The voice of NCAR|UCAR — signing off

Judy Green retiring after 38 years

| Judy Green is retiring on Monday, July 6, after 38 years of service at NCAR|UCAR. As the lead UCAR Telephone Assistant for 38 years, Judy has connected callers with grace, humor, and warmth. She is affectionately known to the Networking Section of CISL as "Mom."

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Judy Green (right) with her daughter and fellow NETS staff member, Belinda Housewright (Photo courtesy Wes Wildcat.)

“She is our rock, our friend, and our counselor," said Marla Meehl, Judy’s manager. "Judy is the go-to person for 'who is who' at UCAR — and not to mention who is married to whom, who is on travel, who is whose brother, sister, or nephew, et cetera.”

When Judy came to NCAR, she had really found the perfect career. She is an excellent sounding board, listener, and is unflappable under duress, including during snowstorms and forest fires. Countless staff have shared their daily and their life experiences with Judy over the years. Her colleagues all joke that someday Judy is going to write her memoirs, recounting all the wild stories she has heard and seen through the years (not using real names, of course). Mostly heard and not seen, many would not recognize Judy by sight, but would immediately recognize her welcoming, helpful, and soothing voice.

As with many staff, Judy shares UCAR and her real family with each other. Gil (Pete) Green, Judy’s husband, worked at NCAR in the Scientific Computing Division (SCD, now part of CISL) as a software engineer from 1970 to 1991. Before he worked for NCAR, he was at Control Data and worked on fixing computers at NCAR in the late 1960s. Judy found her calling to answer phones as well as her path to Pete early in life.  She worked for the phone company in Cheyenne when she was in high school. Pete worked the front desk at the Hitching Post Motel. He would have to call Judy to get the guests' phone charges. That's how they met and later married. Judy’s daughter, Belinda Housewright, also works in CISL/NETS and has been with NCAR for 31 years. Belinda also got her start in SCD in January of 1985.

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NCAR switchboard operators in late 1970s or early 80s. Pictured above are: (front row) Carol Craig, Marguerite Adkisson, (back row) Myrna Shreve and Judy Green (Courtesy photo.)

There have been many changes over Judy's 38 years at NCAR, and she's had many opportunities to demonstrate her ability to grow and change with them. She started on a “cord board,” the wired plug system use to connect calls, much like the old Lily Tomlin routine: “one ringy dingy, two ringy dingy.” Now she uses a software-based attendant system from Cisco; just a push of a key connects a call. NETS activated the attendant system on laptops so Judy can take calls via softphone/laptop anywhere there is a network, including from home and other sites. Judy has also gracefully adapted to many managers and their management styles through the years.

A Wyoming native, Judy adapted to Colorado by becoming an avid Coors lover. And with the advent of the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center, she has gotten to revisit her roots.  

“Judy represents the very best of UCAR," said Jeff Custard, one of Judy’s co-workers. "With her commitment to excellence, ability to grow and change with the organization, and respect and courtesy for those she works with. Judy is truly irreplaceable.”

Making connections after June 30

Currently when you dial 303-497-1000 or “0” during business hours, Judy answers the phone and directs your call. Due to Judy’s retirement, along with diminishing use of switchboard services and many available alternatives, the switchboard function will be discontinued on July 1. A phone tree will provide callers with push-of-a-button access to UCAR SciEd and Mesa Lab Tours, Security, Communications, and Human Resources. 

—Susan Guastella, Marla Meehl, Teresa Shibao, and Eileen Waukau (all of CISL/NETS)