November Spotlight Professional

Susan Schwiesow, Moses Lake Parks and Recreation

Describe the scope of your position in parks and recreation.   

I am the Recreation Superintendent of Moses Lake Parks and Recreation. I oversee the recreation side of our department. 

How long have you been with your present agency? 

I started with Moses Lake Parks and Recreation in 1993 and was the Recreation Supervisor for Athletics. In May of 2017, I was promoted to the Recreation Superintendent.

Background experience and previous careers?

I graduated from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and worked at the Island Recreation Center in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina after graduation. I then worked for Centralia Parks and Recreation before starting with Moses Lake. I also previously worked in retail and fast food.

What were some of your first jobs, and what did you learn from them?

One of my first jobs was a camp counselor at a summer camp in New Hampshire. I learned that I enjoyed being with the kids and making a difference in their lives and wanted to continue learning in the recreation field. I loved being outdoors and enjoyed sports.

Why are you passionate about the parks and recreation field?

I am passionate about parks and recreation because I love working with the community and all the diverse people we have within our community.  Parks and recreation is very important to every community and individual as it is their time to do the things that bring passion and happiness to their lives. I love being at one of our programs or Special Olympics and seeing the smiles and laughter they have while participating in the program.  It warms my heart to be part of this profession.

What has been your biggest professional challenge? 

My biggest challenge since being promoted is finding the balance between work, home, and my own recreational goals. There is always something to do, someone to help or a group that wants your help. Finding balance is difficult and something that I am getting better at with time.

What’s the best advice you can give to someone starting out in the field of parks and recreation? 

The best advice for someone starting out is to be diverse and flexible. The more areas (i.e. aquatics, programming, athletics, etc.) of our profession you can learn about, the more flexible you will become. Experience some of the other areas through volunteering in your community and doing an internship.