In Random Profile, we interview a stochastically selected staff member about his or her life at the office—and outside of it.
Reta Lorenz has been ACD’s division administrator since 2005. She’s worked at UCAR/NCAR since 1992 in a variety of roles, first as a budget analyst followed by stints in sponsored agreements and ATD (now EOL).
Staff Notes: What is your typical day like?
Reta: It’s never the same thing twice, which is sort of the good and bad of the job. I love that it’s always busy and I’m never bored, but I also feel like I’m never done. It’s interesting and I like working in a division where I’m close to the science.
Staff Notes: What are some of the things you handle as administrator?
Reta: A little bit of everything. Finance, HR, travel, property. Pretty much everything that isn’t science or engineering. Somebody once explained to me that the job of administrator is that you handle multimillion dollar budgets but you’re also the person they come to if the toilets aren’t working. It was a very good explanation.
Staff Notes: What do you like best about your job?
Reta: I like the mix. I enjoy getting to delve into a really detailed, complicated spreadsheet and build something, or maybe write a report, but I also really love the people interaction. So I feel like it’s the best of both worlds in that way. I work with a wide variety of people throughout the organization and outside NCAR.
Staff Notes: What is most challenging?
Reta: Anything where you have to fill out forms.
Staff Notes: What’s your background? How did you end up at NCAR?
Reta: I’ve got a bachelor’s in marketing, which I’ve never done. And I have an MBA with a statistics emphasis. I’ve pretty much always worked at nonprofits.
Staff Notes: Tell us about your life outside work. Those are some cute dog photos on your office walls.
Reta: That’s Ella. She’s a Leonberger. The breed is from Germany, a mix of Newfoundlands, Great Pyrenees, and St. Bernards. So she’s big—110 pounds—and furry. Stubborn, but sweet.
Staff Notes: Do you and Ella live in Boulder?
Reta: Yes, we do, and in a major, positive life change—which you can put in Staff Notes—I’m getting married in December and we will be sharing a home with my fiancé Joe, three teenagers, two more dogs, and two cats.
Staff Notes: Wow!
Reta: I think it will be very exciting. The dogs all get along, and Ella is fascinated by the cats.
Staff Notes: What do you do in your free time?
Reta: Walking the dogs takes a lot of time. I like hiking, running, photography, watercolor painting. And I love to travel. Italy is one of my favorites. More recently, I was in Nicaragua with Habitat for Humanity. I’ve also done a lot of volunteer work with kids and have found that I really enjoy that.
Staff Notes: Where did you grow up?
Reta: I was born in Iowa and grew up in Wyoming. I originally moved down here for a job in Denver, but then was called almost immediately about a job at NCAR. I really struggled with what to do, but decided that I wanted this job at NCAR. This has been an absolutely wonderful place to work. I like working someplace where you’re participating in something bigger than just yourself or just making a profit. I like the people and the culture.
October 4, 2010