Nicole Hoskins Jones
34, Director of Recreational Therapy for St. Mary’s Home, Norfolk
Business community involvement:
Employer Advisory Board for area military installations, YMCA JT’s Camp Grom Board of Managers
Safe Kids Worldwide Child Passenger Safety Technician Instructor, Past President of Mid-Eastern Symposium on Therapeutic Recreation
Something that makes you stand out in your industry?
A long-term growth mindset. I always strive to do what is best not just for today but what will be sustainable long term. I enjoy solving the puzzle of combining available resources with the strengths of the members on my team. That allows us to work together to create programs that the kids we serve at St. Mary’s Home will love.
Someone who keeps you motivated?
The amazing kids that I have the privilege to serve at St. Mary’s inspire me to give them the best. I also want my three sons to see their mother helping others and serving the community.
Tell us about a recent accomplishment that you’re proud of.
I am passionate about children’s safety, so I became a Child Passenger Safety Technician about eight years ago. Recently I became certified as an instructor, so I am able to share my passion and teach new technicians. Typically, the people we train are first responders.
What’s a challenge you’ve had to overcome to find success?
I had the opportunity to step up into a leadership role in the Recreational Therapy department very early in my career. It was challenging at times to manage staff that were the same age as me and to earn the respect of much more seasoned leaders. It drove me to work hard and ensure that my work was of the highest quality and earned me the respect of staff and other leadership.
What’s the most important aspect you look for in a workplace?
I need to work somewhere that makes a difference in people’s lives and where I can be part of a team that is on a mission to do just that.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current position?
I enjoy connecting with people, sharing knowledge and creating solutions. Any role that would allow me to do that and have an impact on people’s lives I would find rewarding. In the right setting I could see that being anywhere from teaching to sales or consulting.
What new idea or development are you most excited about in Coastal Virginia right now?
I am very excited about the expansion of inclusive recreational opportunities in the region. YMCA JT’s Camp Grom is a great example of a place where people with all level of abilities are able to come together to have fun, challenge themselves or relax at a beautiful indoor and outdoor facility.
What do you think is Coastal Virginia’s biggest challenge?
Residents in Coastal Virginia would benefit from more inclusive recreational opportunities for individuals with all levels of abilities. All members of the community should have access to high quality, affordable and safe recreation and leisure opportunities. Our local parks and recreation departments play a pivotal role as ambassadors for our cities, liaisons to citizens and visitors and caretakers of some of our region’s treasures. My core belief is that when we all play together, everybody wins.
Favorite place in Coastal Virginia to go on the weekends?
We seem to always find ourselves in Ghent on the weekends trying out a restaurant or coffee shop. That can mean taking our boys to Yorgo’s for breakfast bagels or to Mr. Shawarma for a falafel lunch or enjoying a date-night dinner with my husband at Luna Maya.
From her nomination:
“Nicole is a smart, thoughtful and resourceful professional who works incredibly hard on behalf of children and young adults at St. Mary’s Home as well as children throughout Hampton Roads. Her dedication to young people and to her profession is inspiring.”
—Sonja Barisic, colleague