Shelburne resident Tod Whitaker, manager of The Terraces Retirement Community, is stepping down after 12 years.
The Terraces provides services for approximately 64 residents 55 years or older in 58 units across the property, which neighbors Shelburne Museum, Shelburne Farms, and is just three miles from beloved Lake Champlain. Whitaker explained that The Terraces does almost no advertising. Most of their publicity comes from word of mouth, which speaks to the quality of the establishment.
“The Terraces is very unique,” Whitaker said, explaining that there is no other Burlington area retirement facility where residents own their own unit. “Independent living is a strength…People can do whatever they want, whenever they want, and there’s a great sense of community.” Whitaker has a personal tie to The Terraces as well. At 95 years old, his mother is the oldest resident.
The Terraces threw a retirement party for Whitaker at the end of February. “It was very fulfilling to have people thanking you for all the effort you put it,” he said. When he announced he was stepping down, his co-workers said, “You can’t retire!” It’s easy to see why—it’s difficult to say goodbye to a great colleague when you find one.
Hanni Huber, President of the Board at The Terraces sung Whitaker’s praises endlessly. “Tod has always been really attentive,” she said. “He got everything done, all the little things. He was one of us. He is a wonderful man.” They had a hard time finding someone to replace Whitaker, Huber continued, but finally succeeded and are looking forward to many good years with Dorothy Micklas as manager.
Of his time at The Terraces, Whitaker said most of all, he enjoyed working with people. “In order to be effective at The Terraces, you have to be involved with families and individuals…I enjoyed caring for folks and doing the best I could to make their living conditions as comfortable as possible. There are no medical services provided so you’re always looking after the residents. It was a very altruistic environment in which to work.”
Whitaker moved to Vermont from Massachusetts in 1980 to take a job at Shelburne Museum, where he served as Director of Operations for eight years. “I’m a flatlander by most definitions,” he said with a chuckle. But with all his work in the community, anyone can see that Whitaker is a Vermonter through and through.
Whitaker founded the 10-year old Shelburne Farmers Market and now acts as the manager. He has also been involved with the Shelburne Business & Professional Association (SBPA), of which he is president, for 11 years.
“While the members of the SBPA join the community in congratulating Tod on his retirement…we are happy that Shelburne and SBPA will continue to benefit from his skills as president of the business association and manager of the Farmers Market…,” said Rosalyn Graham, a long-time member of the SBPA board.
This is not an end for Whitaker, but instead a new beginning. He soon sets off on a month-long trip to New Zealand for a wedding. Bon voyage, Tod, and congratulations on your retirement.