The new year has brought a new staff member to the office of Dranesville District Supervisor Joan DuBois. Catherine "Casey" Hanes replaced long-time staff member Linda Lammersen after Lammersen moved to Arizona in December to be closer to family.
"It's been very exciting," said Hanes. "But they are taking it easy on me and letting me ease into things."
Prior to joining the Dranesville District office staff, Hanes served for five years in the Fairfax County Department of Community Recreation Services as a project manager in the Athletic Services Division. As such, she worked with community organizations, park and school officials and county agencies to improve athletic facilities throughout Fairfax County.
"This is a much bigger picture than I've had before," said Hanes. "I'm mainly handling parks and recreation for Supervisor DuBois. There's a lot going on in this district — Salona, Clemyjontri and Turkey Run are under construction. But I have done projects like this before and have worked extensively with the Park Authority."
Hanes and her husband live in Vienna with their 16-year-old daughter Chelsea who is a junior at Madison High School. Her twin brother Zachary is a junior at Fishburne Military Academy, and their older brother, 20, is a freshman at Christopher Newport University. The Hanes family is familiar with the area, having lived here before.
"My husband and I lived here before and then went out to Arizona," said Hanes.
IN A STRANGE similarity, Lammersen left to be closer to her family in Arizona, and Hanes moved back to Northern Virginia to be closer to hers. The Hanes family has been back in this area for 16 years. In fact it, was through Lammersen that Hanes found out about the opening in the Dranesville office.
"This was an opportunity to get a full-time position, and it was something new and exciting," said Hanes. "I think it's good to reach. It's good not to do exactly the same things."
Hanes is has also had quite a bit of experience with McLean.
"When my kids were small I was a stay-at-home mom, and I answered an ad in the paper for an administrator for McLean Youth, so I actually worked for the McLean Youth Basketball program for close to 10 years."
Through her connections with McLean Youth Basketball, Hanes also worked for McLean Little League, McLean Youth Football and McLean/Great Falls Babe Ruth. Hanes says she is appreciative of the benefits the area has to offer.
"I think it's incredibly dynamic," said Hanes. "The services that are provided here are just phenomenal. The schools are great, the parks are great, and there is a great tradition of supporting them."
In a press release on the hiring of Hanes, Supervisor DuBois expressed her pleasure with the newest addition to her staff.
"We are pleased to have someone with Catherine's extensive background on board, and I believe she will be a great asset to our team," said DuBois.
Hanes is looking forward to getting more and more settled into her new position. She also recognizes the challenges that lie ahead as far as "trying to find the best use of all of our resources."
"You have to keep in mind how it will impact our people ... there are lots of competing needs, and because we are in an older part of the county there is no open space left."