Umatilla County Fair Coordinator (see A5)
When and why did you move to Hermiston?
We moved here in 2009 on my son’s eighth birthday when the economy took a dive that year and I was laid off for the first time in my life and struggled to find work and afford to live in Southern California.
What is your favorite place to eat in Hermiston?
That’s easy, Midway Bar & Grill. #broastedchicken
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Fishing, hunting, boating, crabbing and bonfires with our other friends who have also moved to Oregon from Southern California.
What surprises you about Hermiston?
What surprises me the most is how giving people are. No matter what their socioeconomic “status” or background, the people seem to give and give to support youth programs, service organizations and community events. The level at which that occurs here is astonishing to me in the best sense of the word.
What was the last book you read?
To be honest, I’m more of a fan of TV documentaries. I especially love a good crime documentary or Planet Earth and National Geographic specials.
What app or website do you use most often?
Amazon and YouTube, but I can’t live without my calendar widget!
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I want to stay here in the good ol’ U.S. I want to see the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone and the Sequoias.
What is the funniest thing that’s happened to you?
Well in the spirit of Fair, I’ll keep it Fair related. A few years ago, probably my second year working for Umatilla County I became engaged and as a joke, our Fair Board Chairman Gay Newman purposely started a rumor that I was going to get married during the fair on the Main Stage before one of the concerts. It was Director Steve Anderson’s first year on the Fair Board and he came up to me to congratulate me but was frantic about when and how it was going to work logistically and wanted to help in any way he could. I had to tell him that it was a prank and that I wasn’t really getting married on stage during the fair. We had a GREAT laugh.
What is one of your goals for the next 12 months?
Simply to put everything that I’ve learned about the fair since 2012, into action. I’ve learned something from every single one of my predecessors and have paid attention to things that have worked and things that have not worked. This is the first time that I will have a full year to implement what I’ve absorbed and to make some changes for better efficiency, better sponsor relations and to further the fair’s relationship with every organization and entity who has a part in its annual creation. My goal in this position is to be transparent with my fair board and with the county commissioners so that we can all communicate and do what is necessary to support the fair and all of the youth programs that benefit from it.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
100 percent my proudest accomplishment is raising my son Julian with help of course from the other half of this dynamic duo, his dad Sam. Julian is 16 and we have our ups and downs and I know those aren’t over yet, but he is a great kid and is growing up, working hard and finding his own way on a path to do amazing things. We are really proud of him.