Louise Stemm marks her time passed at ADEC by tracing the evolution of technology over 25 years.

As the receptionist at ADEC’s Administration Building for the first eight years of her career, Louise started off using a dicta-phone to write the CEO’s correspondence on her typewriter. She sorted mail in the little cubby next to her desk and called beepers when there was a missed phone call.

“I’d go through a whole pad of those pink ‘While You Were Out’ slips in a day,” Louise recalls.

Eventually, she graduated to a Word Processor and moved on to a new position in Finance. As the Payroll Assistant, Louise helped with the grand operation of processing payroll in house each week. Her small team tracked hours, called employees for verification and processed checks week in and week out.

Her manager suddenly quit one day, and Louise found herself in a new position – Payroll Manager. During her tenure, she oversaw ADEC’s transition to a payroll company.

It was then time for a change. Louise moved over to ADEC’s Day Services at Bristol, where she worked as an administrative assistant for Kathy Tony and Don Wierenga.

In this new position, she had a few fun conversations with coworkers where she’d introduce herself as Louise, and they’d say, “You’re not the same Louise from Payroll? But you’re nice!”

One perk of her job at the day service was that Louise actually had her own assistant. Erwin, an ADEC client with a love of office work, declared himself her assistant. He’d come in every morning to check on the work load. He filled out forms and wrote his own notes up to be filed in Louise’s office. She looked forward to his daily visits.

In those days, the doors did not have any alarms so clients would often run out of the building. Since Louise was stationed near the front, one of her job duties was to run out after anyone who decided to take a break.

One of Louise’s most memorable ADEC experiences was when a very strong client ran out the door. She took off after him and managed to catch him, but she wasn’t strong enough to do anything but stick with him. The two of them ran circles around the parking lot until someone noticed they were gone.

Another time, Louise and her mother hosted a garage sale and several ADEC clients came out to check it out. Yard sales were a favorite weekend excursion for many years. She and her husband had a big box of black USA Volleyball shirts for sale and several clients were interested in them so she decided to give the shirts to them. For years afterward, she and her husband spot ADEC clients wearing them everywhere they went. It always made them smile.

Louise eventually began working for day services in the mornings and spending her afternoons with Supported Living. The responsibilities with Supported Living gradually became a full-time position in its own right, Louise has been happy using her desktop computer as the Supported Living Administrative Assistant for several years.

“This is probably my favorite thing that I’ve done at ADEC,” Louise said. “But I do miss being at B2 and talking with the clients and going to dances.”

Photo by Rod Tackett | Communications Specialist