20 Under 30 Class of 2012
Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to meet the 2012 class of 20 Under 30.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.
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Big things are on the horizon for the city of Ozark, and Samantha Wagner is the woman to thank. As the parks and recreation director for the city, Wagner shares excitement about the new marquee sign that is now in the front of the Ozark Center (nicknamed the OC), and she’s hyped for the new five-year plan to build a new baseball/softball/soccer field in the city. And most of all, she’s ecstatic that she gets to help people in her everyday job. “There is nothing better than helping someone set a goal and watching them reach it,” she says. ”I love working with a group of people on a common goal of building a new playground or trail.” When she’s not busy helping people meet weight-loss goals or planning a new spot for Ozark residents to enjoy the outdoors, Wagner spends time with her 9-year-old daughter, Kaya, and enjoys involvement with Working Ozark Women and the Ozark Chamber of Commerce.
417 Magazine: What completed project are you most proud of?
Samantha Wagner: I am proud of the group of staff that I work with and the turnaround we have made financially at The OC in the past year. We have come so far and gained so much support from the community. There is so much potential here in the City of Ozark.
417: How did you end up at your current job/profession?
S.W.: I have always had a passion for the health and wellness field. I started a lifeguard in high school working for a local YMCA in Iowa. I moved to San Diego, where I worked in the recreation field. I moved back to the Midwest after having my daughter. I worked for a recreational organization in Springfield. After I completed my MBA, I applied for the position with the city of Ozark.
417: Where do you find passion to do what you do?
S.W.: I love helping people reach their goals. There is nothing better than helping someone set a goal and watching them reach it. I love working with a group of people on a common goal of building a new playground or trail.
417: What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
S.W.: I enjoy working out, horseback riding, movies, reading, watching my daughter play soccer and basketball, spending time with my family and friends, spending time at the lake and river and traveling.
417: What charitable organizations are you involved in?
S.W.: Lions Club (member)
417: What professional organizations are you involved in?
S.W.: Working Ozark Women, Chamber of Commerce (member)
417: How would you define the secret to success?
S.W.: Always have a positive attitude. The belief that you can accomplish your goals has to be unwavering. The moment you say to yourself “I can’t…,” then you won’t. Positive things will happen to positive people. I also believe in you need to be honest and dependable; others need to know they can count on you. I also believe you need to know how to communicate effectively. Communication is key in all situations.
417: What’s your favorite thing about your career?
S.W.: Every day is different. There are so many aspects to my career. I get to help people reach their health and wellness goals, build new trails and playgrounds and help sustain the environment. Another great thing is the people. We have an amazing group of employees and members that come to The OC.
417: What’s your favorite thing about working in 417-land?
S.W.: I love living in the Ozarks. The people that live here are caring and genuine. It is a great place to call home.
417: If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
S.W.: Don’t stress so much about the small stuff. Always keep your eye on the big picture.
417: What was your “dream job” at age 5?
S.W.: I wanted to be an art teacher. Who doesn’t love art projects when they are a kid?
417: List three traits that define a successful career:
S.W.: Positive attitude; persistence/dedication; and don’t be afraid to be innovative
417: Why are you a 20 under 30?
S.W.: I think that I made the list because I have been so blessed to have such amazing positive and motivating people in my life. I wouldn’t be here today if I wasn’t taught to go after what I want.
417: What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
S.W.: New marquee sign for out front of The OC, and a five-year plan to build a new baseball/softball/soccer field complex in Ozark.
Fill in the following blanks with five words or less:
My family and friends makes life worth living.
A day at work wouldn’t be complete without a cup of coffee and my morning walk around The OC.
Ten years from now, I hope I’m still learning new things every day.
If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would take my whole family on a vacation.
The best part about being a 20 under 30 is getting to talk about where I work; I work with a great group of people and for an amazing community.