Get to Know the Collage Staff – Gaye Tillotson

Every few weeks we like to introduce you to one of our Collage staff members or volunteers to help you get to know them a little bit. During these Q&A blogs we’ll ask them about their role at Collage, their families and we’ll try to give you an inside scoop into their lives to discover their favorite movies, most embarrassing moments or other fun things you’ll find interesting.

This week we want to introduce you to Gaye Tillotson, our Executive Director.

 Gaye Tillotson

Gaye, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for our blog readers. To kick things off, would you share your favorite thing about working at Collage?

Oh my! How do I pick just one! I love working with our amazing team, coaching them to use their incredible gifts and talents to inspire others to create beauty from the unexpected in their lives. I also love strategizing with them to find new ways to do what we do even better. That gets me really excited! And of course we always find a way to end up laughing about something. 🙂


It sounds like you really love working with the Collage team. Will you share a little about your education and professional background?

I had a couple of awesome management jobs after high school so I ended up going to college as a nontraditional student. After completing a lot of my general studies at UNK, I got a degree from Grace University in Management and Organizational Leadership in 2000.


No wonder you’re so good at leading the Collage team. But now that we know where your strengths are, what is one thing that you are just absolutely no good at doing?

Baking! I hate to bake! I’ll gladly chop veggies into precise little pieces and create a warm, yummy soup but measuring, leveling, whipping, stirring etc. makes me crazy!


Okay, here’s where we start to get to know the real Gaye. We think a person’s favorite entertainment says a lot about them, so, what’s your favorite TV show or Movie?

One of my favorite movies that I just watched was The Good Lie with Reese Witherspoon. It’s about the Sudanese refuges who came to the states. It gave me such a respect for them and such a sense of gratitude for all I have.


Sounds like a good, but serious movie. We know you have your serious side, but there’s also a side that’s a little less serious too. Be honest, what song or band is your guilty pleasure?

Well…the other day I was starting Pandora in the office and asked the girls what they were in the mood to listen to that day. One of them said, “Something funky.” What an invitation! 70’s Funk it was! Nothing like grooving down the hallways all day. 🙂


All that dancing and no video? Now that’s a shame. Other than dancing to some ’70s funk, what are some things that make you really happy?

Obviously my dog Walter is at the top of the list. Not only does he make me happy, he has that affect on almost everyone he’s around as well. I love hiking in the mountains of Colorado. Definitely my happy place! I also love to make people laugh, or sometimes groan. Thinking of any possible pun to interject into a conversation always makes me smile.


Speaking of making people smile, do you have a most embarrassing moment you would share with our readers?

Well I have several but one that I would share…probably the time I lost my balance on the treadmill at the Y when I hollered at a friend. Yes, it was during the busiest time and yes, everyone turned and looked. It was like a bad accident! I tried for what seemed like hours to regain my balance but to no avail. I finally gave up and allowed my flailing body to coast endlessly off the back…into the wall. Not pretty!


Ouch, and just as with the dancing we’re assuming there is no video to post to our Facebook page, so sad. Changing pace a little, would you describe yourself as an introvert or an extrovert?

I have a good friend who lovingly says I’m a confused introvert. During the workday I love interacting with the girls and with supporters. But then I need some solitude and interaction with my few best friends to get re-energized.


If you could eat one food for the rest of your life without getting sick of it, what would it be?

Is coffee food?


Definitely a food, perhaps even a whole food group. Now that you have all that energy from the coffee, if you could hop on a plane today and fly anywhere in the world, where would you go?

It’s so far away but since we’re dreaming here, I’d fly first class to New Zealand. I love being out in creation! To experience the awesome beauty there up close and personal would be amazing!


Fantastic choice, and if you happen to come by a second ticket, we’d be happy to join you. One last question as we wrap up the Q&A. Do you have a favorite quote to share with us?

Well, here’s a couple that are part of my inspiration for this new year…

“My past doesn’t define my future. I get to create whatever I want!”

“It’s the little things in life that create change.”


Those are great thoughts, thanks for sharing those and thanks again for taking the time to share about yourself here on the blog. If something Gaye said resonated with you, of if you have any other questions for her, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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At Collage, we’ve experienced the restoration of beauty in our own lives, and that compels us to help others seek the beauty within them.

Don’t ever hesitate to contact us.

Kearney Office
3000 2nd Avenue Suite 100
Kearney, NE 68847

  • (308) 234-9880
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    822 N. Diers Ave.
    Grand Island, NE 68803

  • (308) 675-2217
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