ELIZABETH PINKERTON

Our Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) has wonderful people on its staff, and they provide us with remarkable services. Readers can find out all about the CSD in the latest issue of the Ardent magazine.

This is the first of several stories about the people that work at the CSD. These are the members of the CSD Board of Directors: Orlando Fuentes, Jim Luttrell, Gil Albiani, Jaclyn Moreno, and Rod Brewer. The senior executives are Joshua Green, general manager; Michael McLaughlin, fire chief; and Nitish Sharma, chief administrative officer. The CSD Departments are Fire, Parks and Recreation, and Administrative Services. Their website is  www.YourCSD.com.

Today’s story is about Kelly Gonzalez, the director of business and public affairs. I have known her since the late 1980s. Her parents, Dave and Stella Hoskins, are well known in Elk Grove. Dave was a longtime football coach at several schools.

When Kelly was 13, the Hoskins family moved from south Sacramento to Elk Grove.  This is what Kelly tells us:

“Most of my life revolved around family, friends and athletics.  My mom spent her time running my brother and me all around town from football, to basketball, to softball and soccer.  I attended St. Charles Borromeo and St. Francis High School in Sacramento. Most of my memories of growing up in Elk Grove revolve around my dad coaching at the local high school.  My brother and I spent hours on the football field or meeting Dad in the weight room.  I recall everyone coming out to watch the football games back then.  When I was a kid, the big rivalry football game was Valley vs. Elk Grove.  Other memories of Elk Grove include playing softball in Elk Grove Park and taking long walks with my dog down the beautiful parkways.

“In 2000, after working as a recreation therapist, I decided to take an additional job at Elk Grove Community Services District, now called, Cosumnes Community Services District.  I was hired to assist in running summer camps and plan enrichment activities for after school sites at the elementary schools.  After a year, I was promoted to a full-time position as recreation coordinator for youth and adult sports. This was an amazing experience as I had the opportunity to create programs and build relationships that were so much a part of my childhood.  I had the opportunity to work with athletic directors, principals and coaches who I knew or looked up to from my childhood.  A few years later, I was promoted to recreation supervisor and then as a recreation manager overseeing sports and aquatics programming.  I had the opportunity to build and connect with many amazing families.  After three years as a recreation manager, I was promoted to a budget and special project analyst.  I was later promoted to recreation and community services superintendent.  I have had the pleasure of working with a passionate team that is dedicated to creating recreational experiences in the community.  

“I am currently the director of business and public affairs.  This includes responsibilities for the team of staff that operate a wide variety of services that connect the community and build relationships.  Our team is responsible for facility operations, customer service, sponsorships, contracted classes, budget, in-kind grant programs for special events, community partnerships, and communications and marketing.  I get to highlight the incredible fire and emergency response, and parks and recreation services we offer in the community.

“This spring, we are launching a new park ranger program with a focus on wildlife protection and public education. There has been tremendous growth during my time in Elk Grove.  The Cosumnes CSD’s services have expanded to meet the needs of our thriving and growing community.  When I started, we had 40 parks and this year we will be opening Elk Grove’s 99th park.  Our workforce has changed over the years as well.  In 2000, I knew the first and last name of every employee in the Parks and Recreation Department, and staff meetings were held in our supervisor’s living room.  Today, we have over 600 employees.  The benefit of living and working in Elk Grove is connecting with our beautifully diverse community every day.  

“I feel so lucky to have found a profession in which I get to serve the community that I grew up in and live in today.  I feel extremely lucky to have a career working with a team of people who are dedicated and passionate about the safety of our residents, the enjoyment of nature and open spaces, and providing recreational programs that enrich lives.  In recent years, I am especially proud of the leadership from our Board, staff and partners to strengthen and expand our commitment on racial equity and inclusion.”

We thank Kelly for sharing her story with us. There will be more stories in future HHH columns.

CORRECTION – I made an error in last week’s story about the research that is being done on the long-ago cemeteries in Rancho Murieta. The students are from Edna Batey Elementary School and their teacher is Laura Barrett.

NOTE – I send many thanks to Rebecca Davis and Justin and Sara Pinnell for surprising me with a story about ME in the latest Ardent magazine!

BOOKS BY ELIZABETH PINKERTON

History Happened Here, Book 1 – River, Oaks, Gold

History Happened Here, Book 2 – Fields, Farms, Schools

We the People, a Story of Internment in America

All book proceeds go for student scholarships, and I thank the many purchasers who have made possible the 75 scholarships with each one $1,000  – make your check for books payable to Laguna Publishers and send to me at 9227 Lamprey Drive, Elk Grove, CA 95624.  Books are $20 apiece and California sales tax is included. Add $3 for shipping of one or two books; $5 for 3-6 books. Call me at (916) 685-0606 or email me at elizabethpink@gmail.com. And, you can always purchase books at meetings of the EGUSD Board of Education.