Jenn Blackburn, Arrowmont’s kitchen manager, is retiring in the fall. Jenn joined Arrowmont in 2015 as a kitchen work-study, and quickly felt at home. Jenn recalled her feelings within days of her arrival: “When I came to Arrowmont, I found my tribe.” Jenn has managed the kitchen for the past four years.
“Over her four years working here, our food service has vastly improved,” said Jim Scarsella, deputy director. “It’s been great having Jenn here. We’ll miss her.”
Jenn was able, at a critical time, to do something important. For Jenn, the highlight of her time at Arrowmont was serving Christmas dinner after the wildfires in 2016. “We had no idea how many people might come,” she said. “On that Christmas day, I looked out five minutes before we opened at 11 am – and saw the first family walking up the driveway. And then they just kept coming. All told, we fed 200 families that day. It was a good day.”
Jenn also appreciates the relationships she built with students and particularly Work-Studies. She said, “Getting to nurture, teach, and spend time with [work-study students] has been incredibly enriching. I am proud of having helped so many people use their Arrowmont experience as a stepping stone; a launching pad.”
Jenn’s next steps? “I’m going to the farm!” she said – taking time to watercolor, horseback ride, and spend quality time with her family.
“I want to thank Jenn for all she’s done to make the Arrowmont dining experience one of the highlights of being at Arrowmont,” said Bill May, executive director. “I’m sure that tradition will continue.”