Biz Bio: Anne-Marie Zell Schwerin


Job title: Executive director of YWCA

Hometown: Detroit

What brought you to Walla Walla?: "I came west to go to Whitman. I'd never been farther west than Chicago."

Favorite memory: "My first involvement with the YW. A woman got me involved with her bowling team, I'd never learned before, I was a crummy bowler. Debbie Zalaznik was in the group, and she suggested I come volunteer at the YWCA. When I walked in the first time, I felt like I'd been here my whole life. I was able to meet people who cared about the same things that I care about. It totally changed my life."

Current favorite song/CD: "Respect" by Aretha Franklin. "I also love classical music. 'Piano Concerto in A Minor by Schumann.'"

Favorite movie: "State of Play" also "Much Ado About Nothing."

Favorite food: "I just got back from Poland. We had the best Polish national dishes. I also love Mediterranean food."

Favorite book: "Reading is what I do, I don't have a television." Favorites: "Return of the Native" by Thomas Hardy, "Pride and Prejudice" and "To Kill A Mockingbird."

Favorite hobby: "I enjoy running. I try to do that after work, and I walk every morning." She's especially fond of exercise out in the fresh air in cooler seasons.

Favorite place in Walla Walla County: "I live in a beautiful place up in the hills. Anywhere in the Blue Mountains is fine with me."

Most recent local purchase: "Christmas presents at Earthlight Books. Also a giant bucket of icing for our gingerbread house-making class. It was multiple gallons of white stuff, sugar and egg whites. When it dried it was cement."

Dream vacation: "Over Thanksgiving we had eight days in Berlin." Prior to that she was in Warsaw, Poland, where she met women who are starting a YWCA in their small community. "It's a dream to travel with them and help in some way."

Worst job: "It's a toss-up. I was a waitress in a Big Boy Restaurant. I was responsible for a long counter section, I also prepared food and ran the cash register." At another establishment she worked as a cocktail waitress. "The money was good, but that taught me what I didn't want to do, and I figured it out in a hurry." However, she said both jobs taught her a tremendous amount about people.

Dream career: "I would love to be a German teacher or an accompanist for a solo musical or vocal performer or the executive director of a symphony."

Person you'd most like to speak to: "We have a game at home of whom we'd like to have to dinner. One of my heroes is Eleanor Roosevelt. She seemed to really understand the personal implications of policy decisions. My mom is deceased -- gone about four years. I'd love to talk to her now."


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