A 42 Year Career Comes Full Circle

On December 2, Operation Lifesaver said farewell to Senior Administrator Linda Purdy after 10 years of exceptional service. The day marked Linda’s last day of work as she began vacation, in advance of starting her official retirement on January 5, 2011. In retiring from Operation Lifesaver, Linda brings to a close a 42-year career that ends as it began – in the railway industry. Forty-two years ago Linda started her career as Senior Administrator for the Manager of Marketing and Sales at CP Rail. A few positions in the high tech industry followed, before Linda took her place as Senior Administrator at Operation Lifesaver in September 2000. National Director, Dan Di Tota, started in January 2001, and the two worked closely over the next 10 years. Linda speaks fondly of the tight-knit relationship she developed with Dan, as they were the only two people in the office. Indeed, Linda will best remember her time at Operation Lifesaver for the special relationships she formed, working with presenters, committees and the public. “Over the years I developed a lot of friendships with people from the committees. I can pick up the phone and call them at home. I know their families; they know mine. After 10 years, we know each other on a personal basis – and that’s especially true of my relationship with Dan Di Tota.” Linda’s early position with CP serves as one reason she was drawn to Operation Lifesaver – her family ties to railway serve as another. Linda’s grandfather was a locomotive engineer for CP, her father was with the CP Police and her brother and two nephews currently work for CP. These familial and personal connections made Linda a ready advocate for rail safety and her 10 years with Operation Lifesaver solidified her commitment to preventing railway related injuries and deaths. “When you live and breathe it for 10 years, you become a strong advocate for the program. I’ve seen so many things and talked to so many crewmembers so I understand how important Operation Lifesaver is.” After 42 years in the workforce, Linda will be relaxing and getting acquainted with her new routine over the next few weeks. This newly acquired free time will allow her to spend quality time with her four grandchildren. Her future plans include volunteering one day a week at a hospital or cancer clinic and taking a Mediterranean cruise. While she will no longer be working at the Operation Lifesaver office, Linda is confident that the strong relationships she built over the years will endure and she plans to stay in touch with everyone – especially Dan Di Tota. For his part, Dan says that Linda will be greatly missed. “Linda has been an icon and inspiration to many during her time with Operation Lifesaver – her respectful, professional manner earned her a great deal of admiration. She is a class act.”