Names in the News: Parks and Rec Director Amy Flaherty
It's time to get to know your Sussex village officials a bit more. Read Patch's Q&A session with Sussex Parks and Recreation Director Amy Flaherty to find out a little more about the woman behind the huge Sussex events.
A strong sense of community is one of the driving traits that brings Sussex residents together, and now it's time to widen the net.
They influence the big decisions. They plan the village's most notorious events. They're some of the most prominent people in Sussex, but how many village residents actually know anything about these people?
From the most involved volunteer in Sussex to the business owner on Main Street, Patch is introducing you to some of the most important people in the village, maybe for the first time.
Our first honorary interviewee is Director of Recreational Services Amy Flaherty. Between organizing the Rock-A-Thon and helping to lead the redesign of Sussex Village Park, Flaherty has her hands full of influential decisions.
Q: Name & Occupation
A: Amy Flaherty, Director of Recreational Services for the Village of Sussex
How long have you worked in Sussex? What do you like most about this community?
I have worked in Sussex for two years. What I like most about this community are the people that live and work here. Everyone is very friendly and willing to help each other.
What community and civic organizations are you currently involved in?
While I do not belong to community organizations, I enjoy working with the many groups that utilize the Sussex parks and recreation programs. I belong to the Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association and the Southeast Park and Recreation Council. Also, the Village is a Chamber of Commerce member, so I have been able to get more involved with chamber events such as Spring Fest.
What drew you to your profession and what do you find most interesting about the work you do?
I have enjoyed parks and recreation since I was a child playing in parks and participating in recreation programs. My dad also worked in this profession as a Parks Supervisor. He spoke highly of the profession and I knew I wanted a job where I could make a difference in enhancing lives and that also involved physical activity.
I went to school at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, and they have a great Recreation Management program. I chose that major my freshman year and started to get heavily involved working in different facets of the parks and recreation field throughout college.
The most interesting thing about my work is change. I like that I get to work with different populations of people each day and I enjoy the different seasons which our programs and events revolve around, so there is always something new or different to look forward to.
What personal and professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
Personally, I am most proud of getting my masters degree in Business Management from Cardinal Stritch University. I was proud of this accomplishment because of the time commitment it took to work full-time and go to school.
Professionally, I am the most proud of the park re-development that I was part of while working for the Village of Elm Grove. This was a major project to reconstruct the Elm Grove Village Park for flood management, and I was involved with planning and the construction. The park is now unofficially called the “Jewel of Elm Grove," so it is very rewarding. I am excited that we are planning exciting improvements for the Sussex Village Park.
Who is most influential in your life?
My husband, Mike. He is very supportive, encouraging and thoughtful with all aspects of my life including my career. Anytime I need advice, Mike is the first person I turn to.
What person—professionally or personally—do you most admire?
I cannot pick just one person. I have met so many people with traits or talents that I admire and I try to learn from each person I meet.
What are key ways other people can make a difference locally in Sussex?
I have seen a fantastic volunteer spirit in Sussex and I think that this is a great way to make a difference in the community and enhance each other’s lives.