Nominee: Nadja Mummery
Nadja Mummery, Director of Inclusion and Education, Manna on Main Street
Nominated by co-worker: Keri Fisher
Nadja wears many hats in this organization. But no matter how much is on her plate, she can always be found at 8:30am welcoming the trainees at Morning Meeting and in the classroom from 2-4pm teaching soft skills classes. Nadja has even been trained to assist in the cafe (at her insistence). Nadja has complete dedication to this organization. She is always the first to step up to help fill a hole or a vacancy on staff, while still managing to get all of her own work done. She has taken it upon herself to teach the entire culinary and Common Grounds teams the same lessons that the trainees learn so the staff can better work with and relate to the trainees. Thanks to Nadja, our entire team is on the same page and can provide the best experience for the trainees.
Nadja has been with Manna on Main Street for 13 years, and is still the most empathetic person I have ever met. She has been asked countless times to not only hold private 1:1 discussions to support trainees in their journey, but also to do the same for some staff members who are facing their own struggles. Nadja would not hesitate to work through lunch or come in early or stay late to help someone who needed her. She also has a great sense of humor and manages to make staff and trainees alike laugh and enjoy themselves even while learning about serious things.
Much of our soft skills curriculum has been created by Nadja to address the very specific needs of our trainees. She was the first to bring trauma-informed teaching to our organization, having gotten certified in her own time through Lakeside Global Institute years ago. She has since become a certified trauma instructor and now teaches those classes to others outside of Manna. While I don't have documented numbers, I do believe that Nadja's approach to teaching -- letting each trainee sit in their feelings and understand what in their life brought them to where they are today -- has greatly increased retention. Whether teaching about interviewing or teaching about transactional analysis, Nadja lets every student learn at their own pace and come to things in their own time. She has infinite patience with trainees and staff alike.