June 1 marks my first day as the new Nutrition Services Director, following Marcee Woffinden’s retirement. Marcee successfully served our agency and seniors for over 17 years, and I’m grateful for her past mentoring and support. And now I have to try to fill her very large shoes!
Although I’ve met many of you over the years at home assessments, dining centers, or volunteer events, I’ll give you a little snapshot of my life: I’m originally from Great Falls, Montana, and my mom still lives there. I graduated from Oregon State University and University of Montana, with Liberal Arts degrees in English and Education. I’ve worked for Meals on Wheels for nine years as the Lead Home Assessor.
For nearly 26 years, I’ve been married to Mike Thien, who is a Project Manager for Hanford companies. We have three children, two of whom attend University of Washington (Sorry to you Cougars fans!), and one who is currently a high school sophomore. I enjoy hiking, camping, kayaking, biking, and most other outdoor activities, and I’m active with the youth at my church.
As I start in my new position, I don’t anticipate making many changes right away, although you’ll certainly witness gradual changes over time. We’re fortunate to have professional and dedicated staff and volunteers who are committed to our mission. Although there are challenges ahead, Marcee has developed a well-run program, so there aren’t huge issues that require urgent and immediate attention.
One thing that will never change is the high regard we have for the volunteers who are the foundation of our program. We have only 4 full-time employees, a bunch of part-timers, and over 400 volunteers! We would be unable to serve meals without our volunteers, and their efforts truly change the world!
On our updated newsletter masthead, you’ll notice that I’ve included our Senior Life Resources motto: It’s not about us. It’s about the people we serve. I think our volunteers will attest that we truly try to live up to that philosophy. Our staff makes decisions based on what we believe is best for our clients and the overall health of our program.
I look forward to meeting more clients, volunteers, and community members as I’m out and about, and I hope you’ll all be patient and tolerant as I learn about my new job. I’m grateful for my opportunity to continue to serve the seniors in our communities.
Rookie Nutrition Services Director