Joyce Waterkotte was born in California, went to high school in Oklahoma, and claims to be from Jacksonville, Ill., since she lived there the longest -- 13 years. Waterkotte said she has lived dozens of places, but didn't find a home until five years ago.
"I love Quincy," Waterkotte said. "It's the first place that I have every really felt like home. It's a great community."
And Waterkotte has made herself part of it by getting involved with several organizations, which keeps her busy. When she's not working as a performance support manager for U.S. Cellular or volunteering her time, Waterkotte can be found teaching classes at NuFit for You. She teaches 12 classes a week, often times leading classes in the early morning.
"That's my fun job," she said. "If I weren't teaching, I'd be hitting the snooze. It force me to get up. I love it because I'm there to lead and inspire and try to find ways to motivate people."
Age: Under 40
Family: Husband, Todd; daughter, Hayley; and dog, Lester
Education: University of Illinois at Springfield, Communications and Media Studies; Notre Dame-Mendoza College of Business, Executive Leadership & Management
Community Involvement: Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce (ambassador, president 2013); Rotary Club of Quincy (youth exchange officer, board of directors and honored as Paul Harris Fellow); Quincy YMCA (development committee and YMCA Strong Kids Campaign (past chairman 2012); Alzheimer's Association volunteer, United Way volunteer, YWCA (board of directors 2012); Relay for Life, Girl Scouts of America (past troop leader); and St. Francis Parish.
What is your job, what do you do and what do you like best about it? I am a performance support manager for U.S. Cellular, acting as an internal consultant working with store leadership to identify performance issues and assisting with implementing solutions to those barriers. I act as a subject matter expert in sales skills, leadership development, situational leadership, retail operations and customer engagement. I love being able to directly impact our processes in order to provide a better product to our customers. I have the opportunity to influence leaders and associates in order to implement new processes to drive customer loyalty. In addition to my career at U.S. Cellular, I also work at NuFIT for You as a Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer.
What is a typical workweek like? One thing I enjoy about my career is that there is not really a "typical" week. I travel frequently with U.S. Cellular. Generally, I start my day around 5 a.m. at NuFIT and end my workday at about 8 p.m. When I'm on the road, my day may last a little longer.
What was your first job, and what do you remember about it? I had a paper route when I was 10 years old. I remember being so proud of making the "big bucks" and being able to buy gifts for my family and friends with my own money around the holidays.
How do you balance everything? I prioritize and organize my responsibilities with a list. I just know what I have to do every day and do it.
Which person has influenced you the most and why? My aunt Joyce taught me to be strong and independent, not willing to settle for mediocrity. She taught me to never settle for "good enough," but to continue working toward my goals until I had not just met them, but exceeded them. On a professional level, I was inspired by Conrad Hunter, the vice president of operations for my market. He taught me to always create an inspirational environment and take action. He incorporated his strong theological faith into his work and never compromised who he was.
Have you ever failed at something? How did you recover? Yes, many times! My past failures have served as ongoing learning experiences. They have taught me to keep working through setbacks and see them as opportunities rather than failures.
What does success mean to you? For me, success is reaching and surpassing my goals. It also means passing on traits to my daughter including family values, hard work and community involvement.
What was your proudest professional moment? The first time I received a promotion. This told me that my hard work had been recognized and rewarded.
What is your favorite stress-buster/leisure time diversion? Exercise! This is my time to focus on my physical and emotional wellness and forget the stressors of everyday life. For me, there's also nothing like getting lost in a good book to relax.
What is the biggest need in your community? Health. We need to get our kids and adults off the couch and encourage them to be more active, eat better and make more healthy choices in their lives.
What gives you reason for optimism in your community? I've only lived in Quincy for five years but I've never felt more like part of the community. The spirit of generosity and volunteerism in Quincy has inspired me to do more and try to be a better person, and to pass on those traits to future generations.
If you could go back in time and give advice to yourself when you were in high school, what would it be? Step outside of your comfort zone. It's OK to read and be a bookworm or not to be what everyone else expects.
If you weren't working for U.S. Cellular, what would you be doing? It's hard to imagine after 15 years of working with U.S. Cellular. While I can't think of a specific field, it would be something in which I could be passionate and positively influence the lives of others.
If you could add a few more hours to the day, how would you spend them? I would spend more time with my husband and daughter.
Do you live by any mantra or saying? "You'll always miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take." -- Wayne Gretzky; "We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." -- Sir Winston Churchill; The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Career aspirations aside, name one thing you definitely want to accomplish in your lifetime. I want to raise a well-adjusted, happy and successful daughter who puts family, God and community first. If I can accomplish that one task, I'll feel successful in all aspects of life.