April Jeppson: Family Y executive director will leave a legacy

Published 8:45 pm Friday, August 27, 2021

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

My boss makes comments about my columns almost weekly. He’ll find a way to include a tidbit from my most recent column and interject it into one of our conversations. Occasionally he’ll ask me if I was talking about him, and the answer is always no. Always no, until today.

April Jeppson

I’ve only known my supervisor for two years. I did not grow up in Albert Lea, and when I moved here 10 years ago, I spent the first half a dozen years at home with my small children. It was only after I started working for him that I figured out who this mysterious Dennis Dieser really was.

He was nice to me. He smiled at my awkward jokes and shared with me a slew of his own. When I messed up on tasks, he extended me grace. When I wanted to take on additional responsibility, he trusted me. He has seen the flaws I try to hide, and he has encouraged me to be better. He does not hover or micromanage me. He really is one of the best bosses I’ve ever had.

It’s taken almost the entirety of my employment with him for me to grasp the legacy he’s leaving behind. He’s done so much for this community and for the Albert Lea Family YMCA. Thirty-seven years he’s dedicated to outreach and positively impacting this town. That’s almost my entire life that he’s given to this awesome little nonprofit we have.

Dennis retires this week. He told me months ago that I wasn’t allowed to throw him a party. He wanted to exit the building on his last day just as he exits every other day. Well, I’m sorry boss, but you don’t have a choice. We’re having an open house from 3 to 5 p.m. Sept. 2 at The Y. Stop out, have a piece of cake and wish him good luck on his next chapter of life.

Thank you, Dennis, for all you’ve taught me, you’ve earned a wonderful retirement. Don’t worry, this isn’t goodbye, I have your number on speed dial.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.