In upcoming issues of TWI, we will be doing a Q&A profile of LWA employees so that you can learn more about the people who make Lake Wildwood an awesome place to live, play, and connect. First up is Janet Wirkner of The Oaks, who first began at Lake Wildwood in 1994.
Where did you grow up? Tell us a little bit about your childhood.
I was born and raised in Half Moon Bay, California. I was very active in softball and cheerleading. My family were farmers in Half Moon Bay and my father owned the general store, Half Moon Bay Mercantile. My joys in life were the coastal beach and the marine reserve. It was a beautiful place to grow up.
Where did you go to school?
I attended Half Moon Bay High School and the College of San Matteo.
When did you come to Nevada County?
I relocated to Nevada County in 1992 with my family. We were seeking a new experience at a slower pace in the mountains. I’ve lived in Penn valley for 29 years and enjoy the community outside the gates, and I’ve enjoyed the members and community.
Tell us a little bit about your work history.
My first job was at 16 making handmade candles. While in junior college I was employed by a construction company as a weigh master, and went on to become a job cost analyst for ten years before I went to work for my best friend Janice at a third generation Italian restaurant and fell in love with food and beverage industry. I love being with people and meeting new people, and just loved the industry and all the challenges and rewarding things it has to offer.
Do you have a family?
I’m proud to say I have two wonderful and bright kids, John and Jenna, who were raised in Nevada County. They went on to excel at college and are now thriving in their careers. I met my best friend and partner in life while working at Lake Wildwood.
When did you start at LWA? What do your duties include?
When I first was hired in 1994, I was taken aback by the beauty of the work environment and landscape. I started out as a busser and quickly promoted to server, and within a year I was promoted to assistant manager under Amber Thompson’s leadership. At that time I didn’t know the difference between a ninth hole and the eightieth hole. She saw something in me and together we were a great fit. I went on to be an interim manager for many years.
With the new construction of the clubhouse I retained my employment through the three years it took to complete the project. Before completion of the clubhouse I have so many fond memories of working the tent serving our members beverages and food, and I went on to become banquet captain which entails many responsibilities. Finally, I came full circle to become a server.
What do you like about Lake Wildwood?
It’s the most beautiful place to work. I’ve met so many wonderful members who’ve become my friends, and some I call family.
What is your vision for the future of LWA? What would your ideal scenario be?
My vision for the future of the association is for someone like myself to start at the bottom and work hard with dedication and loyalty to become a successful asset to the great members and community managers.
What is something you would like the community to know about you?
Looking out at the golf course I’d like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the great members of the community and I’ll cherish the forever memories I’ve shared with so many. There’s way too many people to mention or thank.
It’s been a pleasure to watch the growth and success of The Oaks. Day to day it brings me happiness to see the old and the new faces. It’s been an honor to be part of community and to serve so many kind members. I look forward to the future of The Oaks and wish happiness to all members and coworkers and the management.