Getting Personal: Sue Grey
Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality. Here, a chat with Sue Grey, 50, of Champaign.
Profession: Explain in one sentence what it is you do.
I am a member of the United Way team; I am responsible for assessing community needs, developing community goals to address those needs and working with volunteers to allocate resources to meet needs.
What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?
I usually get up about 5:30 to 6 a.m. I am not a real person until I shower. I try to first pray — have a pretty long list these days. Let the dog out, then feed the dog and cats. Sometimes, I make my husband's coffee.
What did you have for lunch today? Where? With whom?
I was at Champaign Rotary for lunch with my fellow Rotarians enjoying chicken and green beans.
Best high school memory.
There are so many. Senior year Spanish class with Mr. Romero, float building during homecoming week, meeting the best friend ever, spirit week when Centennial (go Chargers!) played Central, Robeson's Senior High Advisory Council and being a part of the Blue Ladies. (You had to be there — it was 1979.)
Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes.
Right now, I have this great pair of maroon Chuck Taylors — they are awesome. I get to wear tennis shoes and show my Champaign Central mom pride.
What does a perfect Sunday afternoon include?
Curling up on the couch with my husband, watching a good movie and the smell of a pot roast in the oven.
Was there one book you read as a child that you still cherish? Own? Read?
I loved all the Nancy Drew mysteries; couldn't read them fast enough. Wish I still had those. 'Black Beauty,' I must have read at least 10 times. I also really liked 'Ferdinand the Bull.' A sweet story.
Where on earth are you dying to go? Why?
I would love to go back to the Grand Canyon and take my kids and grandkids. It's a place that has always been one of wonder for me. It is so majestic, powerful and beautiful all at the same time.
Tell me about your favorite pet.
That had to be my childhood German shepherd, Hildie. She was fiercely loyal to her family. She died the day after I graduated from high school. I guess she figured she was done raising all of her kids. I was the youngest, and she had survived three teenagers.
Have you discovered that you are becoming like one of your parents? Which one and how?
Both. I have my mother's tenacity and my dad's great big heart.
What would you order for your last meal?
My mom's meatloaf, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, and my dad's lemon cake.
What can you not live without?
It's more like who can I not live without — God.
Who do you have on your iPod?
Everything from the Beatles to Cee Lo Green.
What's the happiest memory of your life?
Again, too many to just pick one. Meeting my future husband, Tom, and knowing he was the one. Watching my kids Randi, Ryan and Catie grow into such amazing people. Holding my grandkids for the first time.
If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, whom would you invite?
My two best buddies from high school, Cate Stallmeyer-Gerard and Joy Schmitz Barnes, and my first love, Donny Osmond, as long as he agrees to sing to me.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
My grandma always told me that they put erasers on pencils for a reason — not one of us is perfect, just do your best.
What's your best piece of advice?
Be kind to everyone.
What was your first job, and how much did you make an hour?
Rasmussen Pool and Patio — I have no idea how much it was; I just know I loved it.
What was a pivotal decision in your career, and how did you arrive at that decision?
I left my job of many years to venture out into the world of nonprofits. If I had not done that, I would not be where I am today.
Do you have a bad habit? What is it?
Yes, two that I really need to work on someday — I drink too much Diet Coke and I procrastinate.
How do you handle a stressful situation?
Drink Diet Coke and procrastinate. No really, I try to take a deep breath and release the tension and just move ahead. It never hurts to have a stash of chocolate, either.