Introducing Cassidy Lawrence (our new donor coordinator!)
We'd like to introduce Cassidy Lawrence, our new donor coordinator! Cassidy currently lives in Washington. Originally from Hood River, Oregon, Cassidy loves hiking, outdoor activities, and wine tasting. With the current work from home set up, Cassidy enjoys taking her dog out on walks during her lunch break.
Where are you from originally? I'm originally from San Diego California. I grew up in San Diego until I was about 14 years old and then my mom moved me and my siblings up to Hood River, Oregon. So I went to high school in Hood River, graduated from there, and then went to Lane Community College. Then I went back to Hood River, kind of lived there on and off for the past 16 years. I just moved out here to Washington a year ago for my previous job.
I love Hood River! Me too! It's so beautiful. I would definitely live there again. I was in the wine industry there before working for AsiaWest and Intend. I worked for the wine industry for over six years.
That's so cool! What did you do specifically in the wine industry? A little bit of everything. I did events and marketing, I was a tasting room manager for two different locations (we have a location in Hood River and a location out here in the Tri-Cities). I managed the wine clubs. On top of all that, I also helped with harvest - I helped pick the grapes as well as helping in the wine cellars. I wouldn't say made the wine, but I assisted in making the wine. So if the wine maker was like, "Hey, I need you to stomp these grapes" I would jump in the bin and I would start foot stomping the grapes.
Once the grapes start fermenting and are in the fermenters, you do need to press them down twice a day at morning and night. So I would go in with my fiancee, we worked together at the same company.
Wow! Are you actually doing it with your feet or is it a machine? No with your feet!
Woah! That's crazy. Yeah! And then my fiancee and I branched off and we started to create our own wine label. We have been making wine together for the past two years with our own label. We both kind of took a step back for now. I love it, but I wanted more stability and more structure.
I'm curious what drew you to egg donation? I actually donated my eggs back in 2019 and I worked with the ORM facility in Portland. So I'm a known donor which is really exciting! I really wanted to donate again, but unfortunately in the nicest way they could say it, I was too old.
Donating was a really positive experience. I left it open so the family can reach out to me if they'd like. After I went through the whole process, I actually got a really sweet note from the family just saying "Thank you so much for helping us create a family" and they gave me a cute little present as well
That's so nice! So did you have egg donation in mind when you were looking for jobs? It was funny that it just kind of popped up. I turned 32 this year and as soon as I did, I was like I need to evaluate where I'm at. I need to do something where I'm helping people. In this industry you're helping families become family. Since I've gone through the process, as soon as I saw the job pop up on Indeed, I immediately applied.
I think that's what really initially grabbed me, the fact that of being a Donor Coordinator. When I went through the donation process, I kept thinking in my mind every time I went in the clinic, "That would be so cool to be on the other side helping people in my position going through the process".
I think it always helps to be able to talk to someone who went through the process themselves. Yeah, so far with the interviews I've been sitting in on, all the donors are so curious and have questions for me. You can kind of feel them easing up and feeling more comfortable since I've done it before, so that's really cool.
Do you think any of your skills from wine are applicable to being a Donor Coordinator? I have tons of customer service experience. In a way I'm able to have sensitive conversations because when someone is intoxicated in front of you and you have to say, "I'm sorry, I can no longer serve you. You need to leave" - it can get really awkward and can get elevated super quick. People can get really angry!
Is there any part of this job specifically that you're most excited about or most excited about learning? I'm definitely excited to push myself out of my comfort zone, taking on a new skill and furthering my career. I'm most excited to help families, getting the right donors on the database. I have an older brother who went through IVF, so I watched him go through that process with his wife. I remember it being so hard for them, so that's what initially brought me to want to donate my eggs. And now I feel like it's a full circle being able to help more families going through that process.
Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity