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Community resources manager brings ‘art of living’ to Linden Ponds

Created date

January 31st, 2014
Community resources manager brings ‘art of living’ to Linden Ponds
Community resources manager brings ‘art of living’

When Molly Lynch St. John first stepped foot in the Linden Ponds community, she was delivering flowers to an employee. She was searching for a new, creative career path, while working in a garden center. To St. John’s surprise, Linden Ponds became much more than a stop on her delivery route.    

“I walked in, I looked around, and I said, ‘I want to work here.’ It was this immediate attraction,” she says. 

St. John communicated her interest to the woman who was receiving the flowers and found that the woman had done just the same thing three years before. When St. John learned Linden Ponds was looking for a community resources manager/artistic director, she did not waste time in pursuing the chance to be a part of what she knew was meant to be.

Creative genes

St. John began her career in theater and directing after graduating from Saint Michael’s College. Following in her father’s footsteps, she became a photographer, freelancing for television production companies and eventually landed in the design department as a still photographer at Channel 5 in Boston, while also working for ABC.  

In what she calls the “second chapter” of her career, she turned to education and fell in love with her seven-year role as a teacher. 

A native of the Midwest who grew up in Framingham, Mass., and spent summers in a cottage on the South Shore, St. John says the creative gene is in her DNA. “Every single person in my family is an artist of some sort,” she says.

One responsibility of the community resources manager is to facilitate and support the 160 resident-run activity groups, and the numerous events that take place at Linden Ponds. “Every single thing I’ve done in my past for work relates to this job: my theater and art background, my working in a television station, my education. Everything led me to this remarkable place.” Linden Ponds staff agreed.

Supportive, positive environment 

St. John arrived at the Hingham, Mass., Erickson Living community just before Halloween and, with the help of residents, created two festive and haunted scenes from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and the Haunted Forest from the Wizard of Oz.

With supportive staff members, St. John accomplished her first event, a Halloween party attended by about 100 enthusiastic, costumed residents, including, “A coven of witches all in their 90s—and they danced!” she says.

What had first struck St. John about Linden Ponds was the energy, positive attitude, and friendliness of those she encountered. Two months into her tenure, St. John attributes those qualities to the trickle-down effect of positivity and support from Linden Ponds’ administration.  

“I think that’s why, when I first walked in here, I thought, ‘There is something so special about this place. There’s something so positive in the air,’” she says. “People love their work here. I’ve never seen so many employees with smiles on their faces, and the willingness to help by both staff and residents.” 

Phenomenal talent

Beyond her positive impression of the Linden Ponds staff, St. John has been similarly impressed with the people living in the community.  

“The amount of talent here at Linden Ponds with the residents is just phenomenal,” she says, referencing the professors, artists, and professionals, among others, who call Linden Ponds home. “The artist community alone is just outstanding.”

One of St. John’s first conversations was with a man living at Linden Ponds who told her “he was 84 when he moved in, and now he’s 72.” That conversation confirmed St. John’s mission to “bring the art of living” to those at Linden Ponds by giving them high-quality experiences and opportunities to get involved in the community.

“These are vital and vibrant people; they deserve every bit of pomp and circumstance I can give them,” she says.

As a photographer, St. John can often be spotted capturing the events she coordinates in photographs that later air on Linden Ponds’ in-house TV station, TV6. On the heels of a whirlwind of holiday and New Year’s events, St. John planned to host a chocolate and wine tasting party this month to coordinate with Valentine’s Day. 

“My biggest fault right now is knowing when I need to go home,” she says. As for “chapter three” of her professional career, she adds, “I will be here until I can move in. This a fabulous place to live!”