Memoirs Plus founder Nancy Kessler has a passion for working with seniors.
Nancy started collecting seniors’ stories at a very young age when she frequently visited her 90-year-old neighbor Mrs. Blanchet to enjoy her life stories.
Nancy’s interest in oral history and folklore blossomed and she eventually pursued a career in historical museums. After graduating Skidmore College and the Cooperstown Graduate Program, Nancy was a Curator at the Museum of the City of New York.
Before founding Memoirs Plus, Nancy was the Therapeutic Recreation Director for Atria Rye Brook (independent living facility) and Greenwich Adult Daycare (Alzheimer’s Adult Day Care). There she saw the need to engage independent seniors with sophisticated intellectual and creative activities, and devised the idea of helping them tell their life stories through the organizing and writing of a memoir.
Nancy serves on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Enterprise Development Center (WEDC) and is the founder of the WEDC Senior Providers’ Network. She is a frequent speaker for civic organizations and teaches Memoir Writing at various New York outlets, including the Scarsdale Adult School, the Pleasantville Senior Center and Bedford Hills Library.
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The Memoirs Plus team includes a wide range of freelance creative associates who Nancy Kessler may call upon to help with the creation of the books and “plus” elements. These talented people include art directors, photo editors, graphic designers, writers, transcribers, copyeditors, book producers, video and slideshow producers, website designers, and event planners, among others.
~ Letter from Nancy ~
The most joyous moments in my business are when I sit with clients and watch them open their finished book for the first time. Although they have seen many drafts and proofs, there is nothing like holding their life stories in a beautifully bound edition. The excitement and emotion of holding this special book with their name on the cover can be overwhelming.
These legacy books are often created for a life celebration. I have been included in many a family gathering and watched the reactions of family members receiving this gift. It is truly a treasure and my clients always feel honored by their family’s reaction.
A Life Curator
My background is as a museum curator, and I often tell my clients that I am making an exhibit out of their lives. A curator researches and learns, culls and edits, writes and designs. All this, and more, is done when helping my clients create their memoir.
As their biographer, I help clients recapture and articulate in their own words their family traditions and key moments, with all their emotional peaks and valleys. While we sort through decades of photos and memories, a deep relationship is formed.
Some of my subjects don’t like the spotlight and are uneasy about being the protagonist of their own story. My job is to assure them that their stories and memories have meaning and value to the next generation. When my clients see their grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s faces as they pore over the pages of their book, the modesty seems to dissipate. Pride and legacy prevails.
My gift to my clients and their families is helping them preserve the essence of the person for future generations to know and love. It’s also my honor.