Heather Lejman begins everyday with a list. She goes through her day crossing off what to do, whom to call, what to organize, and where to go.
In her position as special events director at the YMCA of Southwestern Indiana, Lejman is involved with many of the activities the YMCA presents, but race season takes up most of her time as well as space on her to-do list. The YMCA of Southwestern Indiana hosts the Evansville Half Marathon, the Spirit, Mind and Body Triathlon/Dualthon, Kids’ Triathlon, and the Airport Run along with training clubs for each race. Lejman begins planning the Evansville Half Marathon a year in advance.
“I’m sending emails to volunteers, sponsors, and people we are purchasing from whether it be advertising or anything else,” says Lejman. “I’m constantly checking on the status of those things. I spend a lot of time at the computer contacting volunteers and coordinating that. Other days it could be hauling Gatorade and water for hours because we have to load trucks or unload the basement. I don’t have days that are ever the same, that’s why I love this job.”
The 2015 Evansville Half Marathon was the 12th annual. Since its inception, the event has raised close to $1 million for the organization, raising tens of thousands of dollars every year.
“It’s always rewarding when the gun goes off at a race and we know that we have done everything we can do and then we get to sit back and watch people finish,” says Lejman. “It’s fun to celebrate with them that victory because we’ve done everything we can do to ensure their safety and to ensure they have a great time at the race.”
In addition to the annual races, Lejman also directs Team 13, the training club that practices for the Evansville Half Marathon for 13 weeks, and leads the YMCA’s annual Pancake Days, which brings the community together for fellowship over food, fun, and entertainment in February.
The Newburgh, Indiana, native and Purdue University alumna worked at the YMCA part time helping with summer camps, life guarding, and at the front desk since she was 16 years old. She also contributed to the special events team while working fulltime at her family’s business.
“When we decided to close Schmitt Photo three years ago, I was 40-something and looking for a job,” she says.
Luckily, Lejman found a fulltime position working with the people and activities she always has enjoyed.
“I couldn’t see myself doing any job but this one at this point in my life,” she says. “I truly enjoy this.”
For more information about the YMCA of Southwestern Indiana, visit ymcaswin.org.