Friday, May 17, 2019

Carruthers Hall Green Team Update

"Working Green" in Carruthers Hall

Carruthers Hall was the first workplace to jump on board the UVA Office of Sustainability's newly updated Green Workplace Program in 2018.  As a Certified Green Workplace, Carruthers Hall complied with UVA Sustainability guidelines in five areas.

Read more about Green Workplace here:

Awareness & Education

Commitment from leadership
Green Workplace information included in employee onboarding
Green purchaser training
Zero Waste Event training

Reminder Signage

Light Switch Reminders                               
Water Conservation Clings
Paper Towel Prompts
Public Transit Poster
Earn Your Steps Sign

Energy & Water

HVAC Checkup
IT Sleep Settings
Keep up with Green Team Coms here:
Efficient Equipment & Appliances
Bottle-Free Workplace

Waste Reduction

Recycling Checkup
Electronics Recycling
Office Supply Reuse
Double-Sided Printing             

Ongoing Communications (like this one!)

Print Communications
Updates at Staff Meetings
Sustainability Lunch and Learns
Green Workplace Sharing

Carruthers Hall Green Team Members:  

Heather Landes, Green Team Lead, Anne Marie Cumiskey, Mara Hilliar, Lori Ponton, Kristin Floyd, Isaiah Behnke, Christopher Doran, Brandi Van Ormer, Judy DiVita – Supporting Leadership,
Dana Schroeder – Sustainability Specialist

Thursday, May 16, 2019

UVAFinance: Do you need a new head shot?

Matt takes great photos!
Professional headshots are available on Thursday, June 20, from 9 am to 12 pm.  These photos are perfect for the contact page of your website, avatars within Outlook, LinkedIn pages, and so on. 

UVAFinance team members can sign up for a quick photo session here:  

Headshots will be taken outside, so if the weather doesn't cooperate, we will reschedule.   

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Continuous Improvement Bright Spot: VPF Situation Room

A key part of continuous improvement culture is "finding the bright spots" -- looking at who has had success making changes and operating differently.  Small changes can make a big difference!

The Issue:  The VP Finance Leadership Team wanted a more efficient, visible way to track projects and identify issues.  Regular "around the room" report-out format meetings were not allowing for quick identification of issues to address and items for awareness.

James Gorman and Judy DiVita compare Post-It notes in the
VPF Leadership Team Situation Room. 
The Improvement:   The VPF team and UVAFinance Continuous Improvement Committee members took a field trip to the Medical Center, where they got an inside look at how both the leadership team and medical staff use Kanban boards daily to quickly identify, assess, and solve problems.  Inspired, they brought this knowledge back to Carruthers Hall.

The Solution:  Carr-Collab-2 (the standup meeting room) became the VPF Team's "Situation Room."  It took a little while to identify the activities and functional areas it made sense to track.  After identifying a system that would work for the team, Continuous Improvement Committee members got out their painter's tape and built a giant Kanban that you can see in Carr-Collab-2.  Color-coded post-it notes indicate either a positive or general awareness callout (blue) or a situation that needs attention or is at risk (red).

The Benefits:  Although the team is still adjusting the new process to fit their needs, they're finding that their weekly standups in the situation room are much more focused on the most important information, opportunities to collaborate to solve problems, and sharing the information that people need to know.

The Bottom Line:  Employing a Lean methodology has allowed the VPF Leadership Team to function in (surprise!) a leaner, more efficient way, making the best use of everyone's time and addressing issues that impact all of UVAFinance and our stakeholders.

Got a bright spot to share?  Email!

Check it out: What's going on in the Community

As we prepare for Phase 2: Readiness of Finance Strategic Transformation, you may be wondering if the issues you've noticed and the pain points you've experienced have been taken into account by the FST project team and the many stakeholder groups with whom we've partnered.

This spring, we held a "Greenhouse Workshop" with our partners to make sure we were all on the same page in terms of vision, scope, and objectives, and that we were clear on the needs of the schools and units and how this project can help them.  You can check out the barriers, pockets of pain, and thoughts shared by your colleagues and leaders on the slides posted here:

Remember, we want to hear from you (actually, it's more like we NEED to hear from you)!

If you aren't sure an issue you've identified is represented currently as a part of FST, please reach out to us.  You can always comment directly in the community (respond as a comment under the link above, or share a question or idea), you can email, or you can reach out to FST leadership/VP Finance leadership directly.

 Don't be a stranger in the online community in the online community -- we post slides from every meeting there, as well as classes, professional development content, and more!

Rose Markey brings Trust into Focus at UVAForward 2019

Markey will be pulling double-duty at UVAForward 2019;
She's also emceeing the event.  No word yet on if this cute
pooch will join her.  


It's not the most comfortable topic.   When people say they don't trust someone, what does that mean?  How do I work with someone I don't trust?  How can I foster trust in those who work with me?

Not only is trust hard for us to talk about, but also, we often assume it's a topic that's hard to define and harder to do anything about.

Yet research and several recent books have shown, trust, this big topic surrounded by emotion and risk, is actually quantifiable and definable and is definitely something we can and should do something about.

Attendees of UVAForward 2019 will have an opportunity to learn about the importance of trust and how to grow it within our work environment.    Rose Markey,  Senior Learning & Development Consultant with UVA HR's Talent Development Team will present "The Pursuit of Trust" at a breakout session.  

Trust is a hot topic currently, with books such as Stephen M.R. Covey's The Speed of Trust, Richard Fagerlin's Trustology, and many works and talks by Brene Brown drawing mass attention.

In her session, Markey will walk through the seven elements of trust, based on research by noted trust  & vulnerability expert Brene Brown, and apply those concepts to both self-trust and trust within teams and groups.  Markey says the second half of her session takes the discussion into a highly practical realm, covering how to have healthy dialogue and share your perspective with other people.

Markey has over 25 years of experience in human resources and has been a trainer and professional speaker for many years.  In September, she will complete training to become a certified facilitator of Brene Brown's  Daring Way methodology.  The UVAForward team is excited for her to bring her experience and wisdom on this important topic.

"I want to provide people with the tools so they can have successful conversations when the stakes are really high -- helping them get unstuck, master their own stories, and deal with their own motives before they start talking," Markey said.

If you haven't already, make plans to attend UVAForward 2019!  

Registration will open May 20!


Get prepared for the Trust conversation at UVAForward.  Check out these resources:

Speed of Trust Podcasts from Finance Matters

The Power of Vulnerability from Finance Matters

Stephen MR Covey on "The Speed of Trust"

Brene Brown on the Anatomy of Trust

Bring your Special Interest to UVAFinance

Special interests allow us all to flower at work!

Are you a knitter who'd like to take an afternoon break to stitch with like-minded colleagues?  A wellness newbie interested in exploring meditation during the workday?  Someone new to the area who'd like to learn more about restaurants in the area with established Charlottesville foodies?  Or maybe you're just looking for a few colleagues to take a walk with you before lunch? 

UVAFinance's Culture Crew wants to help!  

We invite our talented team to bring their special interests, talents, and hobbies to the workplace via our Special Interest Group Team.

Composed of Mara Hilliar, Devin Foster, Brian Logwood, and Ruth Parcells, this group's purpose is to connect you to the resources you need to organize a group around your interest.  They'll help connect you with mail lists, rooms, resources, marketing, and assist in providing guidelines for a successful special interest group in our workplace.

What kinds of activities might be "special interests"?  Any of the ones listed above, but also things like photography, sports, painting, board games, video game groups, book clubs (different than our existing UVAFinance Book Club), or they could be centered around sessions you want to lead, topics you want to teach about, or even topics you want to learn about.  They could be held during lunch or breaks, or before or after working hours.   The possibilities are endless!

If you have something you'd like to share with the group, contact the Special Interest Group Team today, and they'll give you the right resources to help you flower in your niche so that our whole community flourishes.

Want to join the Special Interest Group Team?  They'd love to have you join them!  Just contact one of the members named above.

Check out this Harvard Business Review article on the benefits of employees bringing their special interests to work.

Read more about the Culture Crew here. 

Monday, May 6, 2019

More Lean Classes in 2019

Would you like to improve the efficiency of your processes and the quality of your products/services while reducing costs? Lean principles and tools can help you do just that. We have multiple classes available to help you learn the basics about Lean as well as further your lean skills.

All classes will be held in Carruthers Hall, Conference Room 2 (Carr-2). Click the desired date below to enroll through Workday Learning.

All of the Lean courses will be part of the forthcoming UVAFinance Lean Certification. Stay tuned for an announcement with more information.

We look forward to seeing you in class! If you have any questions, please contact the training team at

Lean is continually seeking to improve quality and efficiency by identifying and eliminating waste.

Lean Fluency

Lean Fluency will familiarize you with the basics of Lean principles, vocabulary, and tools. The course incorporates three phases of learning including pre and post-workshop activities and the leader-led workshop.

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Lean in Daily Work

Lean in Daily Work will provide you with practical, easy-to-implement strategies to make your current processes more efficient. The course includes a discussion of 5S, Standard Work, Kanban Boards and much more.

Prerequisite: Completion of Lean Fluency or the Leading a Lean Transformation certificate.

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Lean Projects

Lean Projects delves deeper into the Lean principles and tools with a focus on using the A3 tool to identify and lead continuous improvement (“Lean) projects. The course incorporates three phases of learning including pre and post-workshop activities, the leader-led workshop, and meeting with a Lean coach.

Prerequisite: Completion of Lean Fluency or the Leading a Lean Transformation certificate.

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Start With Why: June 12 Book Club

Please join us on Wednesday, June 12, 12-1 pm in Carr-2 for the next UVAFinance Book Club meeting. We will be discussing Simon Sinek’s Start With Why. There is a copy of this book in the Book Nook (in the corner of the Carruthers 2nd floor break area) which may be available for check-out.

What's Start With Why all about? Check out author Simon Sinek's TED Talk for an inside look!

Visit the Start With Why Website

If you have questions about the UVAFinance Book Club or would like to suggest a book or lead a discussion, please email

Yoga in UVAFinance this May

During May, yoga classes are available during the lunchtime hour.  Classes are gentle and can be done in comfortable work clothes, but there is time built into the hour to allow you to change.  Class begins at 12:10 and ends at 12:50 (except for May 15, when it will be held from 1:10 - 1:50). 

Interested in attending?  Just bring a mat or towel and $5.

Note from the editor:  I'm not saying these classes will fix everything that ails you, but after one session with Robin last week in Carr-2, the knot of pain and tension between my shoulderblades disappeared. 

Friday, May 3, 2019

Happy Podiversary!

Finance Matters launched in April 2018, with two FOC-ers and a snowball microphone.  Twelve months and many guests and guest-hosts later, the podcast has 45 episodes and over 1000 downloads.

We want your ideas!

We've got a ton of ideas and great things planned for upcoming episodes, both topics and guests, and we'd love to hear from you!  What would you like to hear more about, or who would you like to hear from?  Email either Patty or Brandi with your ideas.

Check out the best of the pod: 

The Strength of Being Vulnerable, with Sarah Doran

Cross-Functional Teams, with Shannon Wampler & Josh Breeden

Change Fatigue, with Mary Brackett

Organization Tips

What We Learn from Failure, with Lynne Schwar

The Power of Contemplation, with David Germano