Beginning a New Chapter: A Closing Interview with Gabby Kinnamon

Gabby Kinnamon has been the Assistant Director of Club Sports here at Miami University Recreation for three years. While at the Rec, she oversaw 55 teams and 1,500 athletes, ranging from their daily operations to facility bookings. Additionally, she was in charge of the Youth Gymnastics Program which consists of recreational classes and training for ages 2-14 and directed the competitive cheer and gymnastics team.

When we asked Kinnamon who has influenced her the most while working at the Rec, she quickly answered without hesitation, Mike Arnos, Senior Director of Programs and Academic Partnerships. Kinnamon and Arnos shared a desk for nearly a year, and she explained how those circumstances allowed them to get to know each other on both a personal and professional level. “He’s done so much for me, whether it be opportunities, or simply answering questions, he would always drop whatever he was doing to give me an explanation and help me understand areas I was struggling with,” said Kinnamon.

One thing that surprised Kinnamon about working at Miami University in general is the amount of support and appreciation club sports and all organizations receive from the University President and his wife. She explained how they somehow attend nearly every event on campus and always the kindest and most genuine people. Kinnamon felt like she had immense support from the entire university when working with club sports and that was a very encouraging and motivating feeling.

Working at the Rec wasn’t always easy, and Kinnamon discussed thoroughly how those trials taught her about herself helped her grow professionally. She planned and helped Miami host the ORSA (Ohio Recreation Sports Association) state conference this past year, which spanned the course of an entire weekend and held hundreds of individuals, all while attending graduate school and working full-time. Although these tasks were extremely difficult, she expressed how she could not have done any of it without the amazing support from her fellow staff members. “The people you work with truly make your job, and I although I loved my job, I could’ve absolutely hated the actually work I was doing, but still would have stayed here solely for the people,” said Kinnamon. She never felt like she was actually working simply because she was able to come in everyday and surround herself with true friends and supportive individuals.

Kinnamon wants to express to anyone who may work at the Rec in the future that if you give the job and people a chance, good things will come your way. “Don’t fear getting to know people, don’t sit in your car and eat your lunch. You have to put yourself out there, everyone is so great. Get so involved and try new things because you get to learn and work with so many different people,” she said.

In concluding the interview, we asked Kinnamon her favorite moment while working at the Rec, in which she responded by telling us that it didn’t actually take place during any of her schedule shifts. She told us about her wedding and how many of her co-workers traveled two hours away from the office, to help support and celebrate her special day. She stated that she was convinced that she had the best group of friends and coworkers around.

One of the most difficult things about leaving she says is that she will miss all her friends and will miss seeing the growth of the young and ambitious club sports teams and individuals she has hired and worked with over the years.

Zach Moore, Marketing Account Manager for Campus Services stated how great of a coworker and friend Kinnamon was. “Gabby’s contribution to the Miami Rec Center and Miami itself is seen by the countless stories that her students, colleagues, and friends tell about how she inspired them, motivated them to be their best and to make a difference in not just our lives but those around us,” he said. “She made everybody smile and made every day that much better.”

Thank you, Gabby, for your infinite contributions to Club Sports, Youth Gymnastics and Miami University Recreation as a whole. Your passion, personality, and dedication has and will continue to inspire many for years to come. We wish you the absolute best at your new position as a Program Assistant for Ohio State University and will miss you greatly.

By Emily Comos, Miami University Rec Center Marketing Assistant 

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