Anyone who’s been following the Newsletter knows that Ron Hanft, who’s served so ably as Financial Secretary for the last ten years, at last decided it was time to pass the torch; luckily for the Church, Marion was willing to take it up. Speaking to her about her past experience in health care and medical coding and billing, I realized once again what a deep bench of amazingly skilled and experienced members we have, a fact that’s easily overlooked, as, like Marion, they are usually modest.
My father used to advise me and my brothers to “let other people do your bragging for you”. That’s good counsel, undoubtedly, but we often don’t know what lights are hiding under bushels. I was given the delightful task (by Moderator Cathy Clark) of doing some bragging for Marion.
Though born and raised near Lowell (a preacher’s kid!) with much time spent in New Hampshire, where, from an early age, she was an avid rider (more on that later), as an adult she studied and worked in Westchester County, NY. The path from urban and suburban New York is well-worn by many Berkshire transplants, but Marion’s was more gradual, with a number of stops along the way. She trained as a nurse but soon realized she was better suited to Social Work, so got a second degree. Bit by bit, she worked her way North in search of the right combination of job and community. Marion found that the Pittsfield area offered rich opportunities for social work practice, and given that it was within range, it was the logical next move. As a medical social worker, she enjoyed providing case management for individuals with disabilities living in foster placements, as well as supporting patients and families. After quick refresher courses in anatomy and physiology and medical terminology, Marion kept busy during the pandemic learning medical coding and billing.
In case you’re wondering how this connects to her new role as Financial Secretary, the common theme is a facility with numbers. When first approached by Cathy, Marion demurred, but, on second thought, realized that she was in fact prepared for the opportunity. The happy result is that she is now fully on board in the job, with Ron on call, if needed, to help with the transition.
And how did Marion find her way to UCC Stockbridge? When she attended a Palm Sunday service in Stockbridge with her parents several years ago, something clicked for her and she suspected that this might eventually become her church home.
One other very important thing to know about Marion is that she is a skilled and experienced equestrienne. If you can get her to show you some pictures of her competing with Willow (most recently in Vermont) I promise that you don’t need to know anything about horses or the sport to be impressed by the grace and beauty of this team. And we are most fortunate that she’s decided to join ours, both as a member, and as staff.
~ Margaret Hornick (printed in July newsletter)