“I don’t believe in coincidences,” says Gene Henderson, our February Aide of the Month, “There’s a reason for me to be here. I don’t think it was a coincidence that my friend was using services from this company and I was gravitated to start working here.” Gene has led an exciting career, which has been a journey of self-discovery. He has worked in Germany and Paris and traveled all over the United States for his jobs. Working at CCOR, however, has given him the opportunity to stop and discover his true strengths.
Gene started his career in the fashion industry. After earning a degree in fashion design, he worked as a buyer for Sibley’s department store and then as a scout for an international modeling agency. From there, he shifted into retail and worked as a merchandise manager, opening stores and teaching merchandising strategies all over the country. His next career was one that focused on the healing arts. Gene studied massage therapy at a school in Arizona and became a master body worker, with over 15 certifications including Swedish massage, Reiki, and chakra work.
Working in massage inspired Gene to explore his innate compassion and his sensitivity to other people’s needs. When an illness forced him to take a break from massage, Gene moved back to his hometown of Rochester. It was here that Gene finally slowed down. “I’ve done so many things. I’ve worked in corporate. I’ve ran businesses. I’ve done lots of stuff. And I felt like I needed to slow down…slow way down. Come to a stop.” During this career pause, Gene asked himself the question that had been more and more on his mind, “What is it that I am supposed to be doing?” The answer came when he met a few homecare aides through a friend who was receiving services from CCOR. Drawn to the compassionate work of these aides, he applied and began working as a CCOR aide himself.
Working at CCOR has helped Gene to see what his gifts truly are. “I feel like at this point in my life, what I’ve learned is to slow down, recognize your gift--which I feel like my gift to the world is compassion and listening--and find out where you fit in.” Gene has found he fits in with the CCOR family. Listening to his client’s stories, compassionately tending to his client’s needs, and being an understanding companion has enriched Gene’s life and warms his heart daily.
Gene’s vast and varied career has taken him down many avenues but eventually led him to CCOR and a place of self-discovery. Here, he has enjoyed the opportunity to explore and express his beautiful gifts of compassion, patience, and listening--gifts the world definitely needs more of. “This right here, to me, [indicating the envelope containing his Aide of the Month certificate and gift card] might be very small to a lot of people, but it’s proof that I’m in the right area,” says Gene. “I feel like the journey has gotten me here. And I’m excited to see what happens.”