Director, Hermiston Parks and Recreation

When and why did you move to Hermiston?

I moved here in 2011, for the job. I like smaller communities and we’ve got family in the area. I came from the Seattle area and the quality of life here [is] much nicer.

What is your favorite place to eat in Hermiston?

We really try to get around and see different places. We go to Nookie’s most often.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Well, I’ve got a degree in recreation. My wife and I love riding around town. We have road and dirt bikes. We’ve been going down to the farmer’s market. They’re really doing a nice job. We usually listen to the music and eat there.

What surprises you about Hermiston?

What surprises me most is how interested — genuinely interested — people are in building a community. They care about decisions being made. It’s very noticeable here.

What was the last book you read?

“Baja: The Island,” a historical book about when explorers first were exploring and mapping Mexico and Baja, they thought that Baja was an island.

What website or app do you use most other than Facebook?

I use Powerpoint a lot; it’s effective.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

We already have booked a two week tour of Germany, Austria area. We’ll be there for Oktoberfest in Munich.

What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?

This actually happened during the New Year’s Eve party on the downtown festival street here in Hermiston… It was a pretty cold night, and we had fireworks planned...we rigged a 6 foot paper mache watermelon filled with confetti and balloons inside it that were supposed to burst.

In practice it worked fine. But when we did the big countdown, it didn’t work fine because it was too cold. The balloons popped before we did anything. We had this huge watermelon hoisted up on a thirty foot crane and at the big countdown nothing happened. That was my unfortunate but very funny New Year’s Eve celebration this year.

What is one of your goals for the next 12 months?

We have a lot of park things planned [at Parks and Recreation]. The teen adventure park, the new skateboard facility. Another fun one is the new dog park, which is scheduled to be installed this fall. The goals are continuing to create new recreational opportunities.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Working with the senior citizens to build the new senior center. We got a two million dollar grant to do that. We built a super cool new building.

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