Two little girls sit together on the back porch.
Georgia flora colors the space behind them with rich shades of green, as spindly oak trunks grow tall beneath the canopy.
The 7-year-old smiles genuinely, while the younger — an infant — eyeballs the photographer.
Taken in 1988, the photo captures then next-door neighbors Kate Westfall, 7, and Sarah Linn Reedy posing on the back porch of the Reedy family’s home in Gainesville’s Sherwood Forest subdivision.
Despite a seven-year age difference, they recall spending time together as children, whether it was baking brownies with Sarah Linn’s mom, Ginger Reedy, or navigating wooded backyards.
These days, that unique history helps them on the job. As co-workers at Global AgInvesting in New York City, Westfall, now 35, and Reedy, 27, both live in Manhattan.
“We have that shared history. It helps us work together,” Westfall said. “Having that base knowledge of each other is beneficial in the workplace.”
“We have an unspoken trust,” she said.
The two connected with The Times via conference call last week. Their schedules are busy, working for a company that puts on agriculture investment conferences around the world and provides expertise to investors in New York and beyond.
Reedy, who is content coordinator at Global AgInvesting, started working for the company in 2013. Westfall, senior director of content, has been working there since 2011.
Reedy said the two had lost touch with each other sometime between childhood and adulthood. They reconnected when both learned they were minutes apart in New York City.
“It was surprising when I got an email from her, because we hadn’t been in touch for so long,” Westfall said. “We were excited to be living in the same city. We got together, had a drink and started catching up.”
“That’s kind of how we got started working together,” Reedy said. “I expressed interest in working for Kate’s company, and she invited me to come and work with her at their New York conference. I came and shadowed Kate and other members of the team.”
Both women have a background in theater from their high school and college days, and both agree that it’s helped them in the field of special events and conventions.
“I like to call it marathon stage management,” Westfall said, laughing. “When you get to a conference, it’s one show that lasts several days.”
Said Reedy: “But there’s no rehearsal.”
Sarah Linn’s father, Jeff Reedy, thinks it’s great the Gainesville girls were able to reconnect some 800 miles from home.
“It is wonderful that these two women that I remember as little girls growing up next door to each other are now working together and traveling the world,” Jeff Reedy said.