Nancy Fisher | 24th Street
|Barbara Zucker on the Powehouse steps. Photo Nancy Fisher
If you’ve been to an event at Del Mar’s Powerhouse Community Center you’ve probably noticed Barbara Zucker, standing quietly in the background, always ready to jump in to solve any problem that might occur. In fact during this interview, when someone playing Bridge spilled coffee on the floor, she speedily and graciously took care of it and returned within minutes.
Barbara and her co-worker, Liza Rogers, manage the activities that take place at the Powerhouse and on its grounds, and together have overseen more than 1,700 events, including roughly 900 weddings. The Sandpiper sat down with Barbara to learn more about her and about what goes on at our community treasure, the Powerhouse.
SP: This seems like a pretty good gig! How did you get the job, and how long have you been doing it?
BZ: You’re right – I’m blessed to have this job! For years I worked in administrative positions for local doctors and for a restaurant (Epazote, formerly at the Del Mar Plaza). By then several people in the community knew me and what I did, and about ten years ago I was offered a position that was part-time management of the Powerhouse and part-time Enforcement Officer (parking). I did both jobs until about seven years ago when the Powerhouse position became full-time.
SP: We know that many Powerhouse activities are recurring events sponsored by the Del Mar Foundation and Del Mar Community Connections – like First Thursdays cultural events, exercise classes, and Bridge and Mahjong. What else goes on?
BZ: Lots. We have regular events for the Friends of the Powerhouse, the Del Mar Garden Club and the Del Mar Rose Society, along with fundraisers, meetings of all types, memorial celebrations, holiday parties, birthdays, anniversaries and, of course, all the weddings!
SP: Best and worst parts of the job?
BZ: I especially like to meet with couples who are planning their wedding here because I want them to have a positive experience that will give them a lifetime of great memories. I’ve also developed close friendships with some of Del Mar’s residents who have become like family. And I can’t tell you how proud I am to be part of the Community Services Department, and all that Pat Vergne (Community Services Director and Chief Lifeguard) and his team do for Del Mar.
SP: Ok, how about the bad part?
BZ: Well, as much fun as they are, wedding receptions can be a challenge. They bring families and friends together, often with intense emotions good and bad, so I sometimes have to use my people skills!
SP: What do you like to do when you’re not presiding over the Powerhouse?
BZ: I love to watch my grandkids. I have five – three girls and two boys – and they’re my whole world!