She’s been awarded both the Oconomowoc Chamber Citizen of the Year and the Woman in Business Leadership Award, and has served on Chamber, church, Historical Society and Oconomowoc Area Senior Center committees, councils and boards. But Shorehaven Manager of Volunteer Services Pam Thomas said her greatest achievement to date is striving to enhance the lives of health center residents.
For 24 years Thomas has recruited and maintained more than 300 active volunteers, served in retail management at the onsite Forgotten Treasures Resale Shop, popped popcorn, coordinated chapel and beauty shop escorts, ran special events and fund-raisers, inspired her volunteers by leadership and example, and today, Thomas will bid farewell to decades of productivity.
Thomas, retiring and relocating to her home state of Iowa, said her role has been “one giant, incredible opportunity.” “When I first got this job it felt like I was home…My biggest reward has been in witnessing how both the volunteers and the residents grow in their renewed relationships,” said Thomas. “I’ve learned so much about the goodness in people, seeing their compassion and their willingness to serve. I have been blessed personally and professionally through this career.”
Recruiting community volunteers and putting them to work delivering resident mail, taking residents on outdoor strolls, and selling treasures at the resale shop, Thomas said “so many have dropped everything to step in and step up.”
“It’s been an honor coordinating volunteers who know and embrace the Shorehaven mission. They’re committed. They show up to serve.”
Kris Gallert will now serve in the volunteer manager’s new role. A lifelong Oconomowoc resident, and previously employed with Our Savior’s Church adult ministry and the Oconomowoc Area Chamber of Commerce, Gallert said she is “excited about my new responsibility.”
Having had three grandparents who lived on the Shorehaven campus, Gallert said she experienced firsthand “how Shorehaven cares for its residents, staff and volunteers.”
“We all are reaping what Oconomowoc seniors worked so hard to create. Because of these Shorehaven residents, we are able to enjoy this quality of life. I am so thankful to be able to serve them.”
Gallert said she knows she has giant shoes to fill in Thomas’ wake. “I’m honored to be able to work with volunteers who share their talents and skills in all the different seasons of life. I am so thrilled, and honored, to be here.”