Westport First Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker announced today that she has accepted the retirement letter of Susan L. Pfister, Director of the Westport Center for Senior Activities (WCSA), effective January 1, 2023.
Sue joined the Department of Human Services in 1987. She graduated from Sacred Heart University with a BSW, received her MSW at Fordham University, and dedicated her career to supporting Westport senior citizens. The Senior Center had humble beginnings in Westport, first located at the YMCA and Greens Farms School, Longshore Club Park and then Staples High School. Under Sue’s direction, the current WCSA was constructed at 21 Imperial Avenue in 2004, ahead of schedule and under budget. Sue also oversaw the building’s expansion in 2016. The state-of-the-art facility outshines many such centers and serves hundreds of seniors daily, thanks in large part to Sue’s expertise and administration. Sue’s Café at WCSA is aptly named after her since she helped to establish the daily congregate meal program, complete with its own chef. It has received rave reviews from participants. Throughout her 35-year tenure, Sue's creativity, resourcefulness, and inclusive vision have won her well-earned respect and accolades from colleagues and residents alike.
Ms. Pfister stated, “I’m honored to have had the opportunity to spend my entire career with the Town of Westport. Westport truly values and recognizes the important role seniors play in the community. I send heartfelt appreciation and thanks to the various administrations, boards and commissions, town departments and staff, instructors and volunteers, and most importantly, my staff for supporting me throughout my career. I will always call Westport my home away from home.”
First Selectwoman Tooker said, “Westport residents, and in particular our seniors and their families and caregivers, have been blessed with Sue’s presence. Through her due diligence and oversight, the WCSA has become a crown jewel of Westport, offering comprehensive programs that enhance the lives of seniors and create countless opportunities for seniors and volunteers to enjoy friendships and daily enrichment. Sue always has the best interests of those she cared for at the forefront. Her considerate nature and calm demeanor, coupled with a no-nonsense management style has been an enormous asset to this community.”
Tooker continued, “On a personal level, when my mom and dad moved to town, my dad became enamored of the WCSA and all its many activities. It was Sue and her staff who were sincerely welcoming and hands-on in helping with a difficult life transition for him. I know she is the same with all her beloved seniors. Sue took the lead without fanfare – she just did it – and with a smile on her face. Of course, Sue will be sorely missed as the Director of the WCSA. But I also know that she will continue to be in service to others as she enters a new chapter in her life. We wish her only health and happiness in her retirement.”
According to Human Services Director Elaine Daignault, “Sue has a penchant for quick-thinking, organization, and collaboration, playing a critical role in the Town’s emergency response efforts through countless storms and public health emergencies. She and her team at WCSA offered essential respite and support by feeding, housing, and comforting emergency workers and residents during significant Nor’ Easter storm events like Hurricanes Sandy, Irene and Isais, and the COVID19 pandemic.”
“Sue’s energy and dedication are inspirational. Her drive and compassion for others have been a tremendous source of reassurance to me, and those that she has helped along the way,” Daignault continued. “I am very grateful for her camaraderie and friendship, and I wish her a well-deserved retirement where she’ll continue to spread light and hope to others.”