I’ve known Alena for over 15 years.  And over the years, every time I thought about her, I had a “shake my head” moment.  I’m talking about “shaking my head” with a sense of marvel.  Wonder. Awe. Envy.

Consider:  What does it take to travel hours one way to attend college and finish your undergraduate degree?  What does it take to move half way across the world to pursue your dreams?  What is required to master a foreign language and then thrive in the communications industry of your adopted country?  What does it take to be a world traveler?  What is involved in becoming an accomplished marathon runner?

It simply takes one thing:  Being Alena Minarovicova.

When I consider all of my experiences with Alena, from her work at Gillespie that started with an internship, to her leadership role in managing the media buying for the Philadelphia Orchestra to Alena’s dedication to the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance and the Bear Affair, I marvel at Alena Minarovicova:  Protégé and colleague, athlete and traveler, philanthropist and friend.

It came as no surprise to me when I learned that, after her cancer reappeared, Alena nevertheless traveled to Dublin and competed in a marathon.  My reaction was to shake my head in marvel and to rejoice in the opportunity to know a person of such passion, stoic resolve, intense focus and immense joy.


While we will miss Alena, I am confident in saying that every single person that knew her are now better for her kinship and friendship.  Alena, you were a marvel to know.