Fruitland, Phones, and Finances
Q and A with IRP Administrative Assistant Vickie Winkel
Describe some of your duties as the IRP Administrative Assistant
I work three days a week. Sometimes my job feels like herding cats. In a nutshell, I manage our financial accounting and reporting to make sure we’re pinching every penny, take minutes for meetings, distribute information to board members and other partners, and complete research, writing, and other tasks in support of the board and executive director.
Where did you grow up?
Fruitland, ID. Go Grizzlies! New Plymouth was our biggest sports rival; I believe this remains the case. My sister and her family still live in Fruitland.
How has Fruitland changed since your youth?
It’s grown a lot. A lot of orchards have been removed. It’s kind of disappointing.
What kinds of jobs have you had prior to IRP?
In high school, I weeded sugar beets and picked fruit. Later, I worked in packing sheds, a cannery, and the A & W.
After graduation, I became a long distance telephone operator, then moved to Boise shortly thereafter. I “retired” after 34 years with the phone company. In 2003 I became the Secretary of the House Agricultural Affairs Committee and served for four legislative sessions. I began working for the Idaho Rural Partnership in 2004 while continuing to serve as the Committee’s Secretary for a few years.
What do you enjoy about being an important part of IRP?
Helping rural communities like Fruitland better themselves.
What’s your favorite rural area in Idaho?
I’ve always loved the fruit and wine country of the Sunnyslope area in southern Canyon County.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I keep pretty busy between yardwork around the house, making and selling my crochet wares at local craft bazaars, and walking my border collie Zorra.