August 2022 Spotlight Professional

Virginia Smith –  Member Services Coordinator for the Shore Aquatics Center 

Describe the scope of your position in parks and recreation.

I am the Member Services Coordinator for the Shore Aquatics Center in Port Angeles, WA. I work with our front desk staff and also oversee our after-school and summer camp programs.

How long have you been with your present agency?

I have worked for Sore Aquatics Center since it was the William Shore Pool in 2009. I have been a Member Service Coordinator for two years. Before the renovation happened, I was a lifeguard and a swim instructor.

Background experience and previous careers?

Previously, I worked for William Shore Pool as a lifeguard and after-school program supervisor. Then, I got to be a part of our renovation and expansion project for our new aquatics facility.

How have you participated in WRPA?

I am fairly new in the Parks and Recreation department and so far I've been really enjoying expanding my knowledge and developing my profession to reach our community in more ways than just being in a pool.

What inspires you about the parks and recreation field?

Being means more than just organizing events and keeping programs successful. I enjoy all the aspects of teaching our younger generation the benefits of being active and healthy. Being a part of that is so cool. 

What is one creative solution you and your team have applied to a professional challenge?

COVID limited a lot of our programs when we were already almost completely shut down for renovations. We responded to the need for Emergency Services Daycare and were able to create a program to support our community. 

Considering what you've learned throughout your career, what advice would you share with someone starting out in the parks and recreation field.

Work together as a community! Communicate, collaborate, learn from other professionals and be bold!

What is one of your favorite moments as a park and recreation professional? What was your job title?

I enjoy my current job as Member Service Coordinator while also being involved in our kid's programs, special events, and community outreach programs. A highlight of this new position was being a part of our design and renovation process for our new facility which we are proud to say we opened successfully amid COVID.