Tamarind Reaves, whose first name is derived from a beautiful tropical tree, is a welcome recent addition to the ABC staff. Tamarind is ABC’s receptionist. Here at ABC, we could let our phones default to a voicemail system, like so many other nonprofits and businesses have done for over a decade. Not here. During our normal business hours we want a real, live person to answer calls from ABC’s members—researchers, educators, healthcare providers, journalists, industry members—and many other members of the public who call ABC each day. Tamarind performs this function beautifully, with a genuinely friendly and inviting personality.
She further provides many other critically important services for ABC. While Tamarind spends most of her time answering the phone, fielding ABC member questions and problems, helping callers with information, and routing calls to other ABC staff members, she also spends her day opening incoming mail and distributing it to various ABC staff members, greeting visitors, processing membership benefits, mailing out membership packets to new and renewing ABC members, updating member contact information into ABC’s databases, and maintaining ABC’s extensive Web calendar of professional education and industry events around the world.
Tamarind also assists in the copy-editing of ABC’s HerbClips, and she copies and scans articles from incoming magazines and scientific journals for HerbClip and ABC’s literature database, among even more administrative duties. One of the “fun” aspects of her job is that she gets to digitally scan recently published cartoons for use in some of my forthcoming presentations!
Tamarind comes to ABC with a varied background. She has worked at a biotech company, a private investigation business, and a nonprofit organization. As a college student studying English, she assisted disabled students by taking notes for students in classes, helping them prepare for tests and exams, and assisting them in various extracurricular activities.
She notes the synchronicity of her profile’s being published in this issue: “I am thrilled that ABC is publishing the employee profile on me in the same issue of HerbalGram that contains the article on trees of the Virgin Islands. I was born in St. Thomas, USVI, and that is where my mom fell in love with the tamarind trees and fruit.”