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Meet Concierge Annie Pontrelli

Meet Concierge Annie Pontrelli

Annie, our late-shift concierge, grew up in Missoula, MT. Her mother took her and her six brothers on many outdoor adventures – fishing, hiking, and exploring. She has many fond memories of growing up in Montana.

The sense of exploration her mother instilled in her and her siblings hasn’t diminished, and has even influenced some of her employment choices over the years. She’s been a singing waitress in Glacier National Park, a tour director in Alaska for Princess Tours, and an event volunteer at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. Many of her jobs involved and honed her organizational skills, and she spent her later career in higher education, including centennial coordinator at the University of Montana and Alumni Director for the UW School of Medicine.

Over the past 20 or so years, Annie has volunteered frequently with cancer-related ministries and organizations. She was on the founding board of Camp Mak-A-Dream, a camp for kids with cancer, and organized the camp's grand opening.

"I originally got involved with the cancer world when my dear friend's son was diagnosed with bone cancer at age 12," says Annie.  "I was part of the community that helped walk alongside them. That 12-year-old is now 42 and has a lovely wife and gorgeous twin girls that I get to babysit twice a week. When I saw the job posting at the Center, I knew it was a perfect match for my passions and experiences, and this season in my life."

Her favorite part about her work at the Center is working with patients: hearing their stories, and showing them kindness and compassion.

Annie loves to travel for fun, especially to Bagni di Lucca, Italy, where she spent several months as a work-away volunteer, stayed with friends, and met relatives. She tries to get to Italy as often as possible.

Annie with a relative in Bagni di Lucca.

Annie traveling in Italy.

"My passion for travel started in high school when I was chosen as a People-to-People ambassador and visited six different countries. It was an amazing experience and gave me major wanderlust, which has not gone away!" Also, she was asked to be a tour host for the UW Alumni Association travel program and hosted trips to Australia, New Zealand, and Morocco in 2019.

She also loves spending time with her rescue dog, Vida, and entertaining, though the latter has fallen somewhat by the wayside due to COVID. She also runs a business called Bella Vita Assistant Services providing personal assistant and professional organizing services. COVID has made it difficult to make a living this way, but she still works on weekends as clients come up. Did we mention that Annie loves to organize?

Please say "hi" to Annie the next time you see her. Maybe you can exchange travel stories.