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Tammy Dow

5 Questions

with Tammy Dow, Benefits Supervisor, The Jackson Laboratory

Q: What did you want to do when you were growing up?

A: I grew up in Lewiston, Maine, and thought I might want to teach, so I pursued my college degree in business teacher education at Husson College. I did my student teaching in Ellsworth, but then life happened—I got married and had two children—and when it was time to work again I decided I didn't want to teach high school.

Q: Is that when you came to the Laboratory?

A: Yes, I came to work in the business office [now called fiscal services] in 1987, and then got my foot in the door in human resources doing secretarial work. In 1991 I began working in benefits and have been working since to make our benefits better and more cost effective for our employees.

Q: How has the Laboratory changed since you first came here?

A: It was less than half its current size, and everyone knew everyone. It was a very strong community. Now it's a lot larger, and change is inevitable. But it's still a great community—traditions are strong here. I know from personal experience that when there's a need, people really pull together and help each other out.

Q: Are things a lot different in benefits too?

A: Oh, it's so much more complex today. There are several medical plans, managed health care—we actually brought that to the island and educated the local medical community about it. But I also think we've developed some programs that engage employees and make it fun to participate. The support for JAXfit is a good example of that. I recently started running myself, and I'm really enjoying it!

Q: What other things do you enjoy?

A: There's an "outdoor adventure" group of women, both Lab colleagues and others. We find something interesting and exciting to do several times a year, like whitewater rafting and skiing. That's been a lot of fun.