Life After 50: The Long Goodbye

Executive Director

My apology for the title, but now I will explain it.

I will slowly extricate myself as the Executive Director of the senior centers. I am also signing the formal papers to become a member of LAVA. The Los Alamos Volunteer Association (LAVA) or Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), is the boat that floats the LARSO ship.

This Friday, we will pay tribute to all LARSO volunteers. You must call and RSVP.

May is Older Americans month and our theme for the month, is fall prevention. The goal is to become one of four local instructors to teach, A Matter of Balance, Evidence Based Fall Prevention.

The plan is to depart the same day as the 25th Birthday celebration of the Betty Ehart Senior Center. The event will take place 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a slate of activities with the highlight being a performance by the Lads and Lasses of Enchantment. We’ll have more on that later this month.

I always thought I would stay until I turned 60, but then the pandemic took place. When the world turned upside-down, a neighbor asked me how long I would stay. I knew I would see Betty and LARSO through. March 31, the Governor proclaimed an end to the Emergency Declaration and May 11, President Biden will do something similar.

May 1 marks my fourth year as Executive Director and it has been a phenomenal ride. It is rewarding, spectacular, humbling and a little scary. Afterall, we did have a bear in the building during business hours, but not on purpose. I never thought the pandemic would last three years and it hasn’t gotten any easier. Many people in the world don’t have to work, yet so many of my staff often double and triple their workload to meet the needs of community elders.

I started an Employee Morale fund when I arrived at the end of my first year. There was an idea suggested by Board Member John Baillie, with a financial assist from the Los Alamos Community Foundation.

LARSO HR and Business Manager Amy Vigil

It highlights an Employee of the Quarter and this quarter that employee is Amy Vigil. She’s my HR and Business Manager and 1/3rd of my brain, with Admin Asst. Karen Breault, another third. I would not be here without Amy and her being a seamless piece of my puzzle.

While she didn’t learn about it until a few days ago, she’d never accept it so I had to make sure it happened publicly so she had no choice. Thank you, Amy, for your kindness, graciousness and friendship through a world-wide pandemic. 

You see LARSO wasn’t a chapter in my book, it was indeed a book.

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