Pat Marshall started with Presby’s Inspired Life 37 years ago. And while titles and roles change, Pat remains a guiding light and mentor to her fellow team members.

Pat Marshall (right) with Presby’s Inspired Life president and CEO Judee M. Bavaria and longtime Presby team member Howard Tyrrell.

Pat Marshall fondly recalls the day when, while managing a candy shop in Bryn Mawr, Delaware County, she saw one of the younger employees reading a newspaper.

When the younger employee got up and left the newspaper behind, Pat went over and noticed a help wanted ad in the paper for a receptionist.

The ad piqued her interest, but Pat, enjoying what she was doing at the candy shop, still debated whether or not to answer it.

“I finally thought, hmm… I’m going to apply for that, and I did,” Pat said.

Almost 37 years later, Pat is happy she did because she’s been a member of the Presby’s Inspired Life family ever since.

Pat is an administrative assistant at the CSC, Presby’s corporate headquarters. But she became a member of the Presby family in 1980 when she started as a receptionist at Broomall, where, over the course of 21 years, she held numerous administrative and supportive titles.

In 2001, Presby’s President and CEO Judee M. Bavaria had taken notice of Pat’s diligent work and devotion to Presby and asked Pat to come over to the corporate office to be her assistant. Pat filled that role until 2008, when she retired.

Or so she thought.

“I retired, but I was never really off the books!” Pat said with a hearty laugh.

“I would go over to Rosemont and fill in occasionally. Then things with my replacement didn’t work out at CSC, so they called me back temporarily as they looked for someone else. And with a little bit of coaxing and so forth, I decided to come back on a four-day-a-week basis.

“I missed seeing the residents and talking with the residents. I really enjoy the one-on-one interaction.”

Pat now serves as the administrative assistant to Presby director of materials management, Warren Stellfox.

But Pat’s presence around the office is invaluable to the staff she interacts with day in and day out. She’s a mentor to the other Presby team members and is almost always at the top of the list of people to go to for advice and guidance.

“Pat is a calming force on days when nothing seems to be going right, said Linda D’Ascenzo, office manager for Presby’s Affordable Housing communities. “Pat is a voice of compassion, reason and understanding.”

“Pat is always willing to lend a helping hand and greets you with a warm smile,” said Demi Mallios, an executive assistant at Presby. “I consider Pat a great friend of mine and we have shared many laughs over the years. Her demeanor speaks volumes of her genuine character.”

Over the course of her 37 years at Presby, Pat, needless to say, has seen plenty of things change along the way.

Not just to Presby outwardly as the organization’s portfolio has grown to add more and more communities, both the Market-Rate and Affordable Housing type.

Pat has been closely involved with how the administrative assistant role has evolved.

Computer technology, something most take for granted these days, is essential for the role. It wasn’t when Pat started, but she could see the trend growing in importance. So, when she was at Broomall, Pat took it upon herself to learn the technology.

“You get more and more and more to do,” Pat explained. “And I don’t like not to know how to do something. So I took a class first, before they even had the computer in our office. I couldn’t even explain to you – the computer was a monstrosity. But I took this class and it gave me the premise.

“Then they brought the computer in to the office. Then I thought, well, I should take some more classes. So I went to a community college. I said to myself, ‘Oh my goodness, look at all these things you can do with a computer.’ When I saw all it could do, I mentioned to a visiting board member that the computer does so much and we don’t know anything about that. Next thing you know, we started taking classes. That’s how it started here!”

Pat’s second stint with Presby is set to end soon. After 37 years, she’ll be retiring at the end of this coming April.

“I never thought I would be here for 37 years,” Pat said. “I enjoy the supportive role. … I was happy I came back. I don’t think I was ready for retirement the first time. I just thought I was!”

But now comes the hard part.

“Honestly, I don’t have a clue what I’m going to do when I retire this time!”

*Pat’s service and dedication to Presby’s Inspired Life was honored recently as he was the Community Support Center’s nominee for the 2017 Distinguished Service Staff Member of the Year Award.