As you enter the Community Center, no matter what time of the day, our friendly front desk staff will greet you. They do so much more than just greet residents, patrons, and parents of preschoolers, seniors, teenagers, and everyone who enters the building! They also make sure to direct you where you need to be! They check IDs, sell rentals, provide tours of the building, register patrons for programs, enroll new members, and accept payments! Listen closely when they answer the phones and you will hear them say, “It’s a great day at the Community Center!” Take a moment to get to know two of the front desk staff members, Dawn Henry and Nafeesa Shakil.
How long have you been working at the front desk?
Dawn: “Well, I have been an employee since we built the new building in January, 2011. Prior to that, I was a volunteer here for well over ten years! All of my kids were involved in activities here at the Community Center, and I was always here with them. Now, my two daughters and one son also work here!”
Nafeesa: “I have worked here for over a year and a half. Before I worked here, I worked in a bank. I like working with people. I am not the kind of person who would be happy working in a cubicle or alone in an office because I need to be around people. I have constant interaction with people while working here at the front desk!”
What is the best thing about working here at the Community Center?
Dawn: “I love interacting with all the different age groups, and especially like working with the teens. I have been around a long time, and I have seen such growth in this area. I remember when we had to cancel programs because there weren’t enough participants, and now we have waiting lists!”
Nafeesa: “No two days are the same! When I greet someone and say hello, I never know what he or she will say. The people here are friendly. It makes me happy to share that happiness with the people here.”
Do you take any classes or programs here at the Community Center?
Dawn: “I would love to but usually when I leave work and go home, I am turning around and heading right back here because I am giving one of my kids a ride! One of these days I will have time for a class, but right now, my mom taxi is too busy!”
Nafeesa: “I help the ladies who participate in the Plarning program by cutting the plastic bags we collect, and making them into balls of plarn. I would like to take a swimming lesson because I can’t swim, and I think I might like to take an exercise class too.”
What are your hobbies?
Dawn: “I really like to do anything that involves crafts. Crafting helps me relax and I really enjoy it.”
Nafeesa: “I love to arrange flowers which I display here at the front desk. I give my arrangements to others as gifts, and I have even sold some of my floral arrangements too!”
What are your favorite restaurants?
Dawn: I really like two locally owned restaurants: Ashton Avenue Restaurant and Blue Ridge Seafood Restaurant. Although both restaurants are very different from each other, I feel these two places are just like me in that they have been around a while, and everyone who knows these two restaurants really likes them.”
Nafeesa: “I also have a couple of restaurants that I really love. One is Ruby Tuesdays and the second is Eggspectations. I really love the salad bar at Ruby Tuesdays and I think the menu is so interesting at Eggspectations!”
What is your favorite place to vacation?
Dawn: “I am a beach girl, and I really love the outer banks! All of it, I truly love it all! I love the wild horses, the great beaches, and the laid back lifestyle!”
Nafeesa: “I am a person who loves beautiful scenery! I love green mountains, lots of trees, and serene settings!”
Meet Our Staff is a series of blog posts where we introduce you to the staff from the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation