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Dining services director brings thankful spirit to everything she does

We want to celebrate the season of thanks by talking about how the Parsons Presbyterian Manor community has persevered and found ways to be thankful, even during the hardships we have faced during the pandemic.

For insight, we turned to Jackie Stewart, our dining services director. Jackie has recently transitioned from the Presbyterian Manor staff to Cura Hospitality. Any big change presents challenges, but Jackie has maintained a thankful spirit throughout the process.

“I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity that PMMA has given me,” she said. “I started here a little over six years ago as a dietary aide, and now I'm the director.”

Jackie is thankful to have had support from Presbyterian Manor to further her professional development. The company paid for her certified dietary manager classes, books and certification test.

She has many personal reasons to give thanks, too.

“I have been so thankful through the pandemic that three of my four in-laws that got sick with COVID-19 survived,” she said. “My son was able to be a remote learner for the last school year, so he was safe at home. I've very thankful that I was one of the fortunate that were able to remain working through the pandemic.”

Jackie credits the blessings in her life to her son.

“I was headed down a really dark path when I found out I was pregnant with him, and he saved me,” she said. “I knew I had to make changes for him to have a good life. It's been an uphill battle often, as he was diagnosed with autism at 5 years old, but the patience and humility, he’s taught me over the years have been lessons I will cherish the rest of my life.”

Jackie brings her thankful spirit to every interaction she has.

“I try my best to show my gratitude by making it a point to brighten at least one person's day every day,” she said. “We never know what someone is dealing with or going through, and sometimes a smile or a thank-you can change someone’s day. I love paying it forward! I also do my best to remain humble in every aspect of my life.”

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