Getting Personal: Angie Hatfield Marker

Getting Personal: Angie Hatfield Marker

Getting Personal is a Q&A with a local personality. Here, a Q&A with Angie Hatfield Marker. The 32-year-old Savoy resident is a sales manager at the O'Brien Auto Park in Urbana a few days a week. She's at home with her children the rest of the time.

You seem to wear a lot of hats ... O'Brien, Crisis Nursery, mom, among others. How do you find the time?

I think it just looks that way on paper. I work part-time, and I volunteer a few hours a month. I'm busy with two 2-year-old boys, but never too busy. I'm pretty good at knowing my limits and saying no to extras so our calendar isn't jam-packed. I'm a homebody. I like being home with my family in my sweats and my mom hat, as you say.

Speaking of busy, you and your husband adopted a little baby, then you became pregnant. Was your infertility experience one that made you stronger? Do you feel blessed now?

Sure, it made us stronger. I tend to operate under that whole "everything happens for a reason" mentality, and our bumpy infertility road led us to two babies, 10 months apart. I'm painfully aware so many infertile couples aren't that lucky, so I'm grateful. I count my lucky stars every day.

How did you get involved with the annual That's What She Said at Krannert? What are you doing this year?

Kerry (Rossow), Jill (Harlan) and Casey (Wakefield) are my girlfriends. I play in a soccer league with two of them. I used the other's driver's license as my fake ID in college. I won't say who's who — too incriminating. They asked if I'd speak about my journey to motherhood in their show this year. I told them I'd do it if our son's birth mother agreed to speak with me, and she did. We're telling the story of our son's birth and adoption.

Have you done the Haiti support trip with your friends?

Nope, but it's on my to-do list once my boys are a little older.

Why do you think you've been so successful in business?

Good question. Probably a combination of a few things. I've had a good mentor, and I've had some good luck. There aren't a lot of women in the car business. That's been an advantage for me. And my boss and mentor, Jim Turner, has always been pretty good about letting me take my ideas and run with them. He's also good at reining me back in when I get carried away though too. I've never been afraid of the long hours or lengthy negotiations. Sales is sales. It's just getting to know people. I like getting to know people.

So ... what's new with you?

I'm training for the Champaign Park District mini-triathlon in August. I've never done a triathlon, so I'm just trying to swim, bike and run a little more this summer.

What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?

The boys usually wake us up by 6:30 a.m. My husband, Danny, always brings me coffee. It's just this thing he's always done and it makes my day. We're potty-training right now so I make sure the boys do their thing. I try to drink my coffee before it's cold. I half-watch the morning news. I make breakfast. I check my email and Facebook. I do read the News-Gazette (love Melissa Merli's stuff) but not until later in the day.

What do you consider your greatest achievement or accomplishment?

Probably pushing a baby out of my body. Is that too personal? That, or running a half-marathon this spring. Both took me about two hours. Both were pretty painful. But there's this euphoria that flows over you when you cross the finish line, figuratively and literally. No better feeling.

What do you regard as your most treasured possession?

My engagement ring. The diamond belonged to my Grandma Eleanor Merlie. Danny had it reset in this cool, vintage setting before he proposed.

Do you have a guilty pleasure and what is it?

Not really. I love Swedish Fish, s'mores and Double Stuf Oreos. And "48 Hours Mystery." Pretty boring, I know.

What book are you reading now? What is your favorite book ever?

We're reading George Orwell's "1984" for my Book Club now and I'm reading about 30 kids' books a day with my boys. My favorite book ever is "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett. My mom was a third-grade teacher for 20-some years and she taught me to read by helping me sound out page after page of that book. I inherited my love of books and reading from her.

Where on Earth are you dying to go? Why?

New York City with my husband. It's my favorite city in the world. And he's never been.

Tell me about your favorite pet.

We never had pets growing up. I'm scared of dogs and cats.

What's your favorite sports team?

Anything Illini. And the Cardinals.

What would you order for your last meal?

Mexican. Chips and queso from Fiesta Cafe. And a giant margarona (margarita+corona).

If you could be reincarnated after you die, what would you like to come back as?

As one of my great-great grandchildren. We joke that my oldest son is my Grandpa Earl Hatfield reincarnated. He always says random things my grandpa used to say like "crackie!" after someone sneezes. And he loves Arby's, which was my grandpa's favorite. It's equally cool — and creepy.

Who are your favorite musicians and why?

I listen to a lot of rap. Foxy Brown or 2Pac. I know every word to every one of their songs. I also love reggae. Anything Bob or Ziggy (Marley). And why? I don't know, I just love a good beat.

What's the happiest memory of your life?

My husband had the stomach flu on our wedding day. So not that day — or night. Probably the day we adopted our oldest son. They placed him in my arms and I remember thinking he looked familiar. Like I'd known him for 100 years. It was a beautiful moment, a beautiful memory.

If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, whom would you invite? What would you serve?

I'd probably invite my three college roomies. We had a blast in this little apartment on Third and Daniel on campus,15 years ago. Yikes! I miss them so much, and we always say we need to get together, but never do. It would be fun to sit around my dining room table and reminisce. I'd serve some good bubbly and some good cheese from Art Mart. And red velvet cupcakes from Creme and Flutter. I have a thing for cream cheese frosting — add that to my guilty pleasures.

What personality trait do you most hate in other people? Most hate in yourself?

Hypocrisy. And hypocrisy.

What's your best piece of advice?

My old boss Andy Dixon would always say "the great ones adjust." I use and give that advice a lot.

What was your first job and how much did you make an hour?

I worked for Ron Turner as a student equipment manager for the Illini football team in college. I think we were paid minimum wage. I traveled with the team to every college town in the Big Ten. And we travelled to Miami and New Orleans for bowl games. It was a great first job.

What was a pivotal decision in your career and how did you arrive at that decision?

To become a car salesman after I graduated from UIUC. I had two job offers — to be a local TV news reporter and to sell cars at O'Brien Auto Park of Urbana. My dad and I made this pro/con chart for both jobs on a poster board in his old office at the Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Building on campus. I accepted the car salesman job and I've worked my way up in the company for 12 years. I still have that poster board covered in fluorescent highlighter and Post-Its in a Rubbermaid container under my bed.

Do you have any regrets in your life? What are they?

Sure, using a fake ID to sneak into college bars underage. In all seriousness, I regret not always being kind. I think any time we're unkind, it's because of our own insecurities — or at least that's the case for me. So I regret not being kinder to myself too. And sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had pursued a career in broadcast journalism.

How do you handle a stressful situation?

Deep breaths. Long runs. I talk it out with my husband. And I still lean on my parents and brother a lot. My brother especially is pretty helpful at talking me through a stressful situation. He's younger than me — but much wiser.

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