Lovesee departs HHCDA amidst many hugs and tears

By Ken Luchterhand

Sandy Lovesee was planning to slip away. She didn’t want anyone to notice as she headed out the door.
She didn’t want anyone to make a big deal out of her retirement, having worked at Ho-Chunk Housing and Community Development (HHCDA) for nearly 20 years.
However, what she wanted didn’t matter.
The staff and committee members were not going to allow her to go without a proper goodbye. They had come to know her throughout the years of working with her and her constant care and help couldn’t go without some recognition.
A surprise retirement party was held for her on Thursday, May 10, at the HHCDA office.
Her coworkers and board members gathered to give her praise for her work well done, and wish her well in the coming years.
She was honored with a plaque, a Pendleton blanket, several gifts, and many hugs and tears.
Sandy started working for the Ho-Chunk Nation in November 1992 at Rainbow Casino in Nekoosa. She worked at the casino while finishing her Associate degree in marketing and a minor in business administration from Mid-State Technical College.
She started in inventory, then cashiering, working nights to finish her degree. Then she was offered an opportunity in the Employee Assistance Program.
“I loved working with people. People know their own answers, you need to listen, ask the right questions, have resources available, and assist in those steps to accomplish a goal,” she said.
“I met so many wonderful people through the years – they changed my life. My dear friend, Roberta Decorah asked me if I would be interested in being her assistant at HHCDA. I found my second family in 1999 at HHCDA.”
Sandy has been the Executive Administrative Assistant and Board Secretary for most of her 19 years at HHCDA.
“I had the pleasure of working with wonderful executive directors including Myra Price, Mark Butterfield, and Neil Whitegull. The agency is always busy meeting goals and creating new ones. The board members are incredible. I will miss all of them,” Sandy said.
One of her favorite times was when a board member was absent from a meeting.
“At the next meeting, the other members kidded him about missing the last meeting. He remarked, ‘Sandy didn’t call and remind me,’” she said. “The years went fast, but when you are working with a second family, it can be challenging and loving at the same time. I won’t miss the deadlines but loved serving the people of the Nation. The Ho-Chunk Nation gave me an opportunity 26 years ago and I will always be thankful.”
Sandy plans to spend a lot more time with her husband, Quentin Thundercloud, of 20 years, and more time with her 12 grandchildren.
“She put 150 percent into her job,” said Lee Brown, HHCDA Board member. “She has been here from 7 a.m. often until 5:30 or 6 p.m. She cleans the floors, makes coffee and does the dishes, all tasks beyond her job. She’s a perfectionist. Whatever she does, she’s good at doing it.”
Sandy gets everything ready for the meetings, she prepared all the minutes of the meetings, the motions, and policies to be worked on, Brown said. The board tries to renew policies, so Sandy looked at the existing policies and reminds them which ones need updating.
“She kept us in line. She’s knowledgeable in all aspects,” he said. “If we didn’t remember who made a certain motion, she would go to her computer and come back with all the information.”
Besides being knowledgeable about her job, she also would make a personal connection to everyone she made contact with.
“I enjoyed our talks,” he said. “She’s very caring and very easy to talk to.”
Sandy has been an integral part of HHCDA and kept everything running smoothly. Also, her personality made everyone feel at ease and welcome.
“She’s really going to be missed,” Brown said.