Two assistants keep operation running

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Emily Ford
Salisbury PostKANNAPOLIS ó Kim Bumgardner woke up one morning in 1989 to discover that she was paralyzed, a complication of lupus.
She spent three months in the hospital and has used a wheelchair ever since.
Six years later, she lost her job when the private North Kannapolis school where she taught closed.
Bumgardner remembers telling her husband she’d never work again because “all people see is my chair.”
Then, David H. Murdock announced plans for the N.C. Research Campus. Lynne Scott Safrit, charged with developing the $1.5 billion biotechnology center, suddenly needed another administrative assistant.
Safrit had heard about Bumgardner’s predicament at Crossroads Church, where they both attend, and offered her the job.
“Lynne sees beyond the physical,” Bumgardner said. “She is the most unselfish person I know.”
Pat Moser has been Safrit’s administrative assistant for 25 years, even before Safrit left textiles and went into real estate with Murdock.
Moser, who has worked past retirement age, adores her boss.
“The best part of my job is interacting with Lynne,” she said. “It’s a joy to work with her.”
The three women are a team.
They huddled together recently to hash out some problems with a large contingent of highbrow guests arriving for the launch of Duke University’s longterm medical study named for Murdock.
“I need your help, y’all,” Safrit said, calling them together around Bumgardner’s desk.
After a 15-minute brainstorming session, the crisis was under control.
Safrit says she couldn’t do her job without them.
Or buy pizza.
As she hurried out to pick up dinner for her family, she realized she’d forgotten her purse.
Moser handed her $20, and everyone laughed.
“I’ll pay you back,” Safrit promised.
Contact Emily Ford at or 704-797-4264.