b'STAFF SPOTLIGHTJoe Hopper, Parks LeadTell us about yourself.Hello, my name is Joe Hopper. I was raised in the small farming town of Stanwood. As a child, I remember having pinecone and huckleberry fights in the woods with friends using metal garbage can lids as shields, Saturday morning cartoons and riding my bike several miles to the nearest store to buy candy. My first job was picking spinach at the age of thirteen. After my first paycheck, I bought a boom-box, leather jacket and GOTCHA and OP bracelets. After high school, I started my career path which took me in several directions including tree climber and press assistant, to working for an up and coming coffee company. In 2008, I was hired by the City of Snohomish Parks department where I eventually became the lead in 2015. I will always remember the impression I got from Snohomish early on. It reminded me of home and the importance of community. I have enjoyed being part of the progress in the twelve years that Ive been here and I am proud to have been able to contribute through projects with our incredible staff and committed community members. But the best reason why I enjoy working for the City is, it is where I met my beautiful wife.What is yourbiggest challenge?As any job, the biggest challenge is to stay motivated and to motivate others in a positive way. My vision for the Parks Department is that each staff excels to meet their full potential by utilizing their strengths. We are currently working on assisting with the Averill Field project, Carnegie landscaping and creating a new Maintenance and Operations plan.How do you enjoyyour time off?On my time off, I like to go to different places and trying different things. I love the Northwest and all it has to offer like camping, hiking, playing in the snow or at the beach. I like to play my guitar, collect and play Wii games, and barbecuing after church. My dream is to someday open a small restaurant.SNOHOMISH QUARTERLYSPRING 202011'