She is the first face that people see in the King City Clubhouse

by: BARBARA SHERMAN - QUICK STUDY - Parni Myers started learning the ropes of the KCCA job from former administrative assistant Debra Racoma-O'Connor three weeks before O'Connor retired.Parni Myers knew she had big shoes to fill when she stepped into the role of King City Civic Association administrative assistant in mid-September, but she seems more than capable of doing the job.

Sitting in her office off the Clubhouse lobby, she is usually the first face people see and the person to be asked both the hard and easy questions about a gamut of subjects.

One of the first questions might be: Where did you get your unusual name?

"I was named after the 1960s' race car driver Parnelli Jones," Myers said. "My mom drove fast, and that was my dad's nickname for her. But as a child, I got teased a lot about it."

Born in San Francisco, Myers said her family moved around a lot, and while living in Northern California she got a degree at Sacramento State University in communication studies with an emphasis on public relations before moving to the Portland area 19 years ago.

Myers has held a variety of jobs that include sales, marketing, publishing, real estate and non-profit healthcare.

She is a member of the Volunteer Vixens in Portland, which is an outreach group of philanthropic women making strides to better their communities by working with the underprivileged, animal shelters and convalescent homes.

KCCA Administrator J. Patrick Moore posted the administrative assistant job on Craig's List, and when Myers saw the opportunity to work with seniors, she applied for the job.

"That was one of the main reasons I took the job," she said.

Former administrative assistant Debra Racoma-O'Connor gave about six weeks notice before leaving her job of five years, and since Myers was hired fairly quickly, the two overlapped during Racoma-O'Connor's last three weeks of work.

"It was a little overwhelming, and there is a lot to do - it's a balancing act," Myers said Oct. 2. "I want to look at streamlining some of the processes, and I really am just now catching up. I am a really organized person, but there are constant phone calls and people stepping up to the window.

"I just want to keep the board (of directors) happy and provide good customer service. People think the person at the front desk knows everything, and providing full customer service is the part of my job that I like. My interactions with the seniors have been very dear, and I've already been called Debra a few times."

In her spare time, Myers said she is a huge film buff and loves old movies; she also likes to roller skate, hula hoop and dance; in fact, she is a dancer with the "One More Time Around Marching Band" that has more than 500 members, including 60 dancers. The group begins rehearsing in March and April as it gears up for the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade.

Myers, who lives in the Multnomah Village area, is a single mom to 12-year-old Max, who is a seventh-grader at Jackson Middle School.

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