Our people: Nicole Thornton represents Portales as the city’s community affairs coordinator

Liliana Castillo: Freedom New Mexico Nicole Thornton worked as the community affairs coordinator as well as the Portales Main Street manager.

Nicole Thornton was the Community Affairs Coordinator for the city of Portales until Friday. Her husband received orders from the Air Force back to Florida so the couple will be returning home. Thornton said there is no such thing as a typical day for the community affairs coordinator.

“I enjoy that every day is different at this job,” she said. “It keeps it exciting with constant challenges.”

Thornton said it’s important for a city to have a community affairs coordinator because it provides the city with representation and communication with a variety of sectors in the community including public information output to keep citizens informed and educated on city services, projects and priorities.

What are you some of your hobbies? Recreation and working out

What are five websites that you visit daily? Facebook, Yahoo, City of Portales www.portalesnm.org, PNTonline

When I get in my car, the first thing I listen to is… Local radio channels-105.9 KSEL Country first.

My friends and family call me… Nicki

If I had an open plane ticket to anywhere, I would go to… Ireland.

After a long, hard day, I love to… Hit the gym, go home, hot shower, wine, dinner, and decompress while watching reruns of “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

One of my favorite childhood toys is... Amy, my baby doll whose eyes opened and closed. I would take her places with me when I was younger (i.e. when I went to get shots, she would go with me).

One movie I could watch over and over again is… ”Holiday Inn” – Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.

My favorite bad-for-me food is…Chocolate chip cookies… yum.

The most unique place I’ve ever traveled is to… Japanese Gardens in San Antonio, Texas.

What’s your idea of a perfect day? Sunshine, light breeze, warm, no stress and quiet.

Tell us about your pets. I have the cutest dogs in the world. They are both rescues. Cayman is 3 years old and 7 pounds with floppy ears and looks like a Chihuahua Dauschsund mix. Molly is 2 years old and 14 pounds, fluffy brindle colored and looks like a Yorkshire Shih Tsu mix.

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What is your theme song? “It’s My Life” – Bon Jovi

What would you like printed on your gravestone? Beloved wife, daughter, and mother who loved hard, laughed often, and lived fully.

Who’s invited to your fantasy dinner party, and why? Dianne Keaton, Sandra Bullock, Katherine Heigl, Jennifer Lopez. They are all strong women, and seem like really cool people who could just sit down with a glass of wine, relax, and have interesting conversation.

What’s your favorite TV show, past and present? Past: “Charmed.” Present: “Army Wives.”

Who is your favorite entertainer? My favorite entertainer is Bing Crosby.

Tell us about a time you cried. The two times I cried the most: When my grandfather passed away and when my husband deployed.

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Tell us about a happy time. One of the happiest times was when my husband walked out of the terminal at the airport from his deployment and I could hug him again.

What was your most embarrassing moment? When I was 12, I walked out of the restroom at church and had my skirt tucked into my panty hose.

Do you have a favorite joke? No, I am still searching…lol.

Tell us a story about your childhood. My dad Larry Wilkening helped me learn how to ride a bike. I was determined. But, life lesson, and one he will never forget because my mom was probably right, I should have worn long pants. But, hey, it was Florida and summer so hot. I had skinned up my knees pretty badly, but I could ride without help. Defeat was not an option.

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Tell us a story about your mom or dad. My mom, Joan Dolan, in addition to working, also was a master seamstress on the side. She used to make everything from wedding dresses to cheerleader outfits to my Halloween costumes. I remember when I was really little I would crawl under the dining room table and listen to the sewing machine until I fell asleep.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing your job?Being a proud and supportive Air Force spouse and starting my own business.

What do you envision your life being like in 10 years? Managing the family business, my own home, community active, and family including two kids, my husband, and dogs. Enjoying my life.

When you were a kid, what did you think you’d be doing as an adult? Anything…my parents always taught me I could do or be anything I wanted.

If money were no object, what would you do to make the world a better place? Fund to 1) Get those people on the streets help and aide including medical/mental care; 2) find a cure for diseases like cancer, and 3) while that is happening, fund facilities that help those and their families battling these diseases.

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Make up your own question, then answer it. What is your favorite time of year? Why? Christmas is my favorite time of year because I love the holiday spirit and community feel that it brings. I also love picking out that perfect gift.

Who is your hero and why? My grandmother, Hazel Dolan. She served in the Women Army Corps and was married to the love of her life for over 55 years. She raised nine children while he served in the U.S. Air Force. Even till this day, she is one of the smartest, strongest, and most family oriented women I know. Life was not always easy, but she made it work. Most people dream about the love that she and my grandfather possessed.

Tell us about your greatest individual accomplishment. So far, finishing college. I had a lot of obstacles during that time in my life, and I could have taken the easy way out and quit, but, instead, I chose to stick with it even though there were a lot of sacrifices.

If I could do anything, I would…Tour and live in Europe for a short time.

What is your greatest fear? That I will not be remembered after I have passed away. Oh, and sharks scare me to death.

What is your greatest hope? To thoroughly enjoy my life, and for the each person to find a sense of peace.

What is your favorite taste? Any campfire food. Everything tastes better when you’re camping.

What is your favorite smell? Coffee brewing.

Tell us about a time you were afraid. I was afraid when my husband was deployed.

What’s your favorite part about your job? Seeing things accomplished for the good of the community.

Tell us about your first date. Ken took me out to eat at Hellas, a Greek restaurant on the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs, Fla., and then to the Aquarium.

What is your most prized possession? My family.