“How lucky I am to have something so special that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
These words from the great sage Winnie-the-Pooh perfectly capture how we feel about former colleague Carrie Sessine.
Carrie was a member of the Ritz Communications team for nearly a decade, beginning in 2003. Relationships are what Carrie remembers the most about her time at Ritz, too—relationships with teammates, with clients, and with the many patients and caregivers whose stories she had the honor of sharing on behalf of the Schering-Plough portfolio of cancer drugs.
“Having the opportunity to work with a dynamic group of people who were so committed to their cause—the clients, the agency, the patient advocacy groups—was such a fantastic experience,” Carrie says.
So many poignant moments have stayed with Carrie all these years, such as a particularly moving on-camera interview with a brain tumor patient and his family. The family’s reaction as he struggled to answer questions illustrated clearly for Carrie and the team just how much the effects of the disease had changed life for the family over the course of the illness.
“Almost every piece of the work we touched included a focus on the caregiver,” Carrie recalls. “That was incredibly impactful and brought a lot of great learning for me, as well.”
Of course, there were some wonderfully fun moments, too—like supporting a star-packed fundraiser in Napa Valley for the Tug McGraw Foundation.
“Elisabeth caught me because I almost ran into Tim McGraw when I was trying to get to something onstage,” Carrie laughs. “That was one of those really cool moments where it was like, Oh my God, look around and see where you are!”
Now Carrie is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for In-Q-Tel, the strategic investor for the U.S. intelligence and defense community. She left Ritz to dive into a completely new industry and to immerse herself more broadly in the Washington, D.C., community, where she had recently relocated.
She credits her Ritz experience with giving her a strong foundation in global work, which continues to be a passion for her and trained her to view things from a global perspective.
“I think of Elisabeth to this day as a great mentor whose lessons I still apply to working with my teams today.”
Carrie’s impact is certainly still felt at Ritz.
“Carrie has a grace and positivity that we all admired and still aspire to,” says Elisabeth Ritz. “We loved working with her, laughing with her and learning from her and we always will.”