We are happy to report that our Employee Spotlight blog posts are back! We’ll be interviewing members of our team each month to give you a little peek behind the scenes at the Brooks Resources offices. This month’s featured employee is Barb Hess, our Director of Human Resources and Charitable Contributions Administrator. She’s been with the company an impressive 38 years! See below for our Q&A with her.

Q: What is a typical ‘day in the life’ in your role?
In our small office, I get to fill many roles. On the human resources side, I make sure to stay up on various HR compliance issues and changes and I work to field questions about employee benefits. Over the years, the makeup of our employee base has changed as we have shifted subsidiaries with high employee counts out of our portfolio. This has changed my job so that now I spend a lot of my time maintaining relationships with our local nonprofit organizations, both administratively and on a personal level. I also administer the company’s property and casualty insurance programs, and assist the Finance Department with monthly accounting procedures and act as Corporate Secretary.

Q: What are you passionate about when it comes to your job?
Making a difference in our little community. We talk about our corporate culture a lot and I love being a part of the legacy Brooks Resources is leaving in Central Oregon.

Q: What is the best way to start the day?
I wouldn’t say that I am necessarily a morning person and it takes me awhile to get moving. A cup of coffee and some dedicated “me” time is my best way to start the day.

Q: Who inspires you?
As I get older, I try to absorb something noble from everyone I meet. The fact that someone takes the time to reach out to me makes me feel valued.

Q: What are your favorite things to do when you aren’t working?
A: Anything outdoors. We spend as much time as we can in our RV, and I plan to spend the majority of my retirement in my fifth-wheel trailer. Hiking, driving to new places and spending a lot of time at the beach are at the top of my list. I also enjoy reading about American history. In a previous life, I’m sure I was a pioneer on the Oregon Trail.

Q: What skill would you like to master?
Watercolor painting. I believe that the visual art side of my brain is vastly underdeveloped. I’d love to be able to put what I see in my head onto canvas.

Q: What is your favorite thing about working for Brooks Resources?
My favorite thing is the connection to the community that working here provides. What I do at Brooks Resources is not a job, but a lifestyle. My circle of friends, acquaintances and colleagues  – they are all directly tied to my time spent at Brooks Resources.

Q: What do you wish someone would ask you?
How do you like being a grandparent? You’ll never hear the end.

Q: What’s on your bucket list this year?
1) Develop a retirement plan.
2) Update my 40-year old house and yard to make it more contemporary.

Q: What makes you feel accomplished?
Sleeping peacefully. Unfinished business or not pulling my weight visits me in the middle of the night.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your family (kids, pets, etc) and how you spend time together.
My husband Steve and I married 38 years ago in Eugene and shortly after, moved to Central Oregon. Our son, Chris, his wife Amie and daughter Charlie live here in Bend. Our son, Travis, wife Anna, sons Jett, Ryker, and surprise daughter Harley Jo (3 months old) live in Lake Tapps, Washington. We spend as much family time together as we can, at the motocross track, wrestling matches and a favorite, the High Desert Museum. We haven’t had any pets for a while, but know there’s a puppy in our future.
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