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Eiteljorg Insider | 5 Questions with Mary Downey, our Longest-Serving Employee

by Jaq Nigg, Eiteljorg Festivals and Markets Manager | Feb 07, 2014


Eiteljorg bookkeeper/office assistant Mary Downey on a fishing trip with her family in 1989, the year the Eiteljorg opened.

Celebrating her 25 year anniversary along with the Eiteljorg is bookkeeper/office assistant, Mary Downey. She’s been here since the very beginning and has had many roles. She saw the original building built, knew Harrison Eiteljorg and has been part of every exhibit and event the museum has produced. She’s a great team member, and one of the people everyone on staff knows they can go to with a problem with the copier, finding obscure budget information, remembering something or someone from years ago, knowing how things used to be done and having great ideas for changes that could be made. Mary knows where all the bodies are buried!  [hahahahaha] We thought it would be great to hear from her for this week's Eiteljorg Insider!

If you weren’t a bookkeeper, what would you be?
That question still is not answerable. I’m not sure. Whatever God has planned is what I will be. I enjoy my job and all the folks I work with. We have a great team working here.

What inspires you?
Jesus inspires me. His love for all of us and how we should love one and other. My family, friends, nature…Life

What should we ask you about your life that you want us to know about?
I enjoy building puzzles. I love being in water either canoeing or swimming. My dog loves the water, too, so when we’re camping she becomes my swimming partner now that my two children are grown up.

What was it like at the Eiteljorg 25 years ago?
The building was not finished yet and we worked in another office building. One of my first jobs was helping answer phones for the executive secretary. There were not a lot of staff back then and we shared a large room with some cubicles. When we moved into the building, it was still under construction and noisy. We had earplugs so we could concentrate. Then we opened, and it has been changing ever since.

What have been your favorite changes at the Eiteljorg in the last 25 years?
Way better technology. I don’t want to date myself, but back then the letters on the computer screens were orange. Bigger building and the Annis Center with the stage coach. My very favorite time is Jingle Rails. I would love to have a set up like that in my house if I had a house that would hold it. There have been so many exhibits and events that it is hard to address them all, but I like Quest and Indian Market. I look forward to New Art starting up again. I can’t wait to see what is coming up in the next few years! Also, I now have my own (BIG!) office space – yahoo! (Pictured: Mary, with coworkers Dee and Lezlie).

1 Comment

  1. 1 Susanne Sperback 10 Feb

    Congratulations Mary!  I know your family is proud of your accomplishments.

     

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