“I work best when I have a lot on my plate,” said Annie Trowbridge—a quality that serves her well in her new position as Chief of Staff at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center. In that capacity, Annie is responsible for the stewardship of the Berrie Center—which includes everything from strengthening the flow of the front desk to working with the event planning, fundraising and communication initiatives at the Berrie Center—all within her impressive bailiwick of expertise.
“Being able to manage multiple tasks at once is a good trait to have for a position like this,” said Annie, whose resume includes Partnership for a Drug Free America (where she was Vice President of Stewardship and Special Events); Toys R Us, Inc. (where she directed the national Special Events Department) and the Red Cross of Greater New York, where she was the Assistant Director of Special Events.
“Annie jumped right in and has been a wonderful collaborator,” said the Berrie Center’s Outreach and Communications Coordinator, Tori Bender. “She is goal-oriented, focused, and extremely creative.” Added the Berrie Center’s Co-Director, Robin Goland, MD, the J. Merrill Eastman Professor of Clinical Diabetes, “Annie is extremely grounded. She’s competent, capable, unflappable—and a lot of fun to be around. We’re lucky to have her.”
As Chief of Staff at the Berrie Center, Annie is responsible for the smooth sailing of one of the largest clinical diabetes centers in the country. No two of her workdays are exactly the same, which keeps her fully engaged in the day-to-day management of the Berrie Center. She also works on long-term projects such as streamlining the check-in and check-out process for patients. At the same time, she is working on creating a better system for reminding patients of their upcoming appointments.
Annie recently re-implemented the staff meeting (there are over 50 people on the clinical side of the Berrie Center) to build community. She is also working with the billing team on keeping insurance coding up to date to make sure that “our clinicians have accurate information in real time for how to code for the work they’re already doing.” And, with her background in event planning and fundraising, Annie is partnering with the Columbia University development team as the Berrie Center gears up for its 20th anniversary next year.
Annie’s interest in nonprofits, philanthropy and event planning emerged when she was a sophomore in high school and organized a Saturday morning enrichment program for underserved children (for which she was honored by the mayor and CBS news). “There were counselors, permission slips, classes, field trips, buses and food. I really loved it,” she said. “As my career has developed it evolved from the soup to nuts of event planning to nonprofit management and fundraising.”
Annie’s energy is boundless. “My husband and I love to cook, so when we got married last summer, we cooked our rehearsal dinner for 90 people,” she said. “And the next morning my friends and I ate breakfast while arranging the centerpieces for the reception. I could have gone to a spa, but that’s just not me.”