Offices in KRPS: Mountain District (7) Representative/Board of Directors
Occupation/Title: Recreation Director How long in current position: 5yrs.
Awards, Achievements, Accomplishments/Proud of: Nominated for KLC City Employee of the Year in 2012. An inaugural member of Leadership Johnson County in 2012. Installed new park and playground equipment at the Escom Chandler Park and Playground in Paintsville. Established Paintsville’s first dog park.
Family: Wife Cindy, daughters Jordyn and Lucy, and son Ryder.
Hobbies: Playing golf, watching movies, Jimmy Buffett concerts, and being with my family.
Hometown: Paintsville, Kentucky
Favorite Vacation Spot: Destin, FL Favorite Sports Team(s): Kentucky Wildcats, Florida State Seminoles, and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Education: Bachelor’s in Business and Technology from Eastern Kentucky University. Master’s in Facility and Event Management from Western Kentucky University.
First Job: Paperboy for the family owned and operated local newspaper.
When I was growing up, I wanted to be: A Professional Football Player
Best things about your job: Being able to work with the kids, the community, and other agencies to help make recreation an important part of life in Paintsville.
Toughest part of your job: Sometimes not having the resources to do all the things that you want to do.
Why did this type of work interest you?: My overall love for sports, playing golf, coaching, and working with kids.
How did you get started?: My previous work experience as Golf Course Manager allowed me the opportunity to conduct golf tournaments and other events, and work with kids in junior golf clinics. I also coached boy’s golf, boy’s baseball, and girl’s softball. These are all things I love to do and working in Recreation allows me to do these things and much more.
What trends in the field would be most likely to affect someone just entering this career now ?: I think understanding how technology and social media impact park and recreation is important for someone entering this career. Most Recreation Departments have their own websites. They may also be on Facebook and Twitter. Registration for events and marketing ideas are being done more online.
Words of wisdom for new professionals: Be patient!
Brittany Toombs, Richmond Parks & Recreation
Years in KRPS: 5 years
Offices in KRPS (Current or Past, If any): NA
Occupation/Title: Program Coordinator, Richmond Parks & Recreation
How Long in Current Position: 2.5 years
Awards, Achievements, Accomplishments/Proud of: I am a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI).
Family: My parents and younger brother still live in my hometown. I also have a boyfriend of 4.5 years that lives in Richmond.
Hobbies: Reading, crafting, listening to live music, and playing with my dog.
Hometown: LaGrange, KY
Favorite Vacation Spot: Gatlinburg, TN.
Education: Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Recreation and Park Administration from Eastern Kentucky University.
First Job: I worked at a daycare in my hometown.
When I was growing up, I wanted to be: A nurse. I helped my grandmother take care of my grandfather who had ALS and always thought I would go into the healthcare field. Once I got older, I realized it wasn’t the right fit and I am very thankful I found the recreation field.
Best Things About Your job: I love the variety. Every day is different and exciting and challenging. I also love getting to interact with the public. When they have a good time at an event that I have helped plan, it is incredibly gratifying.
Toughest Part of your Job: It really relates to be best part of my job. The variety, while incredibly satisfying, can also be challenging. It is imperative to be a great multi-tasker. Dealing with multiple things at once can place a lot of stress onto someone if they’re not organized.
Why Did this type of work interest you?: I have always loved helping people. To be able to offer participants a variety of recreational opportunities is rewarding.
How Did you get started? I took the round-about way of finding this career. I came to college as an undeclared major and spent a lot of time trying out different options. I was an art major/journalism minor but wasn’t thriving. During this time, I was working part-time for a community center back home. I never really thought of something like that as a career option but after visiting a career counselor at EKU, I became aware that the Recreation and Park Administration Department existed and enrolled immediately.
Words of wisdom for new professionals: Network. Network. Network. By attending conferences, joining professional organizations, etc. you are showing potential employers that you are dedicated and interested in furthering yourself and your career. You can not only use those networking opportunities for future employment, but also if you need advice or help with a project, you could now have someone to turn that has been there before and is more than willing to offer you their professional opinion.
Awards, Achievements, Accomplishments/Proud of: I have received the President’s award and also the Dean’s award many times for a perfect 4.0 GPA. I have received the Colonel Plus Scholarship from EKU every year for academic excellence. I was also invited by the Chair of our department to be on the Student Advisory Council for my leadership ability in the Recreation and Park Administration Department.
Family: I grew up as a Marine’s daughter traveling the world since the day I was born. My parents Kelly & Rob have been married for 27 years; my brothers, Zack & Hunter attend Western Kentucky University and Auburn University; pets are considered family - so we have two pups, our Japanese Pug, named Saki (yes, we brought her home from Okinawa, Japan) and a Shih Tsu, named Kinley.
Hobbies: I enjoy being in the sunshine and looking for the next big adventure; hammocking, hiking, white water rafting, scaling down beautiful waterfalls, fire breathing, and spending quality time with my family and friends.
Hometown: Owensboro, Kentucky
Favorite Vacation Spot: Cumberland Island National Seashore off the coast of Georgia.
Education: I’m currently a senior graduating in December 2014 at Eastern Kentucky University.
First Job: Sales Associate at retail store back home.
Why did you choose this school?: EKU offered me a great transfer scholarship that no other university offered. I’ve attended 2 other universities and those schools do not even compare to EKU. Go Colonels!
What is your major?: Recreation and Park Administration: Tourism & Resort Recreation, and Recreation Programming & Management (double concentration).
Why did you choose this major?: I stumbled upon the Recreation and Park Administration Department after switching my major too many times to count and needed to decide on a major after completing all of my gen eds. I felt right at home after meeting with the department chair, Dr. Jon McChesney. He showed me the different concentrations and I instantly knew this was what I wanted to study.
Which courses have you enjoyed the most and why?: I really enjoyed an entrepreneurial class I took called Resort Recreation Management. We developed a business plan for a small town in Eastern Kentucky and presented to a group of professionals like on Shark Tank. This class was very fun because we got to travel, see the town for ourselves, and speak with the locals. Another class I really enjoyed and highly recommend is Park Management. We spent a week traveling- canoeing on the Okefenokee Swamp with alligators, park cleanup and removal of an old building that hadn’t been touched in decades, and ultimately got to explore Cumberland Island and see miles of untouched seashore. I would have never guessed that Georgia has such beautiful islands just off of the coast- so pristine and so unique. What other major allows you to do this amazing stuff AND get college credit for it?
What types of activities are you involved with at school? I am on the Student Advisory Council for the Recreation and Park Administration Department and I am also a member of the EKU Rec Club.
Best Things About being a student?: Sleeping in! Most of my classes start late morning/ early afternoon. Recreation and Park Administration classes are fun. We’re all friends here; we genuinely enjoy each other’s company. I love this department and the opportunities it has given me, and that is why I will be pursuing my Master’s degree within the next year!
Toughest Part of being a student? It can be hard being 3 hours away from home. “Quick” day trips are impossible with the distance, time zone change, and conflicting schedules. My parents tend to mail me the things I need from home.
What tips or advice would you offer to future students interested in a career in parks and recreation? Network! Get out there and meet people. Parks and Recreation is so intertwined and it is all about whom you know and the connections you can make. The recreation field has so much to offer and if you play it right, opportunities will come to you.
What are your future aspirations?: I hope to graduate college, travel and see the world, try out every job/field that interests me, then finally settle down, get married, become established and have a family.
Family: Wife – Jennifer, Eli (6) Rylea (5) and Sawyer (4)
Hobbies: Too Many! Fishing, Hunting, Playing Guitar, Golf, Travel, Cooking
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Favorite Vacation Spot: Beach, Mountains, Anywhere I can be outside –
Favorite Sports Team(s): Louisville Cardinals
First Job: Mowing grass in the summer – I had 10-15 customers in my neighborhood
When I was growing up, I wanted to be: NBA Player, Guitarist
Best Things about Your job: Helping people, parks, schools, churches, see their vision for their Athletic facilities become a reality. Working with people. Toadvine Enterprises provides the best value when we are involved early in the building process and the savings we bring with our knowledge, experience, design help and service for the life of their product.
Toughest Part of your Job: The equipment we provide is used and noticed by everyone in the facility. Believe it or not on new construction many times the seating, athletic equipment, scoreboards, video boards are an afterthought. Our products are a pretty small part financially of any project, yet it has the highest visibility and use.
Why Did this type of work interest you? I love sports so I am in a unique position to be involved in sports all the time.
How did you get started? I can remember my father taking me and my brother with him on a few weekends to install bleachers when I was 7 or 8 years old. I started installing for Toadvine Enterprises during summer breaks at 14. My Favorite joke is “There are no child labor laws in the Toadvine House!” I started full time at 23 years old.
What do you find unique about your career field? Being part of a team of folks who build parks, stadiums, & gymnasiums which will be used by the community for generations to come.
Why do customers choose your company? Toadvine Enterprises has been in business since 1983. We have the reputation for providing the best Athletic facility equipment and service in the industry. We are local! People want to know who they are buying from and have the comfort knowing there is someone who will be there to service their needs quickly.
Favorite Quote: Ephesians 3:14-21 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Awards, Achievements, Accomplishments/Proud of: REC Club member of the Year; Requested to be on the Student Advisory Counsel and the Student Representative of the College of Health Sciences Academic Integrity Committee. Family: Parents: Paul and Amy Dame and 2 younger brothers
Hobbies: Crochet, Crafting
Hometown: Lexington, KY Favorite Vacation Spot: the beach Favorite Sports Team(s): University of Kentucky GO CATS!
Education: Eastern Kentucky University
First Job: Care taker for family friends with three boys, two who had Lowe Syndrome
Why did you choose this school?: It had the programs I was interested in.
What is your major?: Recreation and Park Administration: Therapeutic Recreation Why did you choose this major?: I started off in Special Education then Occupational Sciences, but neither seemed to fully match what I was really wanting in a career. When I discovered RPA and Therapeutic Recreation, I knew that was where I belonged. Which courses have you enjoyed the most and why?: I have thoroughly enjoyed all my Therapeutic Recreation (TR) classes and the insight that my professors are able to give from being professionals in the field. They have been helpful in grasping what the field consists of and what options are available to us.
What types of activities are you involved with at school? I have been involved at the Baptist Campus Ministry (BCM) for all 4 years, and on leadership the past 3 years; organized Co-Rec Volleyball nights over the years; in the RPA Department I have served in leadership roles, been the on the College of Health Sciences Academic Integrity Committee: Student Representative, REC Club Historian and Vice President, part of the Student Advisory Counsel, and been the Student Worker for 2 1/2 semesters.
Best Things About being a student?: I believe one of the best things about being a student is the opportunities that you receive that would not be offered any other way. For example you get student rates on shows, memberships, and travel assistance sometimes depending on the opportunity. There are so many things offered to students to give them a variety of views and experiences that are usually limited or costly to the general public.
toughest Part of being a student?: The toughest part of being a student is balancing course work and opportunities available. Often times I feel a time conflict between my course loads and opportunities available specifically for students.
What tips or advice would you offer to future students interested in a career in parks and recreation? Network! Network! Network! Our professors at EKU constantly talk and encourage us to network as much as possible and how important it is. I have seen first hand this year how effective it is .
What are your future aspirations?: In the future I would like to have my own center or be the director/manager of my own Therapeutic Recreation Program.
What two or three things are most important to you in looking for a job?: The most important things I am looking for in a job is one that I fully enjoy between the program and the people I work with, location, and where I am constantly challenged and grow in my knowledge and skill sets.
Years in KRPS: 4 months Offices in KRPS (Current or Past, If any): None
Occupation/Title: Athletics Supervisor Bowling Green Parks and Rec. How Long in Current Position: 7 months
Awards, Achievements, Accomplishments/Proud of: Proud to have coached a lot of great young men over the last 17 years. Fortunate to have coached high school basketball teams in the Boys Sweet 16, Boys All A State Championships, National Prep Championships and a high school baseball team to the State Final 4 as well as other District and Regional Championships. I have also coached Youth sports for several years as well. My biggest reward in Athletics has been the relationships I continue to have with former players. I enjoy continuing to be a part of their lives.
Family: Married to Donna Wills we have four children.
Hobbies: DIY projects, Enjoying the outdoors and wildlife around my home, Reading, Attending Sporting Events
Hometown: Carlisle, Kentucky
Favorite Vacation Spot: Cincinnati, Ohio watching the Reds Favorite Sports Team(s):_Cincinnati Reds, Kentucky Wildcats, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Education: BA in History/Political Science/Education, Georgetown College (1996); Master’s in Education/History Western Kentucky University (2006)
First Job: Non-Farm related was installing Coax Cable for JRD Cable, Cincinnati, Ohio at various colleges in the Region.
When I was growing up, I wanted to be: A professional Baseball Player
Best Things About Your job: I get to be a part of putting on Sports Leagues for the entire community and surrounding areas. It is really fun to see children and adults having fun playing games that I love to be a part of. It is rewarding to help make that happen.
Toughest Part of your Job: Unexpected Weather and Cancelling Events
Why Did this type of work interest you?: My love for sports and working with people. This job is dependent on both.
How Did you get started? I actually taught school for 15 years before transitioning into the Parks and Recreation Field.
What trends in the field would be most likely to affect someone just entering this career now?: The great unknown of what governments at all levels will deem necessary.
Words of wisdom for new professionals: Dr. Little’s quote, “Bring quality to other lives”. That is what serving the community is really all about. No matter what program you are working with help create something of quality for the community to enjoy.