My last Over Easy interview is with Soundview’s new Associate Staff, my replacement, Billie Jo Wood. (For the record, Billie Jo actually goes by the name 'Jo' so this may cause some confusion for a little while. Also I need to add this: no, Jo Wood is not related to our UniServ Rep Jeff Wood, as some folks have wondered.)


Jo worked at Tacoma EA for three years before coming to Soundview. So she already knows UniServ and local association work, plus she brings some mad IT skills that I never had! Before she was hired in TEA, she was a member at Bates Technical College and served in nearly every executive board position in that local, working her way up to union president. 


I am so happy that Soundview hired her! I’ve been in touch with Jo since she started working for WEA and found her to be intuitive, incredibly likable and so positive. I love knowing that she is excited to be working in Soundview. Just being around her puts me in a good mood! If you have the chance to meet her you will know what I mean. It's not easy leaving a job after 25 years, but knowing that Soundview members and leaders will be in good hands makes leaving less sad for me. My only regret is that I didn't get to work side by side with Jo during my career. -- jo benedetti 


What was the big happening the year you were born?

When my mom was 8 ½ months pregnant with me she climbed on the roof of our house to watch Mount Saint Helens blow. 

Your mom should have named you Helen!


What did you imagine your career would be when you were little?

I imagined I would be a school teacher with 6 kids of my own. 


Let’s say you could only eat one food for the rest of your life. (But that same food would keep you healthy)….what would you choose?

Does French toast count? It is made with lots of things but it is a food and it has eggs and grains. I wouldn't mind syrup to go with it either, we could just sneak it in and not tell anyone. 


That is probably the weirdest answer to that question I’ve ever heard! Usually people say French fries or potato chips!


If you had a totally unencumbered day, what would you choose to do?

Hiking or doing something outside with my family. 


What bugs you?

People who sit at green lights. People who lie. When my computer is slow. People who can’t make a decision!


[I laughed at Jo because she thought too long and hard about her answer. I would have written three paragraphs by the time she came up with her answer.]


OK, How do you think YOU bug people?

I am overly energetic and if you do not know me, you might think I am too aggressive. But I do really want to hear folks out, I just verbalize a lot of my thoughts too quickly. 


I wouldn’t call you aggressive at all! I call you passionate. There’s a big difference. They are going to love you at Soundview!


What do you appreciate in life?

Each day. Truly I am thankful for each day I am given to get up and try to do my best in every area. 


If someone made a movie about your life, what actor would you like to play your part? 

Drew Barrymore! She is a good woman, who like me, gets tripped up in life, just trying to live it and yet we still find bits of joy. 


What do you fear?

Heights! I cannot even jump down from a fence without a slight panic attack. Why I was jumping an 8 foot fence is a different story. 


If you could meet only one famous person, who would you love to meet?

Although it would be creepy to meet someone dead, I would like to meet President Lincoln. I don’t just want to meet him, I want to have a conversation with him. 


And what would you want to talk to him about?

His humbleness, the depth of his views on humanity, his philosophy on leadership.


Did you see the movie Lincoln with Daniel Day Lewis? I thought it was boring! I actually fell asleep twice.

I thought it was boring too. But I did watch the 'Lincoln Vampire Slayer' and found it humorous.


Ok, so let’s end this interview with your favorite quote. How about one from Lincoln?

"The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion."


Actually, that’s an excellent quote for unions!