A little more than one year after opening the doors of the hospital to its first patient, hundreds of new and recent hires at The Woodlands attended their first Mark A. Wallace New Employee Pep Rally – waving red pompoms and foam fingers, nodding along to classic dance music, noshing on refreshments and enjoying the opportunity to meet, greet and even snap photos with Mr. Wallace himself.
Modeled after the Texas Children’s Hi new employee orientation, the energetic pep rally format has replaced the more traditional reception that Mr. Wallace has hosted for decades. The rally gives new employees the chance to become better acquainted with Texas Children’s and connect with executives and leaders in an informal and festive atmosphere.
“Mr. Wallace is really personable and everyone is so down to earth,” said Nicole Bolden, an ambulatory service representative II in Developmental Therapy who attended the rally with her colleague, Adina Clay. “You can see why Texas Children’s has such a good culture and reputation in the community.”
With nearly 450 new employees to be celebrated at The Woodlands and his own goal to personally introduce himself to each of them, Mr. Wallace hosted two rallies back to back.
“It means a lot to have our first pep rallies here and give our employees a warm welcome,” said Executive Vice President Michelle Riley-Brown, who also serves as President of The Woodlands. “Our first year has been phenomenal, and it’s our people and our staff who have made The Woodlands so successful for the patients and families we see every day.”
In congratulating the team for the “grand slam” success of The Woodlands thus far and describing Texas Children’s ongoing efforts to expand access and care to even more children and families at the Legacy Tower and in Austin and Central Texas, Mr. Wallace thanked the new employees for supporting each other and working so hard to meet the needs of those we serve.
He also encouraged each new employee to give serious thought to their own personal definition of leadership, reminding them of his top two maxims: that leadership always influences and determines outcomes, and that leadership applies to everyone. Leadership is the reason that Texas Children’s has grown and achieved so much in just the 29 short years since he joined the organization, he said.
“Everyone has to lead; that’s part of our culture here,” Mr. Wallace said. “You’re all leaders, not just the people with a certain title or rank. We want to create a culture of empowerment. We want to listen to you. We want your ideas. We want you to lead. This unfolding story at Texas Children’s keeps happening and we all get to be part of it.”
For Brittnie Wright, a senior administrative assistant who was part of the team that helped bring the vision for The Woodlands to life, the fun and warmth of the pep rally and meeting Mr. Wallace underscored why she enjoys being part of the Texas Children’s family.
“I genuinely love it here. I love my leaders and I love my co-workers,” Wright said. “There’s a certain pride when people see you with that Texas Children’s badge because it stands for something. It makes me feel good to know that we are here for a purpose and we are fulfilling this purpose. We are really helping people in this community.”