In time for Father’s Day, local fathers and daughters pose for a portrait and discuss their similarities and differences.
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Photos by GREG MILES and JEFFERY JOHNSTON
Buzzy GaiEnnie and Michelle GaiEnnie
Michelle GaiEnnie lives in Uptown New Orleans, across the street from her parents’ home – the home in which her grandfather, mother and she grew up. Family ties are a top priority for the executive director of Grace House, the only all-women’s residential substance abuse program in the New Orleans area. Michelle started learning about drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment through her father Buzzy’s work at Bridge House when she was growing up. Today, Bridge House is a self-sufficient rehabilitation facility that provides treatment to men aged 18 and older without regard to ability to pay. “I actually remember in high school visiting my dad at Bridge House on Camp Street,” says Michelle. Buzzy, now chief executive officer of Bridge House, instilled in his daughters the importance of hard work and education. “It was very important to me that both my daughters have master’s degrees: Michelle in social work and [Dana] is a registered dietician,” Buzzy says. Bridge House recently relocated to a new location on Earhart Boulevard increasing its capacity by more than 100 beds. “This is really a dream come true for him,” Michelle says of her dad. “He made Bridge House what it is today.” Buzzy and Michelle’s mutual passion for New Orleans and for their work has brought both their family and businesses full circle– Grace House, now in its 25th year, will be expanding and relocating to the same location that was the original Bridge House on Camp Street. So now, Michelle sees her father nearly every day, whether at work or living across the street.
“That’s so New Orleans,” Michelle says.
Similarities: We’re both very dedicated to our jobs and to the clients that we work with. We’re very dedicated to the city of New Orleans and we’re moving forward in such a positive direction with Bridge House and Grace House.
Differences: I am very detail-oriented. Probably some of that comes from fundraising events at Grace House and Bridge House, which require many details, and also my work with the Sugar Bowl committee – planning events is such a detail-oriented job.
Similarities: I think the work we do obviously share a lot of those values. In working with your daughter you have to remember that it’s a dual role and you have to know what role you’re in – Is it the father or is it the boss?
Differences: She’s much more detailed than I am. I’m a somewhat of an intuitive manager rather than a detail person. She’s got good social skills that I don’t have – her work ethics are different from mine and there’s something to learn from that.