110121 Sue Slavens

Longtime Lompoc Recreation supervisor Sue Slavens was named 2020 Senior Worker of the Year by the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens.

Longtime Lompoc Recreation supervisor Sue Slavens has been named the 2020 Senior Worker of the Year by the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens, a regional nonprofit agency that advocates for a healthy lifestyle in older adults.

Slavens, who began her work in 2000 with the senior population as part of the Lompoc Parks and Recreation Division, started with the city in 1994 as a sports specialist before becoming a recreation supervisor. 

Slavens continues to oversee classes and activities for seniors at the Dick DeWees Community & Senior Center in Lompoc, in addition to other community events geared toward supporting local youth. 

Barry Jay Marks of the AAA Advisory Council nominated Slavens for the honor last year.

“2020 was a difficult year for Lompoc’s Recreation Division," Marks wrote. "Historically, Sue has created models of diversity: preschool to seniors, athletes to physically challenged and with accommodation for those with limited financial means. There were senior classes in swimming, exercise and crafting, and a welcome environment for seniors to participate in all programs.”

Slavens was recognized in May 2020 during the commission's Older Americans Month virtual Zoom meeting.

“I enjoy working with seniors, hearing their history and taking in the knowledge they have,” Slavens said. “Times are changing for all of us. We can learn so much from our seniors.”

Slavens said she is honored to receive the recognition, however, recognition is not the reason for her work.

 “I come every day because I love my job; I don’t expect to receive awards. I care deeply about what I do,” she said.

Lisa André covers lifestyle and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record, editions of the Santa Maria Times.