Amy Smith, Recreation Division Manager, Albemarle County
Where were you born (and raised, if different)?
I was born in Danville, VA. My father worked for the Federal Government and our family moved around a bit. I spent time in Virginia, New Jersey and Maryland growing up.
When and why did you move to the Charlottesville/Albemarle area?
I moved here for a Teen Center Director job with Albemarle County Parks and Recreation in September of 1993.
What neighborhood do you live in now?
What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?
I graduated from Towson University in 1990 with a BS degree in Sports Management. In 1993 I received a Masters Degree in Recreation Administration from Georgia Southern University.
What were you doing before you came to work for the county?
I was in graduate school at Georgia Southern University and worked for the Campus Recreation and Intramural Department.
Your job title is Recreation Division Manager – what, in your own words, would you say you do?
Manage and direct the recreation programs for the County, includes the Middle School Sports Program, the Summer Playground Program, sports leagues, camps, classes, and special events, along with managing 150 part-time staff, marketing programs, preparing department budgets and reports.
What is the best part of your job? The most difficult part?
The best part of my job is when I’m at a program and a parent says their child really enjoyed a program I offered. The most difficult part is letting an employee go.
How does your job most directly impact the average person?
My job impacts the average person when they attend a program or just take a hike on one of our trails in the parks.
What is the most interesting project or work experience that you’ve had while with the county?
Back in the mid 90’s two mountain bikers Doug and Colleen came to our office and asked if they could build mountain bike trails at Walnut Creek Park. At that time there were no official trails at the park. We agreed and they started mapping out a route. I joined in on their first work day driving a dump truck of tools to Walnut Creek and they had organized the first group of volunteers to start building trails. Over the years the group evolved into the Charlottesville Albemarle Mountain Bike Club. Now there are 15 miles of trails that are regarded as some of the best in the area, to think it all started with a couple of individuals asking if they could volunteer their time and build some trails.
What is a little-known fact about you?
I got a gold medal in the Junior Olympics in Track and Field when I was 12.
What do you do outside of work hours – hobbies, etc.?
I enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and just spending time outdoors in this beautiful area with friends and family.