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Face to Face: A lifetime of service
Judi Stene has only ever had one employer, and has never had to sit through a job interview. When she was 16, the longtime Ladner resident got her first job as a lifeguard with the Corporation of Delta’s parks department, thanks to the recommendation of a friend.
Since then she has worked her way up the ladder, assuming nearly every role in the parks department, outside of maintenance.
Today, after 39 years of full-time service for the Corporation of Delta, Stene is the deputy director of Delta Parks, Recreation and Culture.
“I’ve been very fortunate,” she says. “There have always been new challenges, and they’ve been very good to me.”
Stene first moved to Ladner when she was 12 years old, and soon fell in love with the natural beauty and community atmosphere Delta had to offer. When she married her husband Rick, staying in Delta was a condition of marriage, she says.
For Stene, her work with the municipality is an opportunity to give back to her chosen hometown.
“It’s not just a job for me, this is my home,” she says. “Delta is a great place to work and live, that’s why we raised our family here.
“It’s great to give back to the community, because we get to make a difference in peoples’ lives.”
Stene has worked on nearly every major project and event the parks department has rolled out in recent years, including the Harris Barn, Tour De Delta, Boundary Bay Airshow, and the Luminary Festival.
As part of her position as deputy director of the parks department, Stene often works with the many volunteer organizations that serve Delta, something she says always serves to inspire her.
“One of the great things about Delta is that if there’s a worthwhile project, everyone gets involved,” she says.
But even after 39 years with the Corporation of Delta, Stene has no plans to move on any time soon.
“I could have retired a while back… but I stay because I love the people here,” she says. “It’s a pleasure to come to work.”