READING - The Reading Public Library Foundation (RPLF) recently announced the appointment of Mrs. Stephanie Filipski as its newest Director. Stephanie offers a very unique combination of high-level quality engineering experience to her employer SimpliSafe, with a community commitment advancing the social education of our students. In the words of RPLF’s President, Patrick Egan: “Stephanie’s enthusiasm is contagious; she will be a tremendous ambassador for the Foundation.” She has been in Reading nearly a decade now and continues to deliver on her uniqueness and energy to the benefit of the community and our youth.

Coming to New England in 2007 from Michigan was the result of Stephanie’s husband Kevin being transferred to the Groton, CT location of Pfizer and 4 years later to Cambridge, MA where he is a Senior Principal Scientist. They were no strangers to home buying as they purchased 3 homes in 3 different states within a span of 8 years. When they came here, they were looking for homes west and north of Boston when she got an offer to join Keurig in Reading. Things fell in place then, she joined Keurig and they purchased a home here. While Kevin’s work-day commute to Boston could be challenging, Stephanie would be closer to their pre-school boys Jack and Ethan who were 4 and 2 at the time.

Stephanie believes that Reading’s biggest assets are its people, education programs and proximity to Boston. She and Kevin have made a great life for their sons and friends have become family. She feels that Jack and Ethan have had great teachers and coaches that have made an impact on who they are now and who they will be as adults. She’s hoping that the friendships they’ve made will last a lifetime.

Coming to New England from Michigan presented interesting choices in rooting for professional sports and college hockey teams as the two areas have had strong rivalries for many years. One might imagine a difficult adjustment, but she said that it wasn’t too difficult, and their boys helped with that. Because they moved here while they were still young, they essentially focused on their interests, then their own careers and it’s how they developed their friends.

She is a big sports fan starting with the University of Michigan (her alma mater) and Detroit’s 4 major sports teams. Boston’s professional sports teams have grown on her, except for the Celtics whose collisions with the Detroit Pistons in the late 80’s and early 90’s leave bad memories.

She does miss Big Ten college football which was much bigger in Michigan and while she misses Michigan hockey, she says you can’t beat college hockey here. “Detroit and Boston are also similar in having teams and die-hard, loyal fans in the 4 main professional sports (MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL). I also do love being so close to the ocean since I grew up in the Great Lakes State and those lakes were like oceans to us.”

Stephanie believes that the best hockey player ever was Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings and the author agrees. Our best was Bobby Orr, who redefined a defenseman’s job, whose career was cut short by injury.

She is a longtime volunteer in Reading. When the boys were at Joshua Eaton, she volunteered in the school’s library making sure there were parent volunteers for each classes’ library time. Additionally, Stephanie has served on the Board of Reading Youth Hockey and continues to be a frequent volunteer in Reading schools and sports. Apart from school associated extra-curricular activities, she likes working a hydration station between miles 7 and 8 of the Boston Marathon and is looking forward to its post-Covid-19 resumption.

Stephanie loves to cook and discovering new restaurants and bars in Boston and all over the world. She’ll take pictures of food and drinks and post them on Instagram (@hockeymomchef). She’s also a concert and musicals junkie (Hamilton, Les Misérables and Waitress are her favorites). She also loves to travel and has been to 44 states and 22 countries so far.

Stephanie’s near-term goals in being an RPL Foundation Director are to do a baseline review of what was done in the past just to understand how the Board works together, what its main focus tends to be, and what events as well as causes are important. In the near term, she would just like to get a feel of who everyone is as well, since they have yet to all meet in person because of Covid-19 safety restrictions.

She feels that some of the issues that might be addressed when the RPLF can finally meet in person may perhaps include opportunities to strengthen future services, especially in remote learning and expanding the library’s endowment in the long-term.

Stephanie’s employer, SimpliSafe, makes home security devices/systems to achieve their goal of making every home secure. She has been with them since December of 2019 so she’s still learning and growing in her role. They have been in business since 2008. Stephanie is a Principal Quality Engineer at SimpliSafe with over 20 years’ experience as a manufacturing and quality engineer. Her assets include a deep scientific background and keen management skills focusing on execution. Shining through it all is her boundless energy and positive mental attitude.

Stephanie is excited for this new role with the Foundation and hopes to add to its continuing success.

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