Arts & Entertainment, Human Resources, and Travel & Tourism

Q&A: Linda Thompson

December 13, 2016
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Linda Thompson
Linda Thompson. Courtesy Meijer Gardens

Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.

Linda Thompson — director of education at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park — has worked as a museum/cultural organization educator for 43 years, developing and implementing creative programs that help visitors learn.

During that time, Thompson has given art history presentations, trained docents and classroom teachers, created public programs and curated interactive exhibitions for families, among other work.

Her philosophy is that education must be enjoyable to be effective.

Biggest career break?

My first museum job resulted from a total lucky break! I literally bumped into a museum director who introduced himself and desperate to replace his education director who had resigned that day hired me on the spot.

Proudest moment?

Realizing that both of my daughters had become self-confident, responsible, accomplished, thoughtful and happy human beings

Best advice you’ve ever received?

Everyone is in charge of their own happiness.

How did you make your first dollar?

Working as the clerical assistant in the newborn nursery of a hospital

Most-treasured possession?

Baby grand piano

Dream job?

I’m in my dream job right here at Meijer Gardens.

If I were president for a day, I would…?

Initiate infrastructure programs in every city in the country

Last book you’ve read?

The Boston Girl,” by Anita Diamont

Last thing you googled?

Cities in China

Your worst habit?


To unwind, I like to…?


Dream vacation?

Two weeks in New York, filled with restaurants, museums and a different Broadway performance every day

Favorite food?

Pecan pie

Person you most admire?

Michelle Obama

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