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Q&A with Anna Long-Humphrey, In-House Counsel for DCI Donor Services, Inc.

Women's Initiative Newsletter

What attracted you to the in-house counsel position with DCI Donor Services?

After my son was born, I realized that the demands of a law firm career were not going to enable me to be the mom that I wanted to be. I began looking at jobs in-house, thinking that it would give me a better work-life balance. At DCI Donor Services, I found that, plus the added bonus of doing work that is meaningful.

Twenty people die every day waiting for a life-saving transplant. How can we help DCI Donor Services save lives?

The most important thing anyone can do to support organ donation is to register as a donor. This can be done when getting your driver's license, or any time by going to and signing up on your state's registry. This is the best way to ensure that you will be an organ donor if eligible. Unfortunately, many eligible donors do not register themselves, or are minors, so the decision for donation falls on the family members at death. I would encourage anyone who experiences a tragedy with a loved one to consider organ donation. On a weekly basis I hear heart-wrenching stories about donors and donor families, and on the other end of the donation process I hear heart-warming stories about recipient families who have a second chance at life. Organ donation doesn't take away the pain of the loss for the donor family, but it does bring something good out of what is otherwise a senseless tragedy.

We are all looking to increase the joy in our lives. How do you find joy in your work and in your personal life?

It's really easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day life as a working mom with young children. I try to take a step back every day, both at work and at home, to be grateful for what I have. At work, I find joy in the fact that I'm doing work that makes a difference in people's lives, and work for a company that truly values its people. My greatest joy, however, is my family. I try to spend quality time with both of my children every day, because I realize that their childhood is really so short and I don't want to have any regrets. This often means that I put off household chores and other tasks until after they go to bed, which can create some stress and late nights, but I find the trade-off worth it.

With two small children, how do you find balance during the holiday season and what are your tips for the rest of us?

Honestly, I'm still learning this. Balance is always difficult to achieve, and during the holidays it seems like an impossible task. I have learned a couple things, though, that help me. First, I start the preparations early so that I can enjoy the holiday season when it comes. I want to be fully present with my family and enjoy the holiday with them instead of stressing. My goal is always to have my shopping done before Thanksgiving (or soon after – those Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are hard to beat!). Second, I give myself permission to not do it all. It's impossible to do it all during the holidays, so I focus on what things are the most important to me and let some of those other things go. This means I may order in food for a party instead of making an elaborate meal myself, because what is important to me is the time spent with family and friends, not the food we eat. Or it means that I may politely decline a work event to make Christmas cookies with my kids.

Who have been your greatest mentors and what did you learn from them?

I have been blessed with many wonderful mentors, but I think they've all taught me the same themes about joy, in their own ways. They've all taught me that life is short, and what matters most is the kindness and love that you put into the world through your relationships with family, friends, and even encounters with strangers.

Interviewed by Christy Tosh Crider, 615.726.5608,

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