Paula Audsley, Business Manager: Paula has been at The Thompson the longest of any Thompson staff member – 17 years! She has touched virtually every part of our program, knows our building inside and out, and tracks our finances through Quickbooks with the most detailed eye. She has managed reporting, recruited volunteers, driven the bus on trips, delivered Meals on Wheels, decorated our building, run the Holiday Bazaar, and so much more.
Favorite thing about working at the Thompson: Sharing with our Seniors their life stories, friendship, laughter and tears. When my son was in grade school in Barnard I would occasionally pick him up so he could join me delivering Meals on Wheels; it gave him an early appreciation of our senior citizens and one of the most important missions of the Thompson – delivering hot meals and checking up on our patrons.
Favorite Thompson memories: Driving our van full of seniors to local shows, performances and outings and longer trips to such far flung places as Alaska, New York City and Washington DC during which I could get to know some of our patrons so much better. Another favorite memory was when a rather shy, very quiet lady got up at lunch and started yodeling; it was just such a surprise and amazing how well she could yodel!
Hobbies and bucket list: Most anything outdoors: fishing, swimming, kayaking, hiking, gardening, long walks with my trusty yellow lab, Pippa and quilting and knitting for indoor activities. I recently crossed off my bucket list zip lining (exhilarating)! A trip to Hawaii might be next and exhibiting quilts nationally.
Jen Bloch, Marketing Coordinator: Jen has been The Thompson’s marketing coordinator for 6 years. In this role she has created hundreds of beautiful program flyers, newsletters, posters, website content, and ads that shared critical information about The Thompson with our participants and supporters. Jen also worked with us for a year as our volunteer coordinator a few years prior, and we were so glad to have her come back to us in the marketing role. Jen and her husband, Dave, live in Woodstock with their three sons Evan (20) Christian (18) and Austin (15) and their sweet lab named Ollie.
Hobbies: I love to read, garden, bake, hike, and get to the beach whenever possible.
Bucket list items: A family trip to Scotland, Ireland and Germany (my ancestral background).
Favorite memories at The Thompson: My favorite time at the Thompson is during the holidays where it’s so festive and cozy. I especially look forward to our holiday meals and spending time with fellow staff during our holiday party.
Favorite meal at the Thompson: Hands down the Mac and Cheese
Favorite thing about working at the Thompson: One of the most rewarding things about my specific role is that I have the opportunity to communicate such important information to those who need it most. I can visually enjoy the sense of accomplishment whether it be the printed newsletter or an eNews or an invitation or flyer/poster. I like coordinating all of the information into one place and putting my own little creative spin on it. I’ve learned a great deal and continue to learn which keeps my job super interesting!
Shari Borzekowski, Administrative and Resource Assistant: Shari has been at The Thompson for 5 years and helped to develop her role as our first resource assistant. She writes our thank you notes, processes donations, manages our calendars and building rentals, and assists other staff with administrative tasks. Her role has grown as our communities needs have grown and now includes our Aging at Home program — managing donated medical equipment and providing referrals to our vetted service providers – one number to call for any Aging at Home need.
“ I live in Killington with my husband and two teenage kids (one’s usually in college) and our 3 year old dog. We’re a musical family, we all sing and each play a different instrument, sometimes together! I also enjoy hiking and yoga. I love the Thompson patrons and volunteers–I’m inspired by their energy and their positive outlook, even Dwight’s gallows humor, which took a while to get used to. I love sitting in the foyer and being in the thick of things. I miss everyone and look forward to your coming back to the Thompson!”
Deanna Jones, Executive Director: It’s hard to believe I’ve been at The Thompson for 10 years! These have been some of the most rewarding years of my life. I’ve had 2 of our 4 children since joining the Thompson, and I’ve loved that they’ve all had a big extended family with so many people caring for them. Now ranging in age from 4 – 16, they don’t join me at the Center as often, but they have a lasting love and respect for our older generation. One of my most special memories is when our older children advocated at their ArtisTree camp for the proceeds of their craft fair to go to Meals on Wheels. Without me knowing, they convinced the class how important the meals are. I’ve also loved giving many other children the opportunity to experience the special care and attention at The Thompson during our Generation to Generation programs. I also love the holiday gatherings that feel like family get togethers (even when I worry about the Yankee Swap gift stealing of the Vera Bradley purses). Some of my biggest challenges are keeping up with communication and advocating for recognition and funding of the important work of senior centers. Senior Centers are the hidden gems that keep a big part of the community safe and well-fed during normal times and times of crisis. I was at the Thompson during hurricane Irene and now during Covid, and I can’t imagine anything more fulfilling than working with this team of staff and volunteers who always go above and beyond.