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EPI's Longest Serving Employee Retires

posted by Katie Slade on Saturday, August 14, 2021

Our longest serving employee retires after 44 years. Being curious how things have changed and how things have stayed the same, we sat down with Lin to find out.

How did your journey at EPI begin?
In 1961, I was hired as a secretary in a wholesale lumber company in Waterloo. Accuracy was essential and at the start I was absolutely thrilled with my job. By year six I grew tired of the same thing day in and day out and decided to move on and began working as needed for a local brokerage firm. 

A friend of mine who worked in the Community Services building, told me EPI was looking for a secretary. I called and set up an interview.

Gary Mattson, who at the time was the Associate Director, conducted my interview at 1 PM and said he would get back to me. By 3 PM that same afternoon he called to ask if I could start the next Monday.

Executive Director, Bill Brown, was good friends with the senior broker I had just worked for and after a conversation with him, I got the job!

In your time with EPI, what has changed and what has stayed the same? 
Change was always constant. I learned to plan my day’s work but switch my plans at a moment’s notice if someone had a more critical need. But what stayed the same was the “family atmosphere” in the office. 

44 years! What kept pulling you coming back in? 
From day one I absolutely loved my job and the folks with whom I worked with.

What did you gain from working at EPI? 
I had never known any people with disabilities, with the exception of a disabled man in my hometown. I often noticed that folks greeted him on the street with such friendliness and affection. At EPI, initially, I was a little shy of those we served until I got to know them better, and, in the end, I could count many of them as friends.

People come in all shapes and sizes, with different abilities and needs, and in my heart, I deemed it my obligation to treat everyone with the utmost respect, dignity, and helpfulness. This became a habit that I carried to the world apart from EPI.

Lin supported EPI through many changes, working under each of the three Executive Directors. We couldn’t be more proud of the work she has done and are forever thankful to her dedication.

During retirement, Lin plans to stay at home with her husband, “the love of her life”, as they continue their work on the Waterloo Cemetery Board. 

Current EPI ED Chris Sparks admits to a great fondness for Lin. “Lin was always warm and kind, and so amazingly committed to excellence in her work. She always took time to interact with each person who entered her orbit, and she made sure we had needed and novel office supplies.”

Congratulations, Lin!

About The Author

Katie Slade is EPI's Organizational Development Director.