Jordy Jones is moving on to another exciting opportunity in his professional life, but it means he’ll be exiting the role he’s held since the late spring of 2016 when he took on the position of Outlook’s recreation director.
Jones stopped by the offices of The Outlook last week to chat about his time spent in the community and share his thoughts on the direction Outlook is headed in when it comes to sports, culture and recreation.
Jordy was approaching his final day as Rec Director when sitting down with this reporter on Thursday, February 6.
“Tomorrow,” said Jones, asked when his last day was. “Well, I’m actually coming in on Monday to have a meeting to tell people what’s on the go right now. I start my new job on Tuesday.”
Jones remembered where things were at in Outlook as far as the recreation department went when he began the job a few years ago and tied it in to how he was wrapping up his final days.
“I’m doing a lot,” he laughed, describing how he’s finishing things up. “When I first started, there was a lot of time between the time Jill (Lee) ended and I started, I think it was like three and a half months, so I didn’t have much at the beginning. I basically got the keys and was told, ‘Here you go, go through emails!’ So, I made a big task list, month by month, of what the basic things I do are, and that’ll be a starting point for the next person who comes in. Things like the outdoor rink project, I’m making sure things are signed before I leave and giving them the right correspondence, or the Good Sams Club that’s coming again this year – I’m asking them what they need before they come so that there’s a task list.”
Jones is excited about his new venture in working with a popular hockey team, the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League (WHL).
“I’ll be managing the ticketing department,” he said. “Basically, there are three ticket executives and I’ll be above that, pulling data on who’s buying tickets and where to go for leads. It’s really about just trying to get more people through the door, more prepaid than walk-up. With junior hockey, good teams can hide their ticket sales because people walk up if they can because the team’s good, but when they’re on the fringe, it’s harder to miss that maybe you’re not working as hard. I’ll know more when I start.”
Serving as Outlook’s rec director for the last few years was an experience that Jordy says he probably couldn’t have attained anywhere else. You learn a lot on a job such as this, you deal with a lot, but you come away with perhaps a wider perspective on a number of things.
“There was a lot of stuff I enjoyed about it,” he said. “It was a good experience for me, and I don’t think I would’ve been able to get the same experience anywhere else that I got here, as far as having a wealth of it. As many bad things that may have happened, there was a lot of good things, like the swimming pool. Even things like just coming to the rink every day and being with people. Some days it gets old, sure, but you tend to hear the most about the negative stuff while there are a lot of positives that you just don’t even talk about. It’s in a good place as far as who’s in charge now.”
In his few years on the job, Jordy has seen tremendous growth in several local clubs and organizations, and he’s tried to soak up as much knowledge as he could along the way while fostering relationships with people to get any number of tasks accomplished.
“I learned everything, and I still don’t know even 10% of it,” he smirked. “It’s just about treating people with respect. I think that’s what I’m happiest about as far as what it’s become: people don’t come into my office and yell because they know it’s not going to get them anywhere. I’m a lot more willing to work with people if they’re going to speak with me on the level of a conversation instead of yelling. It’s gotten to be a pretty good place for conversation instead of complaining or a ‘Woe is us’ kind of thing. The volunteering seems to be coming back, and everything has just grown! Minor ball, when I first started, there were two teams here, and now we have 81 kids last year, I believe. The skating club is at 64, and minor hockey has three initiation and two novice teams. I think their numbers have grown almost 100% and minor ball is at around 250%. The gymnastics club is thriving, curling is up again, and everything is just going again. I almost think if there’s any time to leave, not that there’s any good time, then it’s now.”
Outlook seems to be on the right track from a recreational and sports point of view, according to Jones, who says the community has always been recreational in one form or another. With his exit, Jordy hopes Outlook’s new Rec Director is someone who’ll continue to be truthful with the public and make an effort to get involved in the community that they’re serving.
“You’ve got to be honest,” he said. “There are a lot of times in that position where you can try and grey a lot of waters just to make someone feel better, but they’re going to find out what’s going on. Be transparent. Be involved, too. I think that’s why I had some success because when I came here, I joined the senior hockey team and coached with ball tournaments. You have to be in the community for people to know you. My dad always told me, ‘Move forward’. Even if you’re not doing anything, just get something done.”