Park Profiles: Meet Terri Rochon!

Kristen MihalkoBalboa Park Cultural Partnership, One Park - One Team

Meet Terri Rochon

Terri is the Guest Relations Manager with the Hall of Champions and has been a Balboa Park Team Member for a decade. Her ability to take on multiple tasks while keeping a positive attitude has been a key element of the Hall of Champion’s success.
1. What brought you to Balboa Park, and more specifically, the Hall of Champions?
My mother lived in Hillcrest, and when I’d visit we’d spend a lot of time in the park. Then, about 11 years ago, we decided to move out west from New England and ended up here. I have a background in landscape history and knew I wanted to work with the public in the historic setting of the Park. I got my first job in the Park at the NAT with the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. I then moved into a position with the History Center, and finally with the Hall of Champions.
2. What do you like most about working at the Hall of Champions?
Because we are such a small staff at the Hall (there’s six of us!), I get to take on other roles and do other things that I would not have the opportunity to do in a larger scale organization. I do some accounting, work with the archives, and since the Hall constantly has events, everyone on the team has to be involved. I like the different and changing work.
3. As the Guest relations Manager, what is the most interesting or the greatest experience you have had?
I can’t pick one in specific, but the moments I appreciate most are when family members or Hall of Champion members themselves come in. There are Hall of Famers dating back to the 1950s, and we have grandparents coming in showing their grandchildren that they are in the Hall, or family members traveling just to come see what their relatives have accomplished and the impact they have made on sports history. Experiencing and being a part of the interesting stories, the families, and the pride they feel when coming in is really great.
4. Do you have any advice for encountering a new situation or a new hurdle with guests to your institution?
The old customer service rules are the best advice I can give. Thinking on your feet, being respectful, having empathy for your guests, while still sticking to your guns, are all classic customer service guidelines that are very important in all guest relations. In addition, putting a positive spin on a negative situation always helps to find different solutions to issues. When guests have an issue, trying to appease them in some way can help to leave them happier and solve any situation.
5. What is your favorite thing to do in San Diego?
I love to go to performances at the Old Globe, visit libraries and used bookstores, and when I need to relax and unwind, I like to go to Cabrillo!
6.  Since you work for the Hall of Champions, what is your favorite sport or sports team?
My favorite sport is Baseball, and although I don’t have a specific sports team that I consider my favorite, I really enjoyed watching the Cubs win the World Series. In fact, Kris Bryant is a USD graduate and will be honored at our annual Salute to the Champions at the end of the month.
7. If given a chance, who would you like to be for the day?
I would choose to be Kaffe Fassett. He is an artist who is originally from Big Sur, but has been living in London since the 1960’s. He has designed textiles and mosaics, among other decorative items. He surrounds himself with color and pattern and I’d love to spend the day in his home and studio.
8. Favorite book, TV show, movie, or song?
My favorite book has been “The Secret Garden” since I was little, and my favorite TV show was “The Wild Wild West”. Currently, my favorite musician is Mark Knopfler, best known for being a member of Dire Straits.
9. What is your favorite spot in Balboa Park?
My favorite spot in the Park are the Aviaries in the Zoo. My favorite spot has changed a couple times, but I’ve always loved the Zoo and the birds.