By Sarah Teague
Michele Willms is originally from Monticello Iowa (small town of about 3500 people). She moved to Washington in October of 1983. She graduated from Central Washington University (Go Wildcats!). She started at the AGC in 1995 by helping the Legislative office move into their new office space and helping with support staff needs when a staff person hurt herself. Duke Schaub helped get her a job as a committee clerk for the Legislature but after a week on that job he offered her the job at AGC and she has been there ever since.
Rick Slunaker Director of Government Affairs said Most people think the Legislative office wouldnt run without Michele Willms – they are right.
Micheles job at the AGC is explained very simply with the statement What dont I do? She said It depends on what needs to be done or who needs something (I am the jack-of-all-trades). If there is a computer problem I work to figure out what the problem is process the bills for payment if someone wants info on an issue I find it. I also do the reporting to the PDC to keep our chapter lobbyists out of jail. I am also the AGC taxi driver from our office to the Capital Campus (Yes I do drive like those New York taxi drivers!). I have my fingers in everything down here! My first several years working at the AGC Legislative office I was the only female in the office. I would hear time after time how the people in Seattle felt sorry for me being the only female working with Duke Schaub Rick Slunaker and the late Willy ONeil but in reality everyone should have felt sorry for them.
When asked to tell about a funny memory about working at the AGC she said There have been so many funny memories but one that stands out is when Willy ONeil had moved from the Tacoma AGC to our office and I received a call from Sue Larsen that Willy had left a few things behind when he cleaned out his desk. She told me not to open the packet but to make sure I watched Willy. When Willy opened it he turned it upside down and out came spoons forks a tooth brush and everything else he had put in the drawer in his desk.
Many of you may not know that Michele has a seven year old daughter Aliyah who is now in the first grade. Aliyah tries to keep Michele on her toes as much as possible and as honest as a Government relations person can get. Aliyah loves music dancing gymnastics and swimming. As if thats not exhausting enough they also have a one year old energetic puppy named Daisy.
Their last vacation was in December and they spent it in Phoenix. Micheles cousin was getting married and she thought getting out of the Seattle rain in December is a very good idea. Everyone at the hotel thought they were crazy because it was 65 degrees and they spent a lot of time in the pool. Apparently it was only the people from Iowa and Washington that would brave an outdoor pool in mid-sixties degree weather!