Last week, Rozlind and I traveled to Dallas to visit our new Tour de Pink presenting sponsor SoftLayer technologies. After Roz triumphantly convinced her boss that driving ten hours round trip was not an intelligent idea, we boarded the short 43 minute Southwest flight to Love (which was a much better idea than the one Roz had to fall in a 35 minute line to get a burger at the BRAND NEW In and Our lunch there… but I digress.) We were beyond giddy to FINALLY meet the gracious, kind Pink angels who believed in Pink Ribbons Project and Tour de Pink enough to donate their time, talent and treasure. Actually they believed in Val Stinson!
To give you some background. If you have enjoyed the water, gatorade, bananas – the coolers the hydration came in and the tents where all of these items are placed under – you need to thank Val. Val has been with Pink Ribbons Project since the very first Tour de Pink when our Artistic Director, Jane Weiner, asked (begged) her to help carry the ice to Prairie View A&M for the inaugural ride. Sweet Val agreed, with no idea that seven years later she would be in charge of the logistics of getting the supplies to all nine rest stops, manage eight incredible van driving volunteers and be the new best friend of every Pink Ribbons Project employee. Without a doubt, her most important role is to be the sounding board and unpaid counselor to a young Executive Director only in her second year in the role. So, when I called Val one day and said, “We don’t have a presenting sponsor which stresses me out so much I can’t sleep, eat or function…,” Val responded with, “Baby, you gotta eat!!” Immediately, Val contacted Lance Crosby – the CEO of SoftLayer Technologies. Val has been a loyal employee of SoftLayer for years and knew that the company put not only the community, but their staff first. Val told Lance all about her involvement with Tour de Pink, her belief in the Pink Ribbons Project mission and the always modest Val admitted that she was so committed to the cause that she was awarded the Tour de Pink Volunteer of the Year award in 2009. In less that 10 minutes Lance emailed her back and said simply, “We’re in.”
Which leads us to our Dallas field trip to the SoftLayer Headquaters. Although they have an amazing office downtown across from the Hobby Center here in Houston, SoftLayer’s base is in Dallas and we were honored that they were taking the time to meet with us to learn more about Tour de Pink and how they can be involved. Roz, Val and I met Lance Crosby who is, without a doubt, the most humble and easy going CEO on the planet. Lance was honored to be part of Tour de Pink and loved seeing the SoftLayer logo all over our jerseys and t-shirts. He spoke about how his mother is a breast cancer survivor and how the cause was close to his heart and that of his family. As the meeting progressed I was convinced more and more through the meeting that we had found and amazing partnership.
Thank you to SoftLayer for being the presenting sponsor of Tour de Pink 2011 and all the SLayers who will join us on the road at Prairie View!!
-Loubel Galik, Executive Director