Lori Briere returned to Bell County in April to become Heights Parks and Recreation Superintendent after an 11-year detour working as assistant sports and fitness director for the Tucson Jewish Community Centerin Tucson, Ariz.
“It was basically (Harker Heights) on a smaller scale,” Briere said.
The center served 3,000 to 4,000 members along with the entire community of Tucson, home to more than 1 million people.
As superintendent, Briere directly reports to Jerry Bark, director of Parks and Recreation, who described her as a good communicator.
“She listens to people’s issues and problems,” Bark said. “This is an opportunity for her to figure out what we do in the community.”
Briere said she “hit the ground running” in late April, as she entered her position mid-baseball and -softball season. She oversees youth and adult sports leagues and aquatic programs, including swimming, lifeguards and pool maintenance.
Her family lives in Belton, and she came back to be closer to them, she said. She played basketball at Belton High School and volleyball four years at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
“It was time to come back home,” Briere said. “I looked around, saw this position advertised on Texas Workforce, applied, left it, and said, ‘If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.’”
Her hobbies include “everything outdoors,” she said. In Tucson, she climbed mountains and snowboarded.
“I enjoy watersports like skiing and wakeboarding,” she said. “And I’m looking forward to that here because there’s not a lot of lakes in Arizona.”
Briere said she’s always been drawn to parks and recreation, something she feels “strongly” about that allows her to connect with the community.
“Being able to come and give back in that sense is key, and a big reason why I came back, too,” she said.