SVCOA Board Corner: Tom Adams

Name: Tom Adams

Time on the Board of Directors: 4 years

Reason for joining the Board: Gail Courcelle was a Board member, a former state Representative, and a neighbor. She was aware of my work in long Term Care eligibility at the welfare office and asked if I would be interested in joining the Board. And yes, I was very interested.

Tom’s Background: I am a native Rutlander and a 1973 graduate of UVM. I had a temporary 10-month job at the state welfare office in St. Albans and worked there 2 more years as an Outreach Worker for OEO. After that I was back in Rutland, picked apples one fall and drove a delivery van for a year before starting a job at Brandon Training School. After two years I found an opening in the Rutland welfare office and worked there until retiring 11 years ago. The last 5 years I was a Quality Assurance Specialist for the LTC/CFC program. This was a new position with 3 others and much of our work was directed at achieving uniformity in application processing in the 12 district offices.

Tom’s interests outside of work and the board: My interests outside the Board have varied over the years. In the past I was a hunter, avid downhill and X-country skier, softball, and volleyball player; I did some golfing too. With my wife, Greta, we take care of our vegetable garden and landscaping. We enjoy beach vacations but have no plans yet to travel this summer. I have frequently met up with my siblings for travel, sightseeing and hiking in national parks out west. In winters when there is less to do I read, and especially enjoy VT writers Chris Bohjalian and Archer Mayor.

My favorite place in VT is probably Chittenden Reservoir. My wife and I used to kayak there often and X-country ski, but arthritis is limiting all of her activities now. And I feel old age creeping in too.

Something people may not know about me is the fear I live in over developing Alzheimer’s. My maternal grandmother lived in Pleasant Manor for 14 years. This was before the days of CFC. One aunt never married and was in the home, but she was also caring for my grandfather who was confined to his reclining chair before the days of knee replacements. Later my mother and two aunts also got Alzheimer's. So, I do worry about that and have good reason to be concerned. I also had an older brother who was diagnosed with MS at age 31. I watched him gradually go downhill over the years until he could no longer work at age 52. He died at age 67. My wife and I also did a lot of direct care for her parents for over nine years. Now we help a cousin of mine who is developmentally disabled. More than my work in the welfare office, these family experiences prepared me for service on the Board.