Kati Lary Jopek, 32, Canaan
Kati Lary Jopek, 32, of Canaan is regional recreation coordinator for Mascoma Valley Parks & Recreation (part time); USA Field Hockey umpire (high school and college); basketball and softball coach; Major in the U.S. Army Reserves.
What motivates you to give back to your community?
I grew up in this area and I feel like I had a lot of opportunities and chances; I want to give back to the community that supported me and helped me be successful. I want to help make it better for the people living here now.
Why did you choose your profession?
My profession kind of chose me! I had just moved back to the area after leaving the active duty Army and learning that I didn’t want to live in a big city. I was looking for a job and a family friend told me I should apply for a new community position that was just created — the “regional recreation coordinator.” I had worked part time as a coach in the parks and recreation field, but had never considered it as a profession. Now it is hard to imagine doing anything else. The field is diverse, challenging and definitely lots of fun — plus I enjoy working with kids and their families, and the members of this community have been incredibly supportive.
Volunteer activities: Local recreation department (Enfield and Canaan) activities and programs (because my job is currently part time, there are a number of activities and programs that I end up volunteering at in order to make sure they take place for the community).