Tag: New Year

Prism Group Welcomes Vanessa Francingues to the Office Team!

As we enter the New Year, the Prism Team is bidding a bittersweet farewell to our behind-the-scenes “jack-of-all-trades,” Cindy, as she leaves the workforce to be able to spend more time with her grandchildren. 

If you’ve visited our offices, you’ve seen (and felt!) the effects of Cindy’s magic touch— from her seasonal decor and lunchtime set up, to keeping all our amenities stocked and ensuring every person who enters the building feels welcome and comfy— but her efforts extend well beyond what meets the eye. Cindy, like everyone here at Prism, has those wonderful qualities that you can’t name but that you know when you feel them, and she gave the same special touches to our office, our clients, and our business. She will be missed!

As endings go, however, a new beginning is in store. We are overjoyed to have Vanessa Francingues, our resident Spanish interpreter, join our team full-time this February. Vanessa will remain interpreting (thank goodness— Alan, Sean & Michelle were a little nervous to learn Spanish!) but between mediations, she’ll fill Cindy’s role and continue to tag-team with our out-of-office creative team member, Emily.

Keep reading to learn more about Vanessa and join us in giving her a warm welcome to the Prism family!

How long have you been with Prism & how did you find your way here?

I have been working with the Prism Group for approximately 3 ½ years. I met Alan interpreting for a mediation in New Orleans and we worked so well together that I knew instantly that this was a company I wanted to do more work with in the future.

What do you enjoy contributing to the Prism Team? 

I enjoy being able to facilitate communication and understanding for the Mediators and their Hispanic clientele.

What/how does being a part of the Prism Team add to your life?

Being part of the Prism Team has given me a sense of pride, personally and professionally, that I am truly helping the limited-English speaking clients navigate and understand what could be an intimidating and confusing legal process.

What have you learned from the mediation business that has been helpful in navigating your own life challenges?

I have learned that in order to see eye to eye at the end of the day, there needs to be a true understanding of the situation at hand, patience, empathy, and compromise.

What is your favorite way to spend your time outside of work?

Now that my husband, Wayne, and I are empty-nesters, we really enjoy going on date nights, trying different restaurants, and getting together with friends who are also empty-nesters. 

How many kids do you have and where are they in life?

We have one daughter, Alexandra, who is 19 this July and is a sophomore at LSU, studying business finance. 

What are you reading and/or watching right now? 

Unfortunately, I am not reading as much as I would like to be, but we have recently finished Netflix during the pandemic. In all seriousness, I enjoy watching psychological thrillers and murder mysteries.

Any recommendations?

We recently finished Mare of Easttown, with Kate Winslet. Unfortunately, it was so good that we stayed up until 3 a.m., on a weeknight, in order to finish it. Another recent favorite was Your Honor, filmed in New Orleans, starring Bryan Cranston. I am currently attempting to get my husband into The American Horror Story Series, but he is resisting a little.

What famous or well-known individual would you most like to meet and have a conversation?

I would have loved to have met and had a conversation with Princess Diana. I have always admired her quiet strength and grace in the midst of public and private scrutiny. I feel like she could have given great advice to young women of today facing adversity.

A Year of Reflection

A Year of Reflection graphic

Reflection can be defined as:

  • the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it
  • a thing that is a consequence of or arises from something else
  • serious thought or consideration
  • an image seen in a mirror or shiny surface

2020 has been a year ripe for reflection—in all senses of the word.

At the end of a year, many might prefer not to reflect, but it is precisely this eagerness to move on from 2020 as quickly as possible that seems to make the need to reflect even more essential. 

When we look at what “reflection” actually means, it’s nice to note that it does not involve absorption; when we look back, we need not absorb the feelings and fears of the last year of new normals, division and disease. However, to refuse reflection in an attempt to forget is to pass up an incredible opportunity to learn, appreciate, and grow.  

In some ways, 2020 may very well be perceived as a year of terrible awfuls, but measured by another standard—the standard of life lessons and learnings—it was a year of abundance. May we see the value in looking back without absorbing on a year of significant challenge as well as great learning.

The reflections produced by 2020—the things we will take with us into 2021 and beyond—can also be valuable assets should we allow them to be such. So many things have arisen from this year. It would be foolish not to embrace and explore all of the things brought to our awareness and reflected in the way we live in the coming year. 

Perhaps the toughest reflection of 2020 is the third kind: the serious thought and consideration forced upon us all by not only various national and worldly conflicts, but even conflicts within the walls of our own homes and hearts for some. 

It is perhaps our own reflection—the image seen staring back at us in the mirror—that has caused us the most challenging “serious thought and consideration.” 2020 has been an ever-present mirror for us, a constant opportunity to look at who we are and how we live, to face our choices—past and present—and confront realities that have always been there, but might have conveniently slipped into the background of our lives.

 2020—a year of reflection in so many ways.

 But what a gift, though maybe not the one we had imagined. Perhaps this type of gift is “the new normal” after all.