“I have been here 32 years,” says Meri Jo Mulhollen. “I feel fulfilled here.”
The St. John’s Protective Services Officer says she always knew she wanted to work in a field where she could help others. “I was attending school to be a state trooper,” Mulhollen says, “but it was difficult to manage my diabetes with that job.” Mulhollen explains she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 12. Finding a work environment that allows her to adhere to her meal routine has been crucial in her adult life.
Mulhollen takes frequent interruptions in stride during her busy day. In the span of 30 minutes, she can be seen checking alarms at doors, answering calls from residents, greeting and signing-in visitors, opening parking gates, and surveying the grounds on two large screens with live camera footage. “Yeah,” she says with a laugh, “this is pretty typical, never boring.”
She credits working as a store detective for department stores, like Nichol’s and Ames, as a younger adult, as the reason she fell in love with the idea of a career in protective services. Mulhollen has seen a lot of changes in her career and the same can be said for her time at St. John’s.
“You know,” she says, “I interviewed here and at one other facility and with my health, St. John’s was the fit for me.” She began working for St. John’s on September 23, 1991.
“I have been here a long time,” she says. Mulhollen was at St. John’s when there were apartment buildings at the site of the current staff parking lots and Generations Childcare. “I was also over at Chestnut Court when they were building St. John’s Meadows. I have seen so many changes,” she smiles.
“I was a mascot for a staff basketball tournament,” she mentions as she reminisces about staff parties and events during her time at St. John’s. “I almost forgot,” she adds excitedly, “I dressed as Liza Minelli for a retirement party. I had the top hat and tights. I sang with the St. John’s Home Band–back when we had a band. It was so fun.”
The memories are not the only thing that keeps Mulhollen at St. John’s. As she puts it: “Helping the residents is what makes me fulfilled at the end of the day.”