Meet a Member: Gloria Watkins

I became good friends with Gloria Watkins during the 12 years she has spent working for NFPW through our management team, American PressWorks.  She joined us on the Idaho pre-conference tour to Sun Valley and Red Fish Lake in 2008 and I enjoyed getting to know her even better. She has been a delight to work with over the years and I will miss her in the NFPW office as she retires and NFPW transitions to a new management team. Meet my friend Gloria. I am glad we can be friends forever.


Gloria Watkins

Name: Gloria Watkins

City and State: Alexandria, Virginia

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

Membership Services Manager, Contest Manager, Conference Registrar

Years a member of NFPW:

I have worked in the national headquarters of NFPW for 12 years.

Tell us a little about you:

I was born in Opelika, Alabama, and moved to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, when I was two years old. I left home when I was 18 years old and moved to Washington, D.C., to work for the Navy Department. I then transferred to the Department of Commerce. I was married for 48 years to Donald Watkins, until he passed away in May this past year. My greatest accomplishments were giving birth to my son Michael and my daughter Korey. I have two handsome grandsons, Evan and Brett and a wonderful daughter-in-law named Sarah. I had not played a lot of sports as a youngster, but when I was dating my soon-to-be husband I realized that I should learn how to ski and play tennis because those were the sports Donald loved. We skied a lot and even honeymooned in Aspen, Colorado. But soon we gave up skiing for year round tennis. I played a lot of competitive tennis until I took up golf. Now that is the sport that I love. I also keep busy playing a card game called Hand and Foot (a form of canasta) and occasionally I play BINGO. I love playing any kind of game.


Gloria Watkins, center, enjoys breakfast at the Snow City Café in Anchorage with Tonda Rush, left and Carol Pierce, right.


Any career advice you would give?

I think that you have to love your job in order to look forward to going there every day. It doesn’t matter how much stress you are under or what kind of day you are having, but when you answer the telephone, you have to put a smile in your voice. The NFPW members are very special to me and I have enjoyed many hours on the phone with them.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to be able to sing. As it is, I cannot carry a note. I sing in the car when I am alone, but if my kids are in the car with me they beg me not to sing.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I would like to live someplace warm. I cannot handle cold weather any more. Florida is a possibility or maybe Arizona.

What book are you reading?

I am reading The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman and just finished The Concrete Killing Fields by an awesome NFPW member by the name of Pat Morgan.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

When I was 4 ½ years old, my sister and I spent the summer tap dancing in the Daddy Dave’s Juvenile Review on Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey. After the show we would go to the main ballroom where Harry James and his band were playing. Harry James used to pull me up on the stage and twirl me around. For anyone not familiar with Steel Pier, it was a huge pier that jutted out into the Atlantic Ocean. People paid admission to go to the shows. The most famous act was a horse that used to dive from a platform into the water.

Why is NFPW important to you?

I worked for NFPW for two years before I finally was asked to attend the national conference in Denver. I remember how excited I was to put a face to the many names that I had been working with. It did not take long before these working relationships turned into true friendships. When my husband passed away, I was overwhelmed with all of the beautiful cards and hand written notes that I received from our members. Although I will be retiring in December, I know that I have made friendships for life.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.:

I am on Facebook.


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One Comment on “Meet a Member: Gloria Watkins”

  1. Gloria is the nicest person — and always has a smile for everyone. I am so glad I got to know her, and can now call her “mom.”

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