The Wellesley Club will hold its first meeting of the 2019 – 202o year on Monday, September 23, 6pm, at the Harvard Club of Boston, 374 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston. The guest speaker will be Juliette Kayyem, Senior Belfer Lecturer in International Security at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and national leader in homeland security, resiliency and safety.
Juliette Kayyem has spent over 15 years managing complex policy initiatives and organizing government responses to major crises in both state and federal government. She is currently the Senior Belfer Lecturer in International Security at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where she is faculty chair of the Homeland Security and the Security and Global Health Projects. Ms. Kayeem is the author of Security Mom, a memoir that explores the intersection and commonalities of her life in homeland security and her life as a mother. She is also the founder of Kayyem Solutions LLC, providing strategic advice in resiliency planning, risk management, mega-event security, infrastructure protection and cybersecurity. Ms. Kayyem appears frequently on CNN as their on-air national security analyst.
Wellesley Hills Congregational Church
Seeking Church Sunday School Teachers To Join Our Staff!
The Wellesley Hills Congregational Church Sunday School is seeking to hire teachers to join our team and help lead our thriving children’s ministry program on Sunday mornings. We are seeking teachers with a heart for the creative development of faith formation programs for young children and youth. Now filling multiple openings for the 2019-20 school year (September – May) in grades kindergarten through sixth grade. Apply Now!
Wellesley Hills Congregational Church
ATTN: Rev. Anne Marie Holloway
by email to: [email protected]
WHCC is located near the Wellesley Hills commuter rail stop.
Have a job listing you’d like to appear in Swellesley’s weekly classified ad post?
Email us at [email protected] for rates and deadline info.
Interim Director of Senior Services, Council on Aging
Seeking qualified applicants for the position of Interim Director of Senior Services. Anticipated duration two to four months. Reporting to the Council on Aging (COA) Board, the Director manages, directs and administers the COA’s senior center, programs, services/resources and supervises Departmental staff. Previous experience working in a senior center preferred, but not required.
Wellesley Council on Aging (COA) Director of Senior Services Gayle Thieme will leave the COA at the end of this month, closing out a 16-year tenure marked by a high point of shepherding the Tolles Parsons Center (TPC) from inception to its 2017 completion. Thieme’s last day will be August 30, 2019. She’ll relax for the Labor Day weekend, and then start right in at a mystery job. Although Thieme isn’t ready to share specifics about her new position, she will allow that seniors are a part of her future. “For 22 years I’ve worked in positions where I have served seniors – I can’t imagine doing anything else,” she says.
Thieme’s years in Wellesley have left a big mark in town. A 13,000 square foot TPC-sized mark, to be exact, and every inch was hard won. Back in 2011, Thieme looked on longingly as abutting towns Needham and Natick approved the building of her dream — a standalone senior center. Wellesley wasn’t there yet, but Thieme was a believer that support for a Wellesley senior center existed and that the center would eventually rise.
A few things conspired to help coax the TPC into being. Thieme’s faith and hard work were instrumental. Then there was the $825k bequest to the town back in 2005 from former Wellesley resident Billie Tolles. (Some seed money always helps.) Finally, the town got behind the project when in 2016 voters approved to borrow about $5.5 million for the project. (More money helps even more.) The end result: Wellesley now has the Tolles Parsons Center, located at 500 Washington St.
Wellesley resident Mary Bower, legendary as the prime mover, principal organizer, chief spokesperson, and cheerleader for the the senior center, and the namesake of the TPC’s Mary Bowers Cafe, said, “Gayle has been such a huge part of my life for her 16 years at our COA, but since 2005, we’ve shed much sweat and many tears together and wondered if we’d ever see a senior center in Wellesley. But, with her as our Director, we gave each other strength to persevere and never give in or give up. We both shared the same goal for Wellesley seniors and I’m proud and most grateful that our vision became a reality in the Fall of 2017. Without her, I don’t think we’d have our Tolles Parsons Center.”
For Thieme, her years at the COA haven’t entirely been about Tolles Parsons. She says, “Certainly my proudest accomplishment has been (helping) to bring the TPC to fruition and working with many incredible people over more than a decade to achieve this. This was no easy feat! Additionally, I am proud of the significant expansion of programs and services and growing the staff and volunteer pool to support this growth. I also am proud to have launched the Volunteer Drivers Program back in February 2011 with a generous grant from The Fund for Wellesley to run it as a pilot. The program continues to operate today with about 35 drivers. We are always looking for additional drivers.”
Thieme isn’t done taking care of Wellesley’s seniors. She wants everyone to know that the COA is temporarily closed for warranty work and carpet replacement. “COA staff have relocated to the Department of Public Works building at 20 Municipal Way while the TPC is closed for repair work through August 16. We expect to return to the TPC on Monday, August 19.”
Thieme is thankful for her years in town. “I have always appreciated the tremendous support I received from my colleagues. Wellesley’s professional staff members are extremely capable and so very committed to their work and serving the residents of the Town to the very best of their abilities. When I stepped into the job as Director of Senior Services in 2006, I never imagined what the next decade plus had in store for me. It absolutely took a village and it was an incredible learning experience for me.”
Until a new COA Director is hired, Linda Clifford, Assistant Director of Senior Services, can help with residents’ questions. She can be reached at [email protected] or by phone 781-235-3961 x6422
The COA’s main number is 781-235-3961, or send an email to: [email protected]
More Wellesley good-byes
The Town of Wellesley gave a fond farewell to Wellesley Municipal Light Plant (MLP) Director Dick Joyce at a goodbye celebration at the Community Center earlier this week. Joyce has left his position after twenty-four years of service. A few months ago, anticipating this post, I asked him to send along a picture of himself, perhaps sitting at his desk. He thanked me by email for my interest, but claimed not to possess such a thing: “I don’t have a photo and if you did publish one, half of your subscribers would unsubscribe.”
Hmm, well, what about an exit interview, Dick? No go. “My preference has always been, and remains, not to draw attention to myself.”
Since Dick wouldn’t talk about himself, I had to seek out other sources who were willing to tell all about the dedicated professional and consummate gentleman. I didn’t have to look far.
State Representative Alice Peisch and the Board of Selectmen (BOS) each presented Joyce with proclamations thanking him for his service. In those proclamations was laid bare the entire tale of the guy who has worked tirelessly to deliver safe, environmentally sustainable and reliable electricity and telecommunication services to customers at competitive rates. The BOS proclamation said in part, “Dick has fostered a culture of safety at the MLP that is unparalleled in the industry. Under Dick’s leadership the MLP has received numerous awards and extensive recognition as an exemplary role model for municipal and investor-owned utilities throughout the country. His strong business management skills and partnership with the MLP Board have resulted in the consistent donation of one million dollars each year to the Town’s operating budget.”
Just a few of his projects: Joyce supported the holiday tree lighting program; installed solar energy production facilities at Wellesley High School and a charging bench outside the Wellesley Free Library; and retrofitted street lights with energy saving LED lights. In addition, under his leadership the MLP implemented many innovative initiatives which have enhanced services and revenues. He helped provide services to the Mass Development facility at Fort Devins; advocated for the strategically important purchase of light poles in the Town of Wellesley; and implemented the Distributed Antennae System program to expand cell coverage and fiber networks, and launch high speed data for municipal and commercial clients.
There’s a new sheriff in town
The Wellesley Municipal Light Board in late spring named Don Newell as the WMLP’s new director. Newell’s first day on the job was August 1. Newell comes to the position as the former assistant director of line operations at the WMLP. He has been with the WMLP since 1999, leaving briefly to work for the Ipswich Electric Light Department in 2014, and returning to Wellesley in 2017. Newell’s been involved in the town’s Distribution Automation Expansion and LED Streetlight Conversion, among other projects.
Newell’s goals include expanding WellesleyNet commercial internet services, and encouraging electric vehicle use in the community.
Roche Bros. in Wellesley’s Linden Square has rolled out four brand-new self-checkout machines amid some concerns that when the check-out part of shopping is outsourced to the customer, jobs could eventually be taken away away from cashiers.
Roche Bros. said the change was made for a couple of reasons: first, a tight labor market made hiring increasingly difficult, and second, many customers appreciate having the option to check themselves out.
When I stopped in recently, the self-checkout lanes were up and running, looking like they’d always been there. Sure, I tried one out. It was easy as pie and, admittedly, not the first time I’d ever scanned a barcode. The Wellesley Free Library trained me in that skill ages ago, and Target might have gotten to me first.
Roche Bros. Director of Marketing Media & Public Relations Dena Kowaloff maintains that nobody will lose their job due to the change. “We will not be laying off or eliminating any positions as a result of the new Fast Lane registers,” Kowaloff said. “Our Wellesley store will continue to offer cashier-staffed traditional and express checkout lanes, bagging services, and grocery carry-out to your car as we have been. The new Fast Lane registers will simply be another option customers can choose if they wish.”
It seems likely that, barring shopper insurrection, the self check-out lanes are here to stay. So are the staffed lanes. Roche Bros. would like you to know they are hiring cashiers for the Wellesley store. More on that here.
Some shoppers love self-checkout machines in the grocery store. Count Mr. Swellesley as one of them. He likes to zip the bar code over the scanner, then in one fluid motion drop his item into the waiting bag and carry his score to the car himself. When allowed to process these small daily transactions independently, a happier shopper you’ll never know. This is because Mr. Swellesley is uneasy as the object of service. When given the choice, he’ll always pump the gas, mow the lawn, iron the shirts, and wash the car on his own. His latest: trying to figure out if he can maybe cut his own hair. He hasn’t yet dared, but has spent much time interviewing the fearless men who do.
Other shoppers hate self-checkout machines. For them, it’s a matter of principle, a simple cause-and-effect equation. When the check-out part of shopping is outsourced to the customer, then jobs are taken away away from cashiers, they reason.
Roche Bros. in Wellesley has found itself on the defensive as the business, in town since 1981, moves toward installing four self-checkout machines in Wellesley. Construction has begun, and the new system is expected to roll out later in June.
Roche Bros. says the change will give shoppers choice as the store faces a tight labor market that has made hiring increasingly difficult. Even though the store currently has six cashier positions open, they say they’ve struggled to fill them. As Roche Bros. sees it, technology is the solution to this tight labor market problem.
Maribeth Grant, Manager, Customer Service for Roche Bros. says, “We have a diverse customer base, with different preferences on how they like to shop. For example, most of our Wellesley customers shop in-store, but we also have hundreds who prefer to shop online with Roche Bros. and have their groceries delivered. Similarly, adding Fast Lane registers will appeal to a subset of customers who prefer to check themselves out, while we are happy to continue to offer multiple cashier-attended checkout lanes for customers who prefer a face-to-face interaction.”
Still, the decision has sent Roche Bros. Director of Marketing Media & Public Relations Dena Kowaloff into customer reassurance mode. She has lately spent a lot of time dispelling customer fears that self -checkout lanes will lead to job losses for cashiers and baggers. She’s even been granted access to a popular closed Facebook page on which members have been voicing their concerns that baggers and cashiers will be let go as a result of the new lanes.
“We will not be laying off or eliminating any positions as a result of the new Fast Lane registers,” Kowaloff says. “Our Wellesley store will continue to offer cashier-staffed traditional and express checkout lanes, bagging services, and grocery carry-out to your car as we have been. We will continue to offer express lanes and regular lanes staffed by our fantastic cashiers. The new Fast Lane registers will simply be another option customers can choose if they wish.”
Some customers take a big-picture view and suggest it’s inevitable that a combination of new technologies and worker shortages in areas such as Wellesley will result in big changes. Wellesley resident Julia Hicks de Peyster says, “As someone who has focused on workforce development and employee benefits for much of my career I can say that huge changes are afoot. We will likely see wave upon wave of firings, robots, redeployment of human capital – this will cause great sadness and stress to workers and managers alike. As customers of businesses, I think we are going to need to develop a new thinking that we are partners in this intertwined economy so we get through this with the most human decency possible.”
Roche Bros.’ Wellesley location currently has openings for six cashiers. Interested candidates can apply online at www.rochebros.com/careers. Full-time employees (associates who work 40 hours per week or more) are eligible for benefits that include medical, dental, paid time off, 401k, and more. More on that here.