Monique Vessey, Head of Strategic Operations in Northborough, MA and Brian Regan, a Manufacturing Excellence Business Partner in Swiftwater, PA, know first-hand the challenges working parents face, especially in today’s climate. This year, they have been named as the Sanofi US 2021 Working Mother and Dad of the Year to celebrate the honor of Sanofi US receiving a spot on Seramount’s (formerly Working Mother Media) 100 Best Companies and Best Companies for Dads lists. Monique and Brian will be featured in the annual listing of the country’s top companies that rank highly in family benefits, including parental leave, family support and job flexibility. Read on for their stories.
Mother of the Year – Monique Vessey
In 2006 I had to take a step away from work to care for my son David, who was born prematurely at 26 weeks. After a year and half with my son I returned to work; fast forward 12 years and my son Charlie was born prematurely at 25 weeks. Based on his condition, it was essential that I spend as much time with him as I could. However, I was the primary provider for my family. Taking another step away from my career was not an option, and to complicate matters more, COVID-19 hit and restrictions had been placed at the hospital, limited to one visit per day.
After 14 months, my son was able to come home with us, but he was still on a ventilator, supplemental oxygen, and required frequent medications. My husband and I decided I would continue to work full-time, and he would take over the daily caregiving responsibilities. During this period, I was able to use the Sanofi US leaves and time off policies to care for the medical needs and complications of Charlie. This experience has taught me that people will understand only if they know you need help, so ask for it. My coworkers and managers supported me during this time and continue to support me today.
I have learned the importance of taking time for myself, while also being fully present for my family during personal time and fully present as an employee during work time. Going outside to take walks with my husband and children has been beneficial for me. Work-life balance has allowed me to be at my best as a parent and an employee and split my time in a way that works for me.
Charlie is now 2 years old and is learning to breathe without the ventilator, with only minimal medications remaining. This has allowed us to further enjoy the outdoors and even take day trips as a family.
Dad of the Year - Brian Regan
I began my journey at Sanofi as a Manufacturing Excellence Business Partner in January 2019. My career has been centered around manufacturing excellence, manufacturing operations and strategic planning. In addition to my full-time work at Sanofi, I serve part-time in the Air National Guard as a Military Strategist where I work one weekend per month and two to four weeks per year. I have served in this capacity for 15 years and prior to this role, I served full-time active duty in the Airforce for 5 years as an Engineer. I am honored to serve people in more ways than one; serving my country and working with Sanofi to help patients around the world is extremely fulfilling.
Alongside my work life, I am a father and a husband. My children Carly, William, and Rachel and my wife Holly are extremely supportive and aware of the work I do. What helps me to balance my family and work life is not bringing work home with me. When I am home, I am focusing on my family and vice versa when I am at work. My wife, Holly, has been tremendously supportive and takes care of our family when I am not around.
As parents, we are constantly trying to do a delicate dance between our work and home life. Every year, our family vacations at St. Lawrence, also known as Thousand Islands River. These vacations help bring my family together to relax and recharge. To further maintain balance in my life, I try to stay as active as possible; I enjoy jogging, golfing, and fishing.