Denise Poirier (left) and Sue Wozniak (right)

Denise Poirier (left) and Sue Wozniak (right)

Denise Poirier and Sue Wozniak are two important figures at MCIRCC who keep the gears moving. Both are very humble about the extent of their roles (and had to be coaxed into being featured) but without their behind-the-scenes work and warm, friendly faces, MCIRCC’s upward trajectory within Michigan Medicine wouldn’t be the same, making them ‘MCIRCC’s A-Team’ (A = awesome!).

Describe your individual roles at MCIRCC.

Denise: I cover Dr. Kevin Ward’s calendar and travel; serve as the Program Coordinator for the K12 EM Career Development Award; coordinate the Grand Challenge Awarding; am the meeting scheduler guru; and handle almost anything else asked of me. 

Sue: As an event planner, I am responsible for helping to plan the yearly Massey events which include the Grand Challenge, followed by the Wolverine Den (where selected research teams present their proposals for a chance to receive funding). In addition, I plan two conferences, the Massey TBI (traumatic brain injury) Regional Conference and the Joyce Massey TBI Summit which are held alternately annually. Both of these events bring in specialists from all over the U.S. This year’s Summit on Oct. 18th will include an international keynote speaker as well as Bob Woodruff, ABC Correspondent (shameless self-promotion intended).

For MCIRCC members, I plan the seminar series, collaboration events and member appreciation events.  These events can be anything from a holiday breakfast to a seminar featuring a keynote speaker from Germany.

Administratively, I am responsible for maintaining MCIRCC member information, adding new members to MCIRCC’s website and internal websites.  I also help arrange travel for the MCIRCC team and Najarian lab members as well as expense reports.

In what ways do you assist members that they may not be aware of?

Sue: I assist in updating their MCIRCC website bios with new titles and information and provide opportunities to meet others.

When pulling together an event, most details are handled between the two of you. What type of things have to be taken into consideration when planning? 

Sue: Conference schedules, venue availability, and finding a date far in advance that works for all of the key attendees.

What do you enjoy most about working for MCIRCC?

Denise: I really enjoy everyone I work with. I don’t think I have ever worked with more amazing people. 

Sue: The people I meet and interact with especially the keynotes and speakers coming in from other universities. We also have a great group of people in our department who are really positive, interesting and easy to be around.

Sharing an office for three years has allowed the two of you to get to know one another pretty well. Describe each other in three audience appropriate words.

Denise: Sue is funny, organized and fun.

Sue: Hmm…a big-hearted, composed, colorful, plant-lady.

(Aww!)