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January 21, 2018

1/12/2018 2:56:00 PM
For Anderson; personal, professional lives overlapped over decades

If you look up longevity in the dictionary-- you just might see a picture of Loretta Anderson. Yet, you could search words like compassionate, positive, enthusiastic, reliable, and dedicated and find Anderson’s image too.  After 47 years of being employed at the same place and accumulating a job description that defies comprehension-- Anderson last week retired from Hazelden Betty Ford, Center City.

Anderson has worked at the world class addiction and treatment facility, practically since she graduated high school.  As William Moyers put it at her retirement program, January 4,  the Twins had Bert Blyleven pitching and President Nixon was on the cover of a national news magazine when she was hired in 1970.

Hazelden Betty Ford leader Mike Mishek stressed that Loretta never lost her fire for Hazelden’s mission, adding,  “...people approaching retirement often lose their edge, not so with Loretta.”

Anderson, who resides in rural Shafer,  told her well-wishers that she never failed to be moved by the transformation she observed in people coming to the rural lakeside campus for help.

 Loretta was active in numerous local groups:   Chisago Lakes Community Foundation Board; Chisago Lakes Rotary; the Refuge Network; Chamber of Commerce. She served as honored Ambassador for Celebration of Lakes, she was part of Pink Ribbon Riders and Wild River Snowmobile Club.  Anytime Hazelden opened its doors for a public event; a ribbon cutting, introducing new leadership, undertaking massive campus renovation and construction projects, hosting addiction forums for local officials, and even the Rotary lunches in the private dining room-- Anderson was host, greeter, faciltator and the conduit to the workings of this landmark facility.  Hazelden could have easily functioned as an island unto itself-- but staff members like Loretta made one feel not like an intruder, but as part of the Hazelden aura.

Bruce Messelt, Chisago County Administrator, spoke briefly sharing a letter from the County Board Chair George McMahon, congratulating Anderson and “expressing the county’s sincerest gratitude” for her presence whenever the county needed to collaborate with Hazelden on any issue. There are masters’ degree opportunities for county social services staff and coordinated treatment efforts shared by the county and Hazelden thanks in part to relations Anderson helped forge.  


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