|JCPRD Superintendent of Recreation Sharon Williams Plans April Retirement|
Johnson County Park and Recreation District Superintendent of Recreation Sharon Williams of Mission recently announced plans to retire effective April 23 after 15 years with the agency.
Williams has served as superintendent since August 2001 and was 50 Plus manager for six years prior to that. She came to the District in June 1989 as a travel coordinator and was promoted in December 1993 to travel specialist. Prior to coming to the District, Williams was Corporate Travel Manager for National Seminars Inc., Overland Park, for three years. She is a native of Saint Joseph, Mo., and holds a bachelor's degree from Barat College, Lake Forest, Ill.
The timing of her announcement was driven largely by a desire to spend more time with her family, Williams said.
She explained that in working with 50 Plus participants, she often heard people say they had planned to enjoy activities with their spouse after retirement but too often one of them passed away before that could happen.
"I don't want that to happen to me," Williams said. "I haven't been able to spend a lot of time with my family on our sailboat for the last three years, so I want to be able to do that this summer. It was my goal to retire this year, so I have chosen to retire in April."
Asked what she feels is her biggest accomplishment with the District, Williams said she believes she provided stability during a time of great change when she moved into the superintendent's position in 2001 after former superintendent Micheal Meadors was selected as the agency's director following the retirement of longtime Director Gary Haller.
"With the longtime director retiring and Michael (Meadors) becoming the Director, being a part of the staff I think helped that transition," she said. "It wasn't necessary for people to become acquainted with me. They already knew me and at that time, I had about 12 years with the District, so it provided some continuity."
Williams said she and her husband, are considering a move to a warmer climate, though she concedes a full-time move is probably not going to happen. She added that she would like to stay involved in the community, but has yet to determine what form this will take.