At the 2022 Family Assistance Education and Research Foundation (FAERF) Member-Partner Meeting, corporate sponsor Royal Caribbean Group (RCG) received the Heart Award. The Heart Award is given to an organization in recognition for their leadership in bringing compassion consciousness to the workplace—not just their own, but to business and industry at large.
Through the generosity of RCG, FAERF was able to host their largest meeting, since the pandemic made in-person meetings almost impossible. Close to one hundred people gathered at the Sonesta Hotel near the Miami International Airport to learn from survivors of accidents and other tragedies and industry responders and leaders about best practices in humanitarian response. Despite the active hurricane, most attendees remained with us the entire time, which speaks to the impact the meeting had on their desire to learn, network, and feel connected to other like-minded people.
RCG helped FAERF secure an excellent room rate at the Sonesta Hotel and other reductions in food and beverage costs, all of which made the meeting affordable and allowed participants to come together to learn and honor survivors and responders as one large compassionate team. RCG also promoted FAERF’s Mental Health First Aid Training and, later this month, will donate a classroom for the training and sponsor attendance for numerous employees who will become certified Mental Health First Aiders.
Two Members of the FAERF Institute’s Business & Industry Advisory Board Receive Sharing the Journey Awards
Ray Gonzalez, Care Team Manager, Global Security Royal Caribbean Group and Patrick Laverty, Senior Manager, Family Assistance & Crisis Team Training, Global Crisis Management, The Walt Disney Company received employee Sharing the Journey Awards at the 2022 Member-Partner Meeting. The employee Sharing the Journey Award is presented to individuals who exhibit outstanding leadership in Care and Special Assistance Teamwork. In addition to providing leadership and training within their own companies, recipients of this award contribute to the overall advancement of humanitarian assistance for multi-industry, multi-disciplinary team response to people who are involved in crisis or loss in the workplace environment.
Ray Gonzalez, Care Team Manager, Global Security Royal Caribbean Group
In his work with the Business & Industry Advisory Board for the FAERF Institute, Ray Gonzalez of Royal Caribbean Group has led the effort to widen the definition of Humanitarian Assistance Response Programs (HARP)™ to include Care Team response to a crisis involving one family, or one individual. While the original goal behind the Care Team response involved response to multi or mass-casualty crises, Ray has helped others realize that a death or injury involving one person is the “big one” for that family.
In addition to helping FAERF Institute leaders rethink their definition of when Care Team deployment should take place, Ray has devoted countless hours to helping shape FAERF programs that other team leaders can benefit from, including hosting the 2022 Member-Partner Meeting in Miami, FL. Ray is currently leading efforts in hosting the 2023 Member-Partner Meeting at RCG headquarters in Miami, Fl., with details to be announced in January 2023.
Ray has emerged as a leader in bringing Care Team members and leaders together in both informal and formal meetings, and has established himself as a mentor to inexperienced as well as experienced care team members. Ray is an outstanding example of a team member who is Sharing the Journey in Humanitarian Assistance, and changing the world for better as he makes his personal journey.
Patrick Laverty, Senior Manager, Family Assistance & Crisis Team Training, Global Crisis Management The Walt Disney Company
In his work with the Business & Industry Advisory Board for the FAERF Institute, Patrick Laverty has become the champion in raising awareness as to the critical role an employer plays in supporting employees who are confronted with illness, personal crises, loss, and bereavement, apart from a corporate crisis involving the deployment of a company’s emergency response plan. While most companies provide bereavement leave, insurance benefits, employee assistance programs, and similar employee support, Patrick’s vision has influenced the Institute’s mission of raising compassion consciousness in the workplace. The larger mission includes a commitment of company resources to better support their own employees who are confronted with life experiences that all humans are susceptible to throughout their lives.
Patrick’s participation in the Institute’s Advisory Board has exceeded what was expected of a business participant leader in the research area. In addition to helping the team find ways of increasing compassionate support for employees facing personal crises and losses, Patrick is an active participant in discussions about the Institute’s plans for supporting research funding and discussions of ideas for providing scholarships for individuals who wish to produce scientific replicable studies aimed at improving humanitarian assistance programs on a global level.
FAERF Institute’s Certificate in International Humanitarian Assistance Response Program (I-HARP)™
In addition to attending regular meetings that Advisory Board members are expected to attend, Patrick and Ray have given their time generously in helping develop the I-HARP™ Certificate Program. Both leaders are helping with the curriculum and appear in the videos where experienced leaders discuss everything from training to actual workplace crises they have been involved in over their years of service.
Foundation members can sign up for the Introductory course in the
I-HARP™ by year’s end. Other courses for the certification are due for release in early spring 2023.