Anyone who has ever come into contact with Butterfield’s front reception desk will quickly observe it’s a busy spot, especially on weekdays. The constant comings and goings of residents, family, staff, guests, service workers, deliveries and sometimes occasional healthcare emergency personnel requires a person with a cool head, great memory and solid organization skills. For the past few years, that very capable person has been daytime receptionist Kelly Goff.
A native Arkansan, Kelly was born and raised in Benton, a community located 26 miles southwest of Little Rock. She continues to have loved ones in central Arkansas – her mother, sister, brother and their families – but Kelly has lived in Fayetteville since 1983, following a couple of years in Fort Worth, Tex.
After relocating to Northwest Arkansas, Kelly initially began working as a secretary with the local State Farm Insurance agency owned by Tommy Reddick. During her tenure, the agency won a life insurance policy underwriting competition that sent the staff on a trip to Hawaii. Upon Kelly’s return, what she believed to be terrible, lingering jet lag from the very long flight was instead symptoms of expecting her first child.
Once daughter Laura was born, Kelly opted to balance the challenging role of stay-at-home mom with a part-time position at the University Baptist Church Mother’s Day Out program. She originally thought she would be taking on a relatively temporary two-day-a-week job, but the position was a great fit and ended up stretching out to 25 years of employment at the church. In addition to providing some added income for her family, the setting offered a wonderful preschool environment for her little girl.
Once Laura started kindergarten and Kelly gained a bit of time during her days, she decided it would be a great chance to go back to school to finish her secondary education degree at the University of Arkansas. With a grandmother, both parents and sister all serving as teachers, pursuing a profession that seemed almost second-nature was an easy choice. During her final semester of student teaching, however, another baby would arrive on the scene with very different plans for Kelly. She decided to forgo teaching in order to raise her second daughter, Emily. Once Emily was old enough to attend school, Kelly worked as a substitute teacher until deciding it was time to find another opportunity somewhere new.
That fresh start came in the form of a part-time evening receptionist job at Butterfield Trail Village, a place Kelly was already familiar with after her beloved neighbors had moved to campus in their 90s. Then, a year and a half into Kelly’s tenure, long-time day receptionist Rebecca Rush retired. Armed with positive encouragement from several coworkers, Kelly decided to pursue the position she now holds and loves. “Everything I’ve done in my past has prepared me for this job,” Kelly said. “I work hard to recognize people as individuals and make the person who is standing in front of me my top priority. I know everyone experiences different challenges at different times, so I try to be helpful, encouraging and learn where we have common ground.” Asked what makes Butterfield special, Kelly describes the senior community as a place where people are genuinely happy and engaged. She loves watching residents gather and hearing what they are anxiously anticipating. “I believe Butterfield is a place you want to be, not where you are put.”
Away from the BTV reception desk, Kelly is a self-professed homebody who values the chance to recharge after the flurry of her busy workdays. She loves shopping, going to the beach (especially Savannah and St. Augustine), watching movies and catching Broadway shows whenever she can. Daughter Laura and son-in-law Otis’ two children, six-year-old Olivia and four-year-old Adeline, are extra-special to their grandma – and because they will all be relocating to Chicago in May 2023, Kelly already knows there will be many trips to the Windy City in her future.