Sharon Hipkins, OED’s Administrative Assistant Extraordinaire, announced her retirement earlier this year. Her last day with Frederick County will be June 30, 2018.
Sharon began her career with Frederick County Government in the Head Start program and when the program was eliminated, she was able to transition to OED where she has worked for the past seven years. As the department underwent several administration changes, name changes and location changes, she recently reflected on all the growth opportunities that her career has provided and answered a few questions for us about her upcoming retirement.
What changes have you seen during your time at the County or OED that you’d like to point out?
SH: The move to Charter government has been so positive. No longer do we have five bosses (with many different philosophies). I believe OED has upped their game as an organization. Our move to the ROOT building wasn’t about a physical move – it’s a game changer in Frederick economic development. OED has also added quality programs and events, longstanding events have been refreshed each year, and relationships with partners have strengthened.
What will you miss most about working at OED, and the least?
SH: I will miss the relationships most – especially with our OED staff, but also with our business partners, and other county staff. I will not miss losing my parking spot in the deck when I leave during lunch (you get the best ones when you’re in the building first).
Are you ok with us still texting you to ask you questions about office stuff? If yes, for how long?
SH: Absolutely, but just remember that I might be old enough to retire but I’m young enough to know how to handle a cell phone when it comes to pesky texters!
What is it like to keep track of the busy Helen Propheter on a day-to-day basis?
SH: Helen’s a very sought after person so it’s all about the strategy. Are you a chess enthusiast? (Yeah, me neither) but if I were I’d compare keeping track of Helen to a fun game of chess. You can’t just think about your next move – you have to be thinking several moves ahead – and when you hit that timer clock – yes, you’ve been successful! She doesn’t have a mobile tracking app to her phone – hum – maybe that’s an idea to pass on to the next person.
What do you think you will you do on your first day of retirement and beyond?
SH: On the first day of my retirement, I’m going to sleep in, and then have a leisurely cup of coffee on my deck and see where the day takes me. After that, my goals are to stay healthy, visit family and friends I don’t normally have a chance to see, and of course, spend lots of time with the two sweetest little ones you could ever meet.
The person filling Sharon’s position at OED is coming from another county department and is set to begin in June. Sharon said, “OED will be in such good hands that in a month you’ll say ‘Sharon who?’ She’s already got a wealth of tools but her best resource will be our staff – understanding what each of you do, meeting our partners, and just learning the mind and personality of an economic developer.”
- When asked what one word came to mind to best describe Sharon, OED staff members replied with the following words:
OED’s Director Helen Propheter summarized the news of Sharon’s retirement best and said, “Sharon is the constant professional who is always thinking three steps ahead of us. There wasn’t a month that would go by that another Division Director wouldn’t complement Sharon’s skills and remind me how lucky we were to have her. We will miss her like crazy, but we are so happy she will have more time for family, friends and travel.”