MnCCC Spotlight: Joyce Larson

MnCCC Spotlight Joyce Larson

A little bit about yourself and your first job.

I grew up in Morrison County on a small farm in Sobieski, MN.  The population was about 200.  We had a church, a creamery and 2 bars.  I am number 9 of 10 children (2 boys and 8 girls).  Life was all about hard work, small-town living, small-town softball/baseball, and lots of family.  I have a son, daughter, son-in-law, and 2 granddaughters who are the joy of my life.  With all this family we all knew how to take care of kids.  My first job, of course, was babysitting the neighbor kids, evenings, weekends, and all day during the summer.  At 14 or 15 years old I started cutting grass for church.  The maintenance man cut with the rider.  I used the push mower to do the trimming around the church buildings, parking lot, the fence and all the gravestones in the cemetery.  Later my sister and I cleaned the parish house.  These jobs earned me big money at $4.00 an hour. 

After high school, I went to vocational school for a one-year data processing course where I learned to write programs in Cobol and RPG II.  I was later told my schooling was what helped me land my first full-time job in the Morrison County Assessor’s Office with a starting wage of $2.65/hr.  I held 2 clerical positions for the first 14 years in Morrison County and was an appraiser for the last 3 years.  In 2000 I moved to Washington County and have lived in Oakdale since.  With that big change, I thought I’d try to find a job in a different field but I was offered an unposted position in the Washington County Assessment Support Division.  What could I do but take it and 21 years later I’m glad I landed here. 

What is your role with Washington County?

I was the lead worker, Assessment Coordinator, for 14 ½ years where I was responsible for the data, calculations, and tax changes.  I’ve been the Assessment Support Manager for the last 6 years.  My division administers all the paperwork for the special programs, green acres, rural preserve, veterans with disabilities, blind/disabled, manufactured homes, homesteads, tax changes due to abatements and tax court settlements and GA paybacks, duplicate homestead report, PRISM 1 and 2 and whatever else comes our way.  I supervise 8 staff and am responsible for the assessment portion of the tax system. 

What interests you about MnCCC?

The learning, the collaboration, and the people.  I was heavily involved in the conversion to the Manatron tax system in 2009.  It was a lot of hard work and a huge time commitment but it was a great learning opportunity.  We learned so much about how the tax system works and worked with and learned a lot from the great minds that made the conversion happen.  After being involved in such a large project and continued involvement with MnCCC I’ve established relationships that lasted for years, I have people to reach out to when I have questions or to discuss ideas, and people to have fun with at the annual conference.  The people are great. 

What is something on your bucket list?

I’m not much of a bucket list person.  I take opportunities as they come my way.  I enjoy spending time with friends and family and I love the water.  Whether it is one of the many beautiful beaches in Minnesota or the warm beaches down south in winter, give me a beach anywhere and I’m happy.   I hope to enjoy more of friends, family, and beaches when I am able to retire.  

Tags: Vendor Search(1)