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I n 2014, after an intensive screen- ing and interviewing process, the City selected Maureen Tobin from over 200 applicants to fill its newly- created position of Communications and Engagement Manager. It’s no small job in a city of 42,000 people with diverse needs and concerns. Particularly in the age of smartphones and social media when news cycles are short and attention spans are shorter still.  People who know Maureen, including her boss, Morgan Hill City Manager Steve Rymer, say she always brings her A-game to work. They also say it’s her personal quali- ties and her outlook on life, not just her professional skills, that make her such a great asset to our community. “Maureen is constantly looking at how best to move information between the City and the community,” Steve said. “She champions ideas and fosters consensus with a positive attitude and enthusiasm.” “She was a serious student, but every once in a while she’d do something sponta- neous. I remember being so surprised when she took on the role of Sandy from Grease, the musical. She showed up at school in black leather with her hair done up and broke into song. She totally pulled it off.” Heydays of Healthcare Maureen went on to study healthcare management and business at San Jose State University. Afterward she went to work at San Jose Medical Center. From there, Maureen took a post as Director of Business Services with American Medical Response during its run-up to an IPO. “She champions ideas and fosters consensus with a positive attitude and enthusiasm.” Steve Rymer, Morgan Hill City Manager Early Days Maureen’s parents brought the family to Santa Clara County from Southern California when she was 11 years old and her father was working as an aerospace engineer. Maureen was the oldest of four children. While a student at Santa Theresa High School in the 1970s, Maureen befriended Terri Porter who became a life-long friend. “In high school, Maureen was tolerant of different groups and moved easily among them, but was not swayed by peer pressure,” Terri said. “We became friends and made a pact that if someone we knew threw a party, we’d arrive together, leave together, and keep our noses clean. She was like my Jiminy Cricket, my conscience, and I was hers. “The 1980s was an era of development for large healthcare systems,” Maureen said. “It was fascinating to be involved early on, but by the 1990s I had lost confidence in the company’s mission. I was asking myself, ‘Did we really make things better?’ Maybe not.” It was during this time period that Maureen’s son, Ryan, and daughter, Lauren, were born. She frequently travelled on busi- ness and her husband worked shift work, so they often relied on day and nighttime care for their children. In 1995, Maureen left her job and shifted gears, eager to spend more time with her children. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015 “I did not want to miss out on this spe- cial time in my kid’s lives,”Maureen said. In the late 1990s, Maureen did some part-time consulting in management coach- ing and organizational development, enjoy- ing the flexibility of working from home and around her kid’s schedules. She also worked with the San Jose State University’s Center to Develop Women Entrepreneurs, as a coach and facilitator, and gave lectures at the university on a topic close to her heart – achieving a work-life balance. Back to School with the Kids As Maureen’s son and daughter entered their school years in Morgan Hill Unified School District, a substitute teaching job opened up and she jumped at the chance to work in the school system, align her sched- ule with that of her kids and be more in touch with their school experience. “Here I had worked in management positions offering my expertise all over the country and managing multi-million dollar companies, and I was nervous on my first day at school, walking into a class of third grade students!” Over the next eight years, Maureen worked at Paradise Valley, El Toro, Jackson, Martin Murphy, Britton and Live Oak schools. Helping Others Heal Maureen had had a long-time interest in hypnotherapy and executive/life coaching, so she invested four years in training and developing a new set of skills. Once certi- fied, she “hung out her shingle” and found she really enjoyed the work. “All of the work I’d done in the past was coming together, contributing to my ability to work in a new field. I enjoyed educating 81