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Monthly Member Recognition

Jodi Zimmerman

Jody Zimmerman

Agency: El Paso County Public Health

Job Title: Environmental Health Specialist

Job Involves: Jodi works in the Food Safety Program. She is on the food borne investigation (FBI) team and the education team where she teaches food safety classes.  She also does body art inspections and conducts body art plan reviews.  El Paso County has 65 licensed body art facilities which are inspected annually.  Jodi teaches blood borne pathogen training to body artists as well. Jodi especially enjoys presenting to at-risk youth explaining why it is important they receive body art services at licensed facilities. She also provides guidance on the importance of location of tattoos for future employment. Jodi believes her own body art makes her a credible spokesperson and has contributed to her acceptance and effectiveness with this group.

Education/Training: Jodi has a BA in Psychology from Kent State University in Ohio and received her Master’s in Public Health from NEOUCOM through Cleveland State University. Jodi is an REHS.

Past Work Experience: In 2004 Jodi interned in Lake County Ohio where  she collected daily water samples from Lake Erie—chest waders, every day, first thing.  She also worked in other programs and participated in general EH activities. This work influenced her studies and she wrote her master’s thesis on ultra low volume truck mounted adulticide mosquito spraying.

Favorite Part of the Job: Working with the public to educate and support people as they fulfill their dreams and create their livelihood. She selected this profession because she loves everything about environmental health and Jodi’s people skills have served her well. A good indication of her success is that her facilities frequently and voluntarily contact her with information, challenges and questions.

Family: Jodi has two boys, ages 14 and 4.  Dylan is named after Bob Dylan. The inspiration for her second son, Berkeley is the California city and home to the Greek Theatre which Jodi describes as one of the most special venues the Grateful Dead ever played. Both kids have seen Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead many times.

Personal Hero: Jerry Garcia is one of many personal heroes for Jodi, just because of his unprecedented talent and passionate, unique soul.  Jodi also mentions her father who died at 49 but remains a significant inspiration. She describes him as the most kind, selfless and supportive human being. She recalls a job working as an ice cream truck driver. On cold days when sales were slow, her dad would buy all she had which he would distribute to his staff and co-workers at his dental office.  Jodi also mentioned her professional support and considers Gina Bare, Dan Collins and Lee Griffin her heroes since they all have been responsible for positively supporting her career.  Gina was instrumental in helping her get her first EH job.

Favorite TV program: Jodi does not watch TV but does listen to music for relaxation and reads women’s running magazines.

No one knows that….. Jodi performed in the Rocky Horror Picture Show for two years, every Saturday night at midnight. It was fun to channel a different side of herself as an actress!

Craziest thing you have ever done:  This response comes easily–graduate school! At the time Jodi was a single mom with a 3 month old baby and working full time.

Ideal Job: Also, an easy question; the job she has. “That is what is so cool about EH—no one goes into this for the money”…. so it has to be love for the work. This job gives Jodi opportunity to meet interesting people and make a difference.

Favorite Things: Her kids followed by running, doing yoga, music, especially live music, environmental health, cooking gluten free vegetarian food and everything about the outdoors. Jodi says this sums up her life–this is what she does.  She believes she really does have a full life and is so lucky to get to do to the things she loves.

Note–Jodi just purchased her first home in a Colorado Springs area called Old Colorado City. She describes the neighborhood as very hippie, funky and creative with small schools and neighbors who know each other. Sounds like she found the perfect place to call home!

 

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