Jake Koenen and Ciera Johnson are leaving their jobs with YLOA to pursue their dreams and move on in their careers. They have given the association and our community much in their own ways and we will miss them. This is our salute to their services here and a fond farewell as we wish them the best in their lives ahead.

Ciera Johnson

Nature comes naturally to Ciera Johnson, who was raised in YLP and after a stint working for YLOA, will be pursuing her career goals working for ACRT, a PG&E subcontractor.

“I grew up in the park, enjoyed the wildlife, this environment,” said the 25-year-old, the daughter of YLOA Maintenance Supervisor Corey Johnson.

“ I understand the importance of saving (the environment) for the future — especially with the fires that happened last summer,” she said. “I really wanted to get into fire control and help so that wild fires don’t get so out of control.” She’ll be doing powerline clearance surveys in the Oakhurst and Mariposa area for the vegetation management company.

Ciera has worked in YSPUC’s accounts receivable office since February 2020 — as a temporary job until the pandemic lockdown passed. She graduated in 2019 from Humboldt State University with a bachelor’s degree in wildlife conservation.

What has she learned working for YLOA? “Customer service, like learning patience, learning to communicate better with people. Working with people to come up with a solution. Sometimes water can be confusing, understanding the bills.”

And what has she most enjoyed? “Probably the community. Being so close to home, the beauty around here, eating outside, being able to walk the trails after work and stuff. And the support that we have around here. Employees are all supportive of each other.”

She won’t be far away, either. Say hi and “thanks” if you see her.

— William Miller, YLP Communications

 

Jake Koenen

Say it ain’t so, Jake! The fellow so many of us have gotten to know and count on to build and fix and care for YLP’s many nooks and crannies is leaving after six years here.

The affable and multi-skilled 39-year-old YLOA Maintenance Department employee will be joining his wife, Shannon, in taking over a mobile vehicle detailing business from some friends who no longer wanted to keep it.

What helped him decide was an off-the-job accident in November in which he hurt his back: “I can’t do high-impact things any more…. This new adventure is low impact, something I can actually do.”

Also, he looks forward to “being able to bring our kids out, do it as a family. That has been one of the coolest parts….”

The Koenen kids are ages 17, 16, 13 and 12, he said: “The little one is super excited.”

Jake was born in Mariposa and grew up in the area. After graduation from Yosemite High School, he went into construction and plumbing before working for YLOA. He and his family now reside in Indian Lakes.

“Working for the association is my most favorite job,” he said. “I learned how to do OJT stuff, landscaping and over the years to learning electrical, it’s been invaluable. Corey (Johson’s) always been my boss.”

What has he learned in his time here? “Living in a community is sweet — that is the biggest element, family values and sense of community.”

What would he tell the community as he moves on? “I’m going to be missing faces every day, taking care of the baseball park, the pool, enjoying going to the restaurant… the golf course. You have all your friends in each place.”

Best of luck, Jake. You won’t be far away. You’ve left your care and craftsmanship all over YLP’s landscape and amenities.

— William Miller, YLP Communications