The Wisconsin Land Information Association is a large group, and we may only interact with each other in person a few times per year. Considering this, our opportunities to make additional connections and network is limited. In an effort to generate some additional discussion among our members, and to let you get to know some of us better, I decided to ask some members a series of questions. Hopefully this will lead to additional conversations between us and or if nothing else, provide some amusement or provoke a little bit of thought.
In our third installment, I talked with Nicole Hoeppner, Dodge County’s Land Information Specialist I, whom was chosen by Lauree Aulik…
Jeremy: Thank you for taking the time with me Nicole, you are the Land Information Specialist with Dodge County, how long have you been there in that position?
Nicole: 4 ½ years
Jeremy: Where did you go to college?
Nicole: I went to UW-Parkside for a BS in Geoscience and a certificate in GIS.
Jeremy: Was GIS your plan all along or did you consider other career paths?
Nicole: Actually, my first major was Psychology. Wasn’t really for me though, so I switched gears my junior year and decided on Geology. I had never even heard of GIS until one of my professors told me about it. I thought it sounded interesting, took a few classes, and the rest is history!
Jeremy: Where do you hail from?
Nicole: Burlington, WI
Jeremy: I have never been there, only as close as Lake Geneva and I-43. Isn’t there a coat factory there? Ha Ha Ha. I kid. Seriously though I see Burlington is branded as Chocolate City USA. I didn’t realize Nestle was there. So will someone get beat up on the corner eating a Hershey’s Bar? Joking again, but seriously what does Nestle make there? Does it smell like chocolate around there?
Nicole: That is actually one of the things I miss about Burlington. You could smell chocolate just about every week. It was rumored that the reason you could smell the chocolate is because it was burning, but I don’t know if I believe that haha. They have Chocolate Fest every year at the end of May, where they hand out candy, have chocolate eating contests, chocolate carving, rides, live music, and plenty of food and retail vendors. It’s a lot of fun.
Jeremy: Chocolate Fest sounds great and if your city smells like an industry chocolate is not too bad. Enough about Burlington what can you tell us about yourself?
Nicole: My husband, Dan and I bought our house just over a year ago and the renovations consume most of our free time. Thankfully, he’s a carpenter and can pretty much do anything. But yeah, I like playing games (board games, cards, you name it) and I love my Switch. And if anyone knows me at all…I am very competitive so it’s all in or nothing at all!
Jeremy: It can be exciting to get a new place set up the way you want it. I enjoy games as well and play a lot of board games with my wife and kids, but it doesn’t always end well.
Do you have any exciting future plans?
Nicole: Once our house is ready, we’re going to be taking a trip to the humane society to find a doggo. I suppose kids are in the foreseeable future too…
Jeremy: That sounds great. Can you tell me about your favorite WLIA meeting memory?
Nicole: Probably the Retro-game night opening event for the 2018 Annual Meeting. Again with the games…
Jeremy: I really enjoyed that as well. It was a lot of fun that ranks high on my list. Well I will ask some fun questions now, what is your favorite food?
Nicole: Lasagna, hands down. And pineapple.
Jeremy: A lot of people like pineapple on pizza, despite it not being my thing I wonder if it would work in lasagna?
Nicole: I am pro-pineapple pizza. On lasagna…it has basically the same ingredients right? I’m going to have to try pineapple lasagna now.
Jeremy: Let me know how that goes. I am curious. Given the choice I usually reach past the slices with pineapple. The odd ingredient I stumbled onto once that I really enjoy on pizza is thinly sliced pear!
What was the first record, tape, 8-track or CD that you ever owned?
Nicole: My first purchase EVER was the self-titled Backstreet Boys CD. In case you’re wondering, yes I still have it.
Jeremy: Backstreet’s back…on tour in 2019. What did you want to be when you grew up?
Nicole: I remember making a poster in Kindergarten that I wanted to be a “mail lady”. I also wanted to be a cadet on Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego.
Jeremy: So Lauree and you both were into that show, how interesting it obviously made an impact on a generation. If you could be any cartoon character who or what would you be?
Nicole: The Flash. Who wouldn’t want to run fast enough to go forward or backward in time or phase through objects? Also, we both dislike cold temperatures.
Jeremy: Would you rather meet your ancestors or your future descendants?
Nicole: Ancestors. I would finally find out if I’m a descendant of James B Hickok a/k/a Wild Bill. My Grandma told me growing up that I was related to him but I just kind of shrugged it off. BUT, when I got older and more interested in my ancestry I found out that my Grandma’s Grandma was Mabel Hickok. I have some work to do to corroborate this but it is actually possible!
Jeremy: That is pretty interesting and definitely possible. I see he was born in Northern Illinois according to Wikipedia. What I didn’t realize was that he spent time as a lawman. Despite taking part in many shootouts it is well documented that he exaggerated some aspects of his life and told fabricated tales so with that in mind…Two truths and a lie, in no particular order…
Nicole: I did not make a sound when I was born. My mom told me the doctor had to slap me to make sure my lungs were working.
I have 3 sisters, all with the same middle name. I have one brother, a half-sister and half-brother.
I used to think that Pearl Harbor was a person until I was a freshman in high school. Not my proudest moment.
Jeremy: I would assume the third is the truth because I think most people have a light bulb moment at some point in their lives. My wife won’t let me live down the time I confidently rattled off the Seven Dwarves, you know, Grumpy, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey and Earl!
I would like to extend a thank you to Nicole for taking time to let me ask her some questions. I think that there is a bright future for you in WLIA. In the future you can look forward to a Q & A session with Colter Sikora and another yet to be determined soul.
Founded in 1987, WLIA is a grassroots organization representing a collection of concerned professionals working to develop, maintain, and apply a network of statewide land information systems.
We are united by an interest in land records modernization, GIS, and related technologies, and by the need for government policies and programs that support their efficient and effective application.