Friday
September
19
2014
12:56 pm
Weather

  Home
  Local News
  State / National / World
  Sports
  Opinion / Letters
  Business
  Arts / Entertainment
  Lifestyle
  Obituaries
  Calendar
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  Classifieds
  DJ Designers
  Archives
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
 
 
 
 

Check out our archive of Dining Guides - Yum!

Executive director of CALL Primrose leaves: Burlingame nonprofit leader Mary Watt to focus on healing for now
March 24, 2014, 05:00 AM By Angela Swartz Daily Journal

Mary Watt

After 15 years as the executive director of Burlingame nonprofit CALL Primrose, Mary Watt has stepped down to tend to her health.

Watt, a Redwood City native and current San Carlos resident, took over in 1999 as executive director of the organization that provides food and other assistance to low-income individuals and families from San Bruno down to San Carlos. CALL Primrose started as a telephone and information referral service on Primrose Road in 1983. With Watt, it has grown from distributing 4,000 bags of food per year to close to 40,000 bags.

“Every single day was different,” said Watt, 57. “I got to work with so many wonderful people. I went into work with the expectation I never knew what was going to happen.”

Watt, who has been married for 40 years, has two sons and one granddaughter. She is now going into retirement to work on fixing the neck and back issues she’s had for years.

“I’m getting a lot of rest and enjoying reading and doing gentle physical activity,” said Watt, who holds a master’s in public administration from Notre Dame de Namur University. “I like to write poetry, play piano, compose, travel and listen to music. The key is really pacing myself way slower.”

A search for a successor of the 30-year-old organization will take place over the next several months.

“I really encouraged them to try to take an interim and stabilize,” she said. “Set a vision before picking someone who is a dynamic person for that vision. … The face of hunger in the county is different than it was different than 30 years ago.”

For now, Terri Boesch is acting as the interim office manager.

“My biggest hope is that it stays being a place that matches the abundance of resources we have in the community with the folks that need it,” Watt said.

For many years, Watt said she worried about if the center would have enough resources. She said she doesn’t regret worrying too much about things she didn’t need to worry about after all since it was a learning experience. In her own life, she said over the years she wishes she had remembered to say thank you more often.

“I hope everybody knows I appreciated everything they did,” she said.

There are pluses and minuses having the organization in Burlingame. One positive is easy access from public transit, while a negative is that it’s hard to access by car, she said.

“The house it’s in is 100 years old,” she said. “It’s held a much bigger volume [of supplies] than anyone ever dreamed. People like that it looks like a home because it’s welcoming.”

She hopes it will continue into the future and be able to offer even more students an opportunity to complete community service hours

at the center.

“Students get treated like adults and have an opportunity to give back in a warm, welcoming setting,” she said. “They get to see that not everyone has enough. They can come in and feel like they really made a difference. That’s the real magic and blessing of it.”

Those involved in the organization have praised Watt for her work.

“Mary always goes above and beyond to help others,” said volunteer Annette Alioto in a press release. “She is the most selfless person I know, but she has strong boundaries. Everything is done by the book, and everyone is treated fairly and equally. I love watching the way she approaches and interacts with people. We have all learned a lot from her.”

In fact, in 2013, she was named Burlingame Lions Club Citizen of the Year.

Of Watt’s time at CALL Primrose, one of her favorite memories was in 2008 when within an hour of news of a burglary at the center, donations were flying in the door from the Lions Club and Burlingame Police Department.

“The whole community just rallied around us immediately,” she said. “They came to help us out. The community is so good to CALL Primrose.”

To read a blog post on Watt’s departure at callprimrose.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/a-new-year-ushers-in-a-new-chapter-for-call-primrose.

angela@smdailyjournal.com

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105

 

 

Tags: years, primrose, organization, burlingame, community, about,


Other stories from today:

 

 
Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
 
Return To Archives
 
  


 
 
 
Daily Journal Quick Poll
 
What do you think of Larry Ellison stepping down as CEO of Oracle?

It will still be his company
Time to pass the baton
It will give him more time for other pursuits
Don't care

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Alibaba surges in its stock market debut
NEW YORK — Alibaba's stock is surging as the Chinese e-commerce powerhouse begins its first day tr..
Unemployment rates rise in 24 U.S. states in August
WASHINGTON — Unemployment rates rose in nearly half of U.S. states in August, even as employers in..
Arrest made in fatal attack at South City gym
A South San Francisco man was arrested this morning after he allegedly beat another man to death at ..
More >>  
 
 
  
 
  
 
©2014 San Mateo Daily Journal
Foster City news