National Visionary Leadership Project
July 30, 2009

Reference for Helene Parenteau, Organizing Specialists & Senior Downsizing, LLC

To Whom It May Concern:

The National Visionary Leadership Project, co-founded by Dr. Camille Cosby and Renee Poussaint employed Helene Parenteau in July of 2008 to evaluate, organize and arrange our foundation headquarters. We occupy a large 5-story, full basement, 4,000 sq. ft. brownstone in downtown Washington, DC that is located within blocks of the White House. Our workspace had seriously fallen into disarray over the last ten years with clutter, furniture, boxes, equipment, papers and all sorts of supplies in every nook, cranny and the aisles. Prime real estate space was being misused; dollars were wasted purchasing and repurchasing supplies and equipment we couldn’t find, and productivity was negatively impacted because of the smothering clutter. We simply didn't know where to begin. Cleaning meant straightening up a pile and clearing a walkway! One of our Board members suggested Helene Parenteau, with whom she had worked.

She came in and within six long days (13-16 hours per), she completed the Herculean task. Helene far exceeded my expectations and brought more to the table than helping us organize the property. She assessed our work styles and production needs. She engaged the entire team in creating their ideal space and use of resources. The quality and extent of her organizing skills are amazing. She helped us move and re-arrange offices to be more efficient, functional and decorative. She recycled supplies and furniture that we would have tossed, saving us thousands of dollars.

She found and sorted our excessive amount of stationary supplies from around the entire building and arranged it in different supply closets throughout the facility where it was best needed and could be easily retrieved. A year later, we are still living off those recouped supplies! She had useful and creative suggestions for EVERY area of the building.

Helene was a real joy to work with. She was in at sun-up and stayed hours after the last person left the building. She has a great personality and worked well with every member of the staff. She is caring and thoughtful as well as indefatigable. That gal can do more work in a day than a crew of five!

The building went from an over-cluttered hodge-podge of too much stuff in all the wrong places to an elegant, functional work space and Foundation headquarters. Our board of Directors was amazed at the transformation. Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole our board chair could not believe it was the same building and Dr. Camille Cosby our co-founder was touched by the finished product. Due to Helene’s extraordinary expertise and training to the staff we have opened our facility to host executive meetings to other organizations; hosted a Presidential pre-inaugural event and have hosted receptions and training programs. We now show our building with pride.

A year later, the building is still in pristine condition as we continue to take more pride in what Helene has designed, planned, executed and taught us how to maintain. Organizing Specialist does not do her justice — my term is Miracle Worker!! I highly recommend her for any job!!