Employee Spotlight: Kathy Barri and Elaine Russo At The Heart Of Elite
February 15th, 2019
Say Hello to Elite’s Very Own Kathy Barri and Elaine Russo
Kathy is our long standing office administrator, receptionist, and marketing assistant. For 25 years she’s literally welcomed nearly every customer who has contacted Elite by phone or passed through our doors.
Elaine Russo is Elite’s Finance Manager.
For 15 years Elaine has singlehandedly worked with almost every Elite customer to establish our business relationship and manage payables and receivables.
If you’ve visited Elite then it’s likely you’ve come to know them both. However by only meeting them causally or by knowing them through their company role you’re missing the truly remarkable side of these women. That’s because at the heart of Elaine and Kathy is a selfless passion for helping, caring, and giving to others.
Entirely of their own initiative, these two ladies encourage Elite co-workers and associates along with their own friends and family to join their passion of giving.
Their efforts at Elite are no small task because they successfully motivate a company of technical-minded individuals whose focus is more comfortable with tangible gadgetry. Using their matriarchal warmth, generosity, and genuine purpose they connect with all Elite employees and engage us with the true spirit of love and giving.
There are many good people; but Kathy and Elaine represent the best of Elite and provide a constant example for us all of what truly matters in life— giving to others. They are two Elite employees you should know.
Kathy Barri & Elaine Russo: Elite's True Accomplished Stars
In Support Of Our Military
Operation Baking Gals
Combining their love of cooking with volunteering, they send homemade treats and necessities to soldiers deployed abroad. Connecting with friends through social media they lead teams of bakers to send soldiers a little bit of home along with items that are not readily available in the military PX. They have also reached out to the Boy Scouts who contribute by sending cards and letters. These are simple reminders of home but are always appreciated by the young men and women serving our nation.
Toys For Tots
For 3 years, Elite has participated in the local Toys for Tots program. Our Marines enjoy providing toys for kids that might not otherwise get anything else. It is a fun and easy way to share the Christmas spirit. Oooh Rah!
By the way, Elaine is also the incredibly proud Aunt of nephew Zachary Russo, USMC.
Raising Awareness and Donations for Curing Cancer
Susan G. Komen
Participating in the 3-Day breast cancer walk is rewarding in many ways. The ladies have raised thousands for this noble cause. Kathy has regularly connected her own family in many of her fundraising events too.
Race For The Cure
Kathy and Elaine have helped Elite participate in a number of fundraisers including the Race for the Cure that is held in Lombard in the fall each year.
Relay For Life
Encouraged by Kathy and Elaine, Elite enrolled in the inaugural Lisle, IL Relay for Life and the I-88 Corridor corporate Relay for Life. These are all-day-all-night events. Even though we may not have made it the whole evening, Elite participants still had a lot of fun.
Brave For Benjamin (BBB)
Benjamin, a young boy in the community, was diagnosed with leukemia. Elaine knows Benjamin’s mom through a local Jazzercise class and wanted to find a way to help.
Elaine and Kathy worked with Elite to support Benjamin as a beneficiary of one of our fitness challenges. Through these efforts we raised over $8000 for his medical needs.
Elite continues to support this young man each year on his leukemia anniversary which coincides with his birthday. In support, Elite collects gift cards for the Lurie’s Children’s Hospital. When kids finish a treatment they can select a gift card as a reward.
Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation
One of Elite’s fitness challenges was to raise money for the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation. Elaine became aware of this group because of our friend Brave for Benjamin and because of the Rizzo Family Foundation support of Benjamin as well. Plus Anthony Rizzo is Elaine’s favorite Cub! Elite raised over $8000 for them…..we have the signed baseball and bat to prove it!
Helping Elite Families Help Others
During one of Elite’s fitness challenges, Kathy and Elaine along with Elite came together to raise over $6000 in support of the local Autism Speaks chapter.
Elite used one of our Food Revolution events to raise money for a young man who is battling cancer.
Elite participated in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution to show people how easy it is to have a good meal cooked quickly and healthy at home. Proceeds were donated in support of Food Revolution and our local food pantry.
Elaine and Kathy have sponsored Elite blood drives twice yearly for the last few years. At each event we have been lucky to collect 20 units of blood or more! We have a few employees who take the extra time to give double red…..that is extra special!