Baden bids Belt farewell

Programmer/Analyst Anita Baden has retired.

Acting on a passion for math developed in childhood, she majored in the subject at Saint Xavier University. In an effort to make her education practical, Baden enrolled in some computer science courses; they proved influential on her vocational life. She started with the Belt on July 22, 1991, and concluded her career June 15. 

“What fascinated me was figuring out why the logic didn’t work and troubleshooting it,” she said. “Being able to troubleshoot made me feel competent and that I’d contributed.” 

For nearly three decades, her efforts focused on COBOL programming. Baden performed extensive work on the BRC’s revenue programs. To conclude her career, she helped prepare the railroad for use of a new language, Java.

While her professional accomplishments centered on speaking the language of machines, it was people — those who used her programs — who mattered most to Baden. 

“I really liked working with the users,” she said, “The people at the railroad were nice and easy to work with.”

Baden noted that implementing changes users wanted, making program enhancements and eliminating bugs were particularly satisfying aspects of her job. She also enjoyed investigating problems and writing new programs. 

Among her treasured colleagues were former Director of Information Systems Jim Zalumsky and former Senior Programmer/Analyst Jan Tyrrell; she counts both as friends. 

“Jim is absolutely like an Einstein,” she said, crediting both with stellar, influential careers at the Belt.

Baden expressed her gratitude to retirees Jackie O’Neill and Joe Giacopelli, both of Accounting, and to Director of Business Technology Solutions Mike Martinez.

She also bonded with a more recent co-worker, Senior Software Engineer Farheen Ahmed.

“Farheen is kind, intelligent, giving and conscientious,” Baden said.

In retirement, Baden hopes to work with children, including volunteering at kindergartens and elementary schools. She aspires to instill confidence in