Folena Family 2011

Happy Holidays
Buone Feste
Boas Festas

We sincerely hope that 2011 was a good year for you and yours. Here is our year in summary.

I’ve kept myself busy doing free-lance teaching of Neonatal Resuscitation and Basic Life Support classes at the Heartshare Training Center. Heartshare is just around the corner from our home so it is very convenient, plus I really enjoy teaching these courses so it’s a win-win for me. I also started teaching Infant Care and Infant CPR classes for parents at Mission College Community Education – specifically for sick and/or premature infants. In the spring I was contacted by one of my old bosses at Kaiser about a possible part-time on-call position. The position consists of abstracting information from Pediatric Intensive Care patients and updating a national pediatric data base that is used to analyze quality and mortality. This allows Kaiser to compare themselves with other PICUs across the nation. The position materialized in late summer and I accepted. I end up commuting to the regional office of Quality and Utilization in Oakland once a week or so and then do most of my work in the Santa Clara facility. I really enjoy working with this team – great, hard-working people.

Paul continues as a development manager at Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. He finds his job to be very challenging as he needs to work with product designers on the east coast and QA resources in India. Just the time zone differences make him hold conference calls at all hours and coordinating efforts is difficult at best. He still really enjoys working with his team here in San Jose who has been together for many years. It was a difficult year for Paul’s Mom as she had multiple health issues and surgeries. Thankfully she’s back home and happy to be there. He goes up to see her at least once a week and brings her his home-made pancakes for her.

Amanda and Justin are as busy as ever. Some hi-lights include Amanda performing in the Lesher Center of Walnut Creek production of Blues in the Night where she got the chance to sing and tap. She directed the Broadway By The Bay production of Gypsy that received very positive reviews as she did a great job casting the show. One bit of very good news was that the Artistic Director for Broadway By The Bay announced her retirement at the end of 2011 and Amanda was selected to take her place. Starting in January Amanda takes over as AD and she is super excited to get this type of position this early in her career. This musical theater company is based in Burlingame and their performances are held at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City so in preparation for the position where she expects to put in many long hours, Amanda and Justin moved up the peninsula in September to an apartment in San Mateo. They have a 2 bedroom place and they just love it.

Justin has a little bit of a commute now down to Sunnyvale where he works at the California Theater Center. He takes the train most days and bikes to the theater when he’s not on tour. When touring, Justin goes all over northern California, and up into Oregon sometimes, southern California and into Nevada. Touring is very demanding and it takes him away from Amanda of course, but he’s performing and that’s his joy. He taught a conservatory over the summer for kids and that seems to be something else he really enjoys – and the kids love him. He certainly has a knack for it.

Amanda performing "Taking a Chance on Love"


Amanda and Justin were able to get away for a brief vacation down to Capitola in August where they rented a condo and just hung out by the sea. Unfortunately their schedules don’t always mesh so taking time off together is difficult right now. This is a problem they hope will get rectified once Amanda has a bit more control over her schedule as the AD. Amanda did have a week off in September so we planned and took a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Amanda loved the books and couldn’t wait to sample Butter Beer. We really had a good time there. We stayed at the beautiful Loews Royal Pacific Resort and one of the non-Potter attractions that we really liked was Seuss Landing where the characters from Dr. Seuss are showcased. This is a great place for small children – and 50-plus year old kids too.

Robbie has also been very busy with work and part-time graduate school. It looks like if all goes well, he should be graduating with his MBA at the end of 2012. This year he changed jobs from working at the media company to moving over to being an Account Executive at the NBC affiliate in Denver. In his new position he’s on a team that’s responsible for acquiring new business to advertise on television and online. It’s very challenging in this economy to convince customers to spend money on any marketing initiatives, but he’s done pretty well and is leading his team in new business acquisitions. He enjoys what he does and that’s all that matters. He also moved in the summer to a nice, spacious 2-bedroom apartment in downtown Denver with his longtime girlfriend Desta. Amanda flew out to help Robbie move as Desta was studying for the bar exam and Robbie needed the help. Brother and sister got the job done without inflicting bodily harm – I was impressed.

Desta passed the bar, like we all knew she would, and she’s a practicing attorney for the Holland and Hart law firm. She specializes in estate law and is happy with the group she works with. She puts in long hours, but not the insane hours that so many other young attorneys have to at other firms. We were fortunate enough to be in Denver to attend the ceremony when she took the oath in front of the Colorado Supreme Court. We’re all very proud of her.

Paul and I were in Colorado to spend a long weekend with Robbie and Desta. We saw the Botanic Gardens, visited the Molly Brown House and went to the Colorado-Oregon football game in Boulder. In fact, we attended 2 college football games this year – Colorado-Oregon and Colorado-Stanford when Robbie and Desta flew out to California for the game – and the Buffs were outscored a total of 93-9 (ouch!). Oh well, the Buffs will rise to prominence again someday and we’re not fair weather fans. GO BUFFS!

We had a special guest for Thanksgiving this year – my Aunt Delores came out for a visit and spent a week with us. She was able to be here for my Dad’s 92nd birthday too which was really nice. We had a nice week together as we saw White Christmas at the Lesher Center, directed by Amanda, and we had high tea at a new tea house in San Jose called Dreams Collectibles. We thoroughly enjoyed her company and hope she comes back soon.

Well that’s about it. We wish to bestow on you and your family a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year full of good cheer and happiness.

The Folena Family

Justin, Amanda, Rob, Paul and Jane

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