Name: Becky Booker
Title: Public Relations and Marketing Manager
Company: Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority (PARA)
Current city of residence? Mike and I have lived in Tuscaloosa since 1987.
Family? My husband Mike and fur baby dog are my immediate family. My brother lives in the Washington DC area and my father and sister live in North Carolina.
What is your educational background? I earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of Arts from the University of Alabama. I studied painting under the tutelage of a few local painters and have participated in several regional painting workshops.
Where did you grow up? I was born in North Carolina and have lived in Rhode Island, Mississippi, Montana and Alabama.
What was your first job? Other than baby sitting and summer jobs working my way through college, my first real job was as a bank teller. I learned to look at bill faces when counting money and found a few counterfeits. I also learned the importance of building a relationship with your customers.
Why did you choose your profession? While working for another non-profit I was offered the Public Relations position there. I took the opportunity and never looked back! By becoming an expert about my employer and its programing I am better able to engage the public, our employees, the media and other stakeholders.
In 10 years you’ll be…? In 10 years, I’ll officially be of retirement age, yet I plan on remaining active with a few pet projects. I look forward to working my bucket list, spending more time with family and friends and healthy living. I might even go to culinary school.
What’s the first thing you do when you get to the office? Drink coffee and prioritize my To Do list.
What’s a hot topic in your industry? Park and recreation is much more than fun and games, which in itself is important. It is also about creating competitive cities with communities where people will live happier and healthier. Doing a better job of empowering our citizens and elected officials to be advocates for top quality arts, parks and recreational opportunities is vital for the healthy growth of our environment, our community and our economy.
What’s the most influential book you’ve read, and how did it influence your career? I typically keep a few varied books/articles going. My mother recently passed away with dementia so I’ve been researching beneficial steps that may help reduce my risk. I installed a standing desk in my office, I exercise and I am trying to eat healthier. Optimum health will allow me to be my best on the job and in general.
Number one item on your bucket list? Travel to Australia and the Great Barrier Reef
What’s the first website you check in the morning? T-News and WVUA 23 for local news, NPR for state/national news and BBC for world news. I admit to being a news junkie of sorts.
If you had to choose another career, what would it be? I enjoy my job! But, I always thought a dream job would be to interview folks similar to Larry King and insert a travel component. When interviewing people you find out all sorts of interesting things about them. Everyone has something to offer, but with some folks you have to dig a bit more.
What’s your guiding business principle? Be honest, be ethical, be responsible, be the best you can be. Be a student of life, continually learning and updating. When you share information, it brings everyone up.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Be kind to people, everyone is hurting with some issue in their life. Take advantage of opportunities when you can, as they may not come around again. When you are trying something new, mistakes will happen. Mistakes can be defined as experience. It is what you learn from and how you respond to experiences that define your character.
What keeps you up at night? I typically sleep well but occasionally I do wake up with details of an upcoming event running through my mind.
What’s your hidden talent? I enjoy painting and cooking for dinner parties.
What’s your favorite local restaurant? I enjoy meeting friends at Chuck’s Fish, 5, Ruan Thai, Sitar, Kozy’s and Side by Side.
What’s your favorite local or professional sports team? With PARA sports and the University of Alabama athletics, I certainly don’t have to look too far to find the best!
Address: 614 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401