Cher. Prince.  Beyonce.  A star has really hit it big when they’re known by only one name.  Locally, First 5 San Bernardino has its own one-name star:  Ann. 

A nearly 36-year San Bernardino County employee, 15 of those years most recently with First 5 San Bernardino, Executive Assistant Ann Calkins has been the direct line of communication and planning between the Commissioners and First 5 staff.  Commonly known as ‘the glue’ of the organization, she quietly and calmly has her eye on everything, explained Scott McGrath, deputy director of systems and impact. “She always has the ability to nudge, remind and warn you about something you should pay attention to the moment it becomes crucial that you do,” McGrath explained.  “I have stepped over many pitfalls thanks to Ann.”

Ann started her career with the County of San Bernardino as a transcriber typist with the Department of Social Services in 1986.  Since then, she continued working at increasingly higher-level clerk and secretary positions with the Municipal Courts, the Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Public Works.  Ann worked for six years as an executive secretary II with the Department of Airports before joining First 5 San Bernardino in 2007 where she has supported Executive Director Karen Scott ever since.

“Ann is so good at anticipating my needs and providing assistance,” stated Scott.  “She knows my crazy busy schedule and life outside of work.  I’m never surprised when I receive a text message on a Sunday night reminding me of an early Monday morning meeting, so I am prepared.”  Scott further shared how Ann helps manage not only her calendar, but also relationships.  “I couldn’t do my work without the support she provides to me and our team.  I am going to really miss her when she retires,” Scott concluded.

Sharing life with her husband of 35 years, Lee, and their five cats, they share a mutual love of war history.  Avid watchers of the military channel, they have traveled over the years to war reenactment events across the country, even though Ann elects to stay at a hotel versus an army camp.  Additionally, she enjoys day trips, spending time with family and friends, reading and going to concerts and sporting events.  Having declared her plans for retirement later this year, she is looking forward to volunteering with local service agencies once she has more time available. When asked what she has enjoyed about working at First 5 San Bernardino, without hesitation Ann replied, “the staff,” adding that getting to know the various commissioners and advisory committee members over the years has certainly been fun and unique.  “Mostly, it’s been rewarding to be a part of the mission and vision in helping the youngest citizens of the County and their families get the resources they need to thrive and succeed,” she concluded.