.
And, in a way, the theater-lover in Gail is still coming into play.
“To me, being an Area Director is all about community,” said Gail. “It’s all about bringing a smile to those I meet and making people feel valued. I remember a resident telling me she came home after a tough day of work to find our publication had just arrived featuring her as Athlete of the Month. Her day instantly turned around and she couldn’t wait to send a copy to her parents overseas. I love building relationships and friendships and connecting people. It comes naturally to me. What makes me happy is seeing the friendships that start when I’m at events -- two guys who were strangers at the beginning walking out at the end making golf plans.”
But before you can understand what Gail does for her work and why it’s important, you have to understand who Gail is for her family and why that means so much to her.
"Family is what I treasure most in my life," said Gail. "My kids, my marriage... those have always been my most important priorities."
Above, Gail's four kids.
Before N2, Gail was in Field Sales at Scholastic Book Fairs, which she enjoyed except for the travel. To Gail, it was important to be home when her kids came home from school.
“My husband actually saw the job opening for the Area Director position, and he said, ‘You’ve always dreamed of having your own business, and I think you have a lot of the skills needed for this opportunity.’ I was attracted to the mission of N2 and I love working for a company with similar values to mine. Having your own business is all about hard work. What you put into it is what you get out.”
Today, Gail lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and high-school-aged son and daughter. Her oldest girls are close by at George Mason University. And next month, Gail will celebrate her official two-year anniversary with N2.
“I’m just incredulous. The two years I’ve been doing this have been wonderful for our family. We've been able to increase what we give back to the community, have made some needed home improvements and are looking forward to traveling to Italy this summer. I am especially excited about this as I haven’t been back to Europe since 1991 when my husband served as an Army Officer in Germany. I have always wanted to travel overseas with my kids and because of N2 we are fortunate enough to have this opportunity.”
Think you'd like to work alongside people like Gail? Check out our open positions here.