VILLAGE MEMBER STORIES
Mary Lin "ML" Hannay, Portsmouth
How long have you lived in the Seacoast area (where moved from)?
“I moved to NH in 1974 and have lived in Portsmouth since 1977. I grew up in Virginia, Morocco, Colorado, Nebraska, Texas, North Carolina, etc. in a military/civil service family. I met my late husband, Bing Hawes, a New Hampshire native, in 1977. We raised our 3 kids on the Seacoast and happily have grandkids in California, North Carolina, and Kittery, Maine. Our family life was filled with camping, biking in Europe with the kids, and lots of travel wherever airline miles could take us.”
What did you do prior to retirement?
“Currently, I am trying to be retired- I just have a hard time saying ’no’. I am still working occasionally for the Team & Leadership consulting practice I started in 1980– ML Hannay Associates, now Leadership Partners. I loved being able to balance lots of family time, running races, cycling, etc. with my work with hospitals, schools, businesses, non- profits, and corporations. It’s been a great 40-year run! ”
How do you view retirement?
“Ha! I wish I had more time to do what I want to do. I have a lot of interests, many friends, a big family (seven grandchildren), and an extended social network because I have lived and worked here for so many years.”
ML’s passion includes supporting community non-profits. She volunteers for Gather and is on a new board for NH Pet Aid, which keeps pets and families together when there are financial emergency situations. She’s worked with hundreds of non-profits (including Prescott Park, Families First, ACLU_NH, Haven, Crossroads, Children’s Museum, NH Medical Society, New Heights, Foundation for Seacoast Health, WomenAid, etc.) doing facilitation, strategic planning, preventing/managing conflicts ,etc.
“One interest is in starting a process to help people bridge the current political divisions locally or in small groups, across the country; something on a small scale, perhaps including Seacoast Village members who want to learn to truly listen to each other in a respectful manner, creating stronger relationships and bonds.”
Aside from family and volunteering, ML says she is an avid exerciser, doing boot camps and playing pickleball year-round outside. “Pickleball is a fun, silly, social game – for all ages, even those of us who can’t run like we used to. I may take up tap dancing and drumming. Who knows?”
What aspects of being a Village member do you find most helpful or enjoyable?
“I know I will need services in the future. I have friends in places like Riverwoods, but I am used to being in a neighborhood where there is diversity and lots of kids. I sometimes look for a condo that is a separate entity but prefer to stay put in my little home a half mile from downtown Portsmouth. I need property management services that includes inside and outside. I want to make my home into a place that I don’t have to worry about getting things done. In my case, it’s a bit hard being single–my husband did so many things–a great gardener, fix it guy, snow blower, bookkeeper, etc.–and I need help creating a simpler yard plan–I like mowing and doing the leaves, but can’t keep green things alive very easily. And I need tech help, so I don’t bug my grown kids too much.”
If you were to encourage a friend to become a Village member, what would you tell them?
“I would ask them, ‘What are your future plans?’ I would encourage them to check out Seacoast Village Project. The members are people who want to stay in their homes, stay involved, and stay active. Right now, I can offer assistance in many ways, but soon, I will need the kind of help they provide. It is a great organization and a valuable addition to the Seacoast.”
Read more member stories by clicking on the images below.