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Bidding Farewell to a Colleague PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by D.J. Grothe   
lindaflowers
Linda accepts flowers which were a small sign of gratitude for her help with The Amaz!ng Meeting. Her husband Karl Shallenberger, a longtime JREF volunteer and advisor, stands to the left.

It is with both sadness and a warm heart that I'm announcing a member of the James Randi Educational Foundation's team has left the organization. A few days ago, Linda Shallenberger retired. She had been wanting to retire for many years, and recently felt it was the right time. Although I had only worked with her directly for four short months, I came to see in her what everyone else close to her saw: diligence, duty, and above all, a sense of devotion to what the foundation stands for, and to Randi himself.

Linda had been with the the JREF nearly since its beginning. Over the years, she helped organize the Amazing Meetings, managed our office in Ft. Lauderdale, handled HR and payroll and the accounting and finances, tracked and fulfilled merchandise orders, in addition to serving as our one-woman fundraising and development department. She consistently went "above and beyond," often doing more work than was required merely to get the job done. And for many skeptics at the grassroots, Linda is their point of contact at the JREF.

We'll miss her, even though we know she will always be part of our family. Reading Randi's message about her retirement will really give you a feeling of how dear she is to everyone at the JREF:

This is a love letter.

Linda Shallenberger joined the JREF team years ago, after we'd suffered through a sequence of other office managers who were - ummm - less than compatable with our goals. With Linda there was no such problem; she had - and has - no illusions about how the world works, that is, when and if it works. Together we shared our astonishment over the nonsense that presented itself for all the years she held forth in our front office, always prepared for some new fragmentation of common sense that would be presented to us, some fresh challenge that would walk in our front door, or an incomprehensible document that we'd have to pore over, trying to decide what some woo-woo was trying to beguile us with. While all these distractions assailed us, the bills got paid, checks got deposited, bizarre emergencies were dealt with, the trash was disposed of, and when I came down with coronary problems and - just recently - my chemotherapy adventure, Linda and her husband Karl were always there to encourage and support me.

Now that Linda has retired from the fray, though she'll always be within reach when needed, we're realizing all the more just what she has meant to us over the years, and she knows full well the love we bear her, and always will. We love you, and we'll miss you. And we're ready to jump if and when you need us. I'll invoke one of my very favorite closing lines here, from the film Casablanca, substituting "Linda" for "Louie": "Linda, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

Best wishes to you and Karl in your retirement, Linda. And thank you for being there for the JREF and for Randi all of these years. While I'd say we'll miss you, on the other hand, we know you'll continue to be involved in our efforts, and we look forward to enjoying this next TAM with the both of you.

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written by sjtrimmer@gmail.com, March 03, 2010
Linda and Karl are two great people, and anyone who has been involved with the JREF or TAM know how hard they work. I hope they will be able to go to TAM 8 because even though they have gone to every one, they have yet to actually see it in person.

Best Wishes
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written by golabek, March 03, 2010
If I was stranded on a deserted island, two people I want there are Linda and Karl!
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written by Kitty, March 03, 2010
Linda was the first person I met at TAM1. She made me feel welcome, and in the TAMs to come I was lucky enough to volunteer with her and become her friend. Karl is ofcourse fabulous!

I remember TAM2 when we were trying to do packets. It was a minor disaster, with missing packets and not enough of some documents. At one point the phone rang and Linda said, "if that's Randi dont tell him where we are! We have WORK to do!" Sure enough he found us anyway, and was soon performing magic and delighting us all... but work stopped!

Soon Linda had us all back to work stuffing, and even Randi was helping out. Linda managed the JREF (and sometimes Randi) with such skill and dedication we all owe her a big thanks.
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written by occasional, March 03, 2010
I've met Linda and Karl socially at a couple of JREF events. They're lovely people, whose devoted work for the organization has obviously been a major asset for many years. I wish you both a very happy retirement. You'll be welcome here in the UK any time.
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Bye, Linda
written by PsyberDave, March 04, 2010
It is easy to lightheartedly say, "Oh, Linda is the one who runs this place." But there is a serious truth that undergirds such a statement. It was obvious to me from the first time I wandered into the JREF and every time I had contact with Linda since then that Linda was a keystone in the organization. It may take several people to replace her. She wore more hats than a hat store hat rack.

I wish you the best, Linda. I hope our paths cross again.

And so Karl doesn't feel left out, I think you're a very good guy too. Come to a last-Wednesday-of-the-month meeting once in a while, will ya?

-DK
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jref is finished
written by lambofgod6, March 04, 2010
the end of atheism

the jref is finished...

http://www.clubconspiracy.com/...#post65546

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written by prewitt81, March 04, 2010
lambofgod6 doesn't know that Edward Current is a parody. Checkmate!
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bye bye randi
written by lambofgod6, March 04, 2010
the JREF is annihilated


CHECKMATE!
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written by The Central Scrutinizer, March 05, 2010
Good luck Linda! I agree that she will be missed. I always saw her and Karl at every TAM, but never really got a chance to talk to either of them, mostly because they never stood still for long enough. Luckily, I really got to know them on the Galapagos cruise, where I was fortunate enough to have dinner at their table on several nights (Karl is a huge Frank Zappa fan, for those who don't know).

Enjoy retirement and hopefully we will cross paths again.
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Enjoy!
written by DrMatt, March 07, 2010
Stay well, Linda.

(PS, Markuze, we all see what you did)
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