Listen to the Still Small Voice

Allison Esenkova
Vice President, Houston Office

I couldn’t breathe. It all stopped. The strong, vibrant, and talented Abbey D’Agostino was down on the track. Then I watched her stand up and offer a hand to her competitor, Nikki Hamblin from New Zealand. She said, “Get up. Get up. We have to finish this.”

We. We have to finish this.

I was overwhelmed with pride for Abbey and the USA, and felt a wonderful swelling of belief in true Olympic spirit.

Abbey is well known in the Track & Field community due to her seven NCAA titles won while at Dartmouth. Yes, she is all Big Green. As a Dartmouth Track & Field alum, I have been following her for years. I’ve always been proud of Dartmouth athletics, and our deep commitment to humanity, lifelong learning, and collaborative teams.

I’ve read stories about Abbey in Dartmouth Sports, Runner, and even Sports Illustrated. And there has always been a common theme: kindness. In addition to Abbey being known for her place at the front of the pack, she has made an even stronger impact off of the track.

Abbey is respected and loved for her ever-lasting positive attitude and her support and commitment to every member of the team. She circles back to help her teammates finish practice loops, and she finishes a race and then musters up enough energy to pass on to her friends who are still racing. She inspires others and lifts up the entire team – the definition of a servant leader.

When Abbey was interviewed for The Dartmouth a couple of years ago, she shared that she is inspired by beauty and commented:

“I read this quote by writer-plant collector Reginald Farrer before I race: ‘If, amid the cataclysms of anguish that clamour around us everywhere nowadays, you declare that all this babble about beauty and flowers is a vain impertinence, then I must tell you that you err . . . Our sanity and survival more than ever depend on the strength with which we can listen to the still small voice that towers above the cannons, and clings to the little quiet things of life.’”

We challenge ourselves as Fins (Pariveda colleagues) to listen to that still small voice. We are encouraged to achieve success as a team, and continually strive to learn more and build further collaboration amongst ourselves and our clients.

Thank you, Abbey and Nikki, for reminding us all who we need to be. On and off the track.

Learn. Coach. Give.

Allison Esenkova

About the Author

Allison is a high-integrity, energetic leader known for her exceptional ability to envision and create successful outcomes in complex situations. She has expertise in strategic vision and results-driven planning across operations, finance, commercial development, and human performance management that was honed over a highly successful 20-year management consulting career.

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