|9/3/2013 1:11:00 PM|
Hughes set to take reins at SPRD
At 7-feet-2-inches, Liam Hughes is used to standing out in a crowd. But it wasn't his physical stature that allowed Hughes to rise above a field of more than 30 qualified candidates for the position of executive director at Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD).
|At 7-feet-2-inches, Liam Hughes is used to standing out in a crowd. But it wasn’t his physical stature that allowed Hughes to rise above a field of more than 30 qualified candidates for the position of executive director at Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD). photo by Jim Cornelius|
Hughes has an obvious passion and enthusiasm for the parks-and-rec field.
Most recently he has been serving as the sports coordinator for the Newport Parks & Recreation District. He sought the position at SPRD as an opportunity to broaden his scope.
"Obviously, it's a new challenge and a step up that I was wanting," he said. But beyond that, "I felt that Sisters is a very innovative park-and-rec district."
SPRD Board Chair Darren Layne said that Hughes brings an ability to communicate well with the community, an openness to innovation in creating and delivering programs, "to take them from ground zero to a finished end-point."
Layne sees Hughes as "a great fit for the community."
Hughes is a native of Essex, England. He left there at 16 "chasing the dream of being a basketball player."
That dream first took him to Modesto, California, where he attended high school, then to Oregon State University and a year at Western Oregon University.
NBA dreams didn't quite come true, but Hughes had no desire to return to the UK.
"Once I moved to Oregon, I never wanted to go back," he said.
Like many student athletes, Hughes started along the path to a career in physical therapy, but an internship during college convinced him the field wasn't for him. He shifted to sports programs in the parks and recreation field and found his passion.
"I really kind of grew to love the parks and recreation field," he said. I think that's what I'm going to do for the rest of my days. It's good to do a job where you can give people things they want to do."
Outside of work, Hughes still plays a bit of recreational basketball, and he said he's been getting into volleyball and pickleball.
"I like the outdoors. I like hiking and camping," he said. "I don't sit around much."
Hughes will work with outgoing executive director Ann Heath till September 30, when he takes the reins himself.
"I'm excited to get here and get started. Sisters looks like a great place. It's a great place to live and a great place to work."
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