Executive Spotlight: Bill Palmer
Full name: William Gene Palmer (Bill)
Hometown: East Baton Rouge Parish
Why do you do what you do?
My profession is the source of great satisfaction in my life…..and I get paid for it…I enjoy developing, building, bringing people together…my agency makes life better for our citizens.
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
Being a part of the planning, and execution of the EBR Parish Imagine your Parks Strategic Plan and developing new parks and programs.
What was your first job?
January 15, 1971 I started my professional career with the City of Fort Worth, Texas as Landscape Architect in the Park and Recreation Department. The first year my office was in a 20 foot long trailer, on wheels, parked on a hill, in the parking lot…I never really developed a sense of job security while in that trailer…but, I stayed in Fort Worth for eight years.
What is the best advice you've ever received?
“Be careful of what you wish for, you might get it!”
I like agriculture, farming and ranching….but at this point, I cannot imagine being in any other profession or career.
What is the greatest personal or professional obstacle you've overcome?
Loss of family and friends over the years. Really, I have a great life.
If you started over, what would you do differently?
Be more efficient in my job, do more and spend more time with my family.
What is your prescription for life?
Work hard and play hard.
What book are you currently reading?
The Supreme Commander: The War Years of Dwight D. Eisenhower by Stephen Ambrose.
Who would play you in a movie?
James Stewart…you would need to pay him a lot for that movie!
What do you do to unwind?
Go fishing, read, watch movies, work in the yard.
What is the most expensive purchase you've made for yourself?
The new iPhone.
What's your favorite spot in Baton Rouge?
Top of the State Capitol Building…it's the global view!
How do you take your coffee/tea?
What is your favorite movie? TV show? Band?
Old black and white movies…PBS Brit Coms…Big Bands of the 40's
What is your favorite gadget?
I just purchased a new iPhone…Wish I had one of these in high school (right, telephones were just invented back then).
What is something that you can't live without?
My wife of 41 years…or is it 42? (note to self: better get this correct before you print this)
If you could change one thing about Baton Rouge, what would it be?
We need a parish-wide and regional approach to resolve major issues and move forward.
What is your greatest hope for Baton Rouge?
That it becomes one of America's Greatest Cities…it is a great place to live! Great Parks make Great Cities….
What is your greatest fear for Baton Rouge?
Not reaching its full potential.I fear that some people do not appreciate the very important role that play has in the well being of our community, mental and physical health, conservation, environmental, economically….and especially in the education of our children, children learn through play.
What has kept you at BREC throughout your career?
My hometown, the BREC Commission and Staff, volunteers and community leaders, the community and family.
What legacy do you hope to leave as BREC superintendent?
That our community is a better place to live and play; a more livable community, that more people have better access to quality parks, facilities and programs, that our community feels a part of the decision making process.
What is your favorite BREC facility for the city? For you personally?
I really do not have a favorite facility. Having been here for 33 years, I have worked almost every place. I have really great memories of people and places everywhere.
Looking forward, what do you hope BREC can achieve in 2012 and beyond?
BREC will fulfill its promises to the citizens in the entire Parish. BREC has made substantial improvements, and more great projects are coming…Independence Park-Library in the Park, Knock Knock Children’s Museum, Magnolia Mound Visitors Center, Central Community Sports Park, Perkins Community Park BRBVA Gymnasium, French Town Road Conservation Area and more…We will all need to support our new Superintendent, Carolyn McKnight Bray.
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