If you’ve been to a staff BBQ or attended the service awards, or if you’ve ever celebrated your colleagues at a retirement party or any other event at Mount Sinai (and whole lot of events at Bridgepoint), or if you’ve grabbed a coffee early in the morning at Second Cup, there’s a good chance you’ve already met Rob Reale.
As manager of Event Planning and Catering at Sinai Health Rob gets around, popping up in all the likely spots – and a few unlikely ones, too. In the past 29 years, Rob has seen four CEOs, given over 45 retirement speeches, and watched as food and coffee fads come and go. Starting out, Rob says “they handed me a uniform the same day as my interview for the job behind the counter at the Second Cup coffee cart. It was six feet long, with three people working behind the counter. We served three types of coffee, three kinds of scones and two kinds of muffins. He adds with a laugh, “I’m glad we’ve upgraded.”
But even in those early days, Rob felt right at home. “This was right for me. I started working here and I just never left. It was such a good fit. I was so comfortable here. I love this place. It was love at first sight, but for work, if that makes sense,” he explains. “I love the people. I love the energy here.”
With all his years of experience at Mount Sinai, Rob has racked up a number of memories, but he doesn’t hesitate when asked about the most memorable event he ever worked. “My best memory of an event would have to be opening up the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre. Everyone was standing around, nervous. There were all these important people, big donors and executives waiting for her, and you know what she did? She walked in, and sat down and spoke with a patient for a considerable amount of time. The party was for her, to recognize all the money she donated and raised, but all she cared about in that moment was that patient, and if she was happy and comfortable,” says Rob. “And then she came to the staff and thanked us, and asked if we were treated well here. She was very inspirational. All Marvelle Koffler cared about that day was creating a good space for patient care. And I think that says a lot about Sinai Health as well.”
Thanks to his no-nonsense attitude, long history with Sinai Health, and dedication to getting things done, Rob is often sought out for committee work. Most recently, this has included being one of the Voyageurs with the Purpose and Values initiative. Voyageurs were part of the initial discovery process for Purpose and Values, and were chosen from across Sinai Health to offer their unique insight about the organization. When speaking to Rob, you can tell that this is a project that is especially close to his heart. “Before talking about my involvement as a Voyageur at Management Forum, I was so nervous. And I think I was nervous because it is so important. It’s SO SO important,” shares Rob. “This is the first time that employees have been asked to share what they think the purpose and values of Sinai Health are, and I appreciate how much everyone wants to get it right. I’m honoured to be involved.”
With close to three decades of experience here, you can expect Rob to have some great tips for a long career, but he keeps it simple. “The advice I give is the same as the advice I’ve been given: ‘keep the smile. Choose to be happy.’”