Date: March 8, 2009
About: Sonia Lee Hester - Class of 1996
A few minutes with... Sonia Lee Hester
What Sonia Lee Hester likes most about her job is its unpredictability.
Rarely, are any two days the same.
Hester is a recreation supervisor for the Quincy Park District. It's a position that allows Hester to be out in the community and interact with many of those who use the Park District facilities and programs.
"I think my job is appealing, because every day is a little different," Hester said.
How long have you been with the Park District?
I have worked at the Quincy Park District since June 2006.
Describe a typical day in your job.
There isn't really a "typical" day. That is what keeps my job interesting. During peak months there's a lot of multitasking. Every morning I check messages and my date book. I visit each of the facilities that I manage -- Wavering Aquatic Center, Indian Mounds Pool, Batting Cage area and the softball/baseball fields. I check on the staff, supplies, schedules, etc. My phone rings a lot. I talk frequently with managers at each of the facilities so I know what is happening, and if there are any issues. There are many behind-the-scenes details that must be done to make sure each facility runs smoothly seven days a week. The 100 seasonal employees I manage help make it happen.
What is the appeal of a job like yours?
While there is desk/paperwork, I spend a lot of time away from the office. As a recreation supervisor, I need to be out at the facilities to troubleshoot and supervise staff and programs.
What is the best and worst thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is seeing the end results of my work. When I visit a facility or program, I see participants enjoying what they're doing. I enjoy watching the youth baseball/softball teams play. Being able to see families having fun at the pool or playing a round of mini-golf makes all the planning and organizing worthwhile. The challenging part of my job is not being able to control the weather. Inclement weather means I have to cancel games or close the facilities. Canceling a game creates more work because I have to make a rain out schedule. I had a lot of fun last year!
Do you have a certain work ethic or motto that you follow?
I frequently tell staff that I don't ask them to do anything that I wouldn't do.
What is the most important advice for someone working with the public?
Working with the public is very rewarding but it can also be difficult at times. I always try to be respectful and treat people the way that I would like to be treated. I know that I am not going to make everyone happy, but I try my best.
What do you like to do to unwind?
I enjoy playing with my dog, Chevi. She's a golden retriever and I spoil her. Relaxing at home with my boyfriend is nice when I get a chance. I also enjoy spending time with friends and family.
Complete this sentence. It is a good day when ....
The sun is shining and everything goes according to plan.
NAME: Sonia Lee Hester
EDUCATION: Associate of science degree in liberal arts; bachelor's in sports management from Quincy University in 2001; aquatic facility operator certified
JOB TITLE: Recreation supervisor for the Quincy Park District
FAMILY: Daughter of Larry and Joan Hester of Quincy
WEB SITE: www.quincyparkdistrict.com