City of Grapevine
Grapevine, Texas - U.S.A.
Featured in World Waterpark Magazine
, February 2023
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE?
I graduated Cum Laude from the University of North Texas with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. I started lifeguarding in 2010 and haven’t been able to leave since! I’ve done every- thing from training, to learn to swim, to maintenance and even concessions and rentals.
WHAT CERTIFICATION OR LICENSING DO YOU HAVE?
I am an American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor Trainer, Water Safety Instructor Trainer, Aquatic Facility Operator, Certified Pool Operator, and Certified Parks and Recreation Professional.
WHAT HONORS, AWARDS OR SPECIAL RECOGNITION HAVE YOU ACHIEVED?
I was awarded the Aquatic Professional of the Year in 2019 by the North Texas Aquatics Association.
WHAT MADE YOU GO INTO THIS FIELD?
I started lifeguarding at 16 and fell in love with the industry. This job fosters a close-knit staff and work has a meaningful impact on the community.
WHAT ASPECT OF THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY DO YOU LIKE BEST?
I love that every day is something new. I can rest assured knowing that no matter how long I stay in this industry, I will never have seen it all.
WHO HAS MOST INSPIRED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
My parents have inspired me by being wonderful examples of hard-workers and raising me to be the same. It’s hard dealing with staff who aren’t blessed with the same thing when they go home, but I hope I am able to inspire them.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WATERPARK CAREER?
Work/life balance has definitely been the biggest challenge. I have two kids under 3 and as we all know, this job entails a lot of crazy hours, on-call, and overtime. I try and bring my kids to the pools so I can spend time with them and keep an eye on my facilities. It also helps seeing the patron’s perspective.
HOW DO YOU KEEP FOCUSED AND MOTIVATED?
My staff/co-workers keep me focused and motivated. I have worked alongside some incredible people. We work hard towards the same goals and pick each other up when needed. We are like a family and always have each other’s backs.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY?
Take everything one day at a time. I have been in my current position almost 6 years and I still learn something new all the time. I am convinced I will never know it all, but I strive to be as well-rounded as possible. This industry can be overwhelming with the amount of knowledge needed, so make sure to network! There are so many other people out there with similar experiences or issues as you. Go to conferences (like the WWA Show) and put yourself out there. You never know who you can connect with and learn from.
WHAT BOOKS OR PUBLICATIONS DO YOU RELY ON MOST FOR INSPIRATION OR MOTIVATION?
I love Aquatics Vibe by ALIVE Solutions on Facebook. Their posts vary from inspirational quotes, training ideas, team building activities, educational information, and interactive posts. I have used many of their ideas at our in-services as well as our annual Lifeguard Challenge.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
The people! I love working with teenagers. They keep me young (or at least I think they do) and make work fun! It’s so fun getting to men- tor them and watch them grow into functioning adults with real jobs. I have several who no longer work for me but still keep in touch. I love getting to see them grow up!
WHAT CAREER OR BUSINESS WOULD YOU CONSIDER IF YOU WERE S TARTING ALL OVER AGAIN?
I honestly can’t imagine myself doing anything else. Only thing I would have done differently is gotten certifications sooner.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH THE WWA?
When I started with the City of Grapevine, they were already regular attendees. I tagged along and am so glad I did! The sessions are amazing and I highly recommend the maintenance school.
WHAT IS SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOU THAT FEW KNOW OR WOULD GUESS?
I grew up in a small town of 430 people. I lived on a dead-end road between a lake and cow pasture. Our graduating class of 67 was so large that we had to move graduation from our school cafeteria to a local church.