We are STLCOP Profile: Jim Heil
Published on 20 April 2015
As the receptionist for the College since 2002, Jim Heil is often the first person that visitors to campus meet. “I like to think of myself as the concierge, and I try to be as friendly and helpful as possible,” he says.
In addition to directing people where to go, answering visitors’ questions, sorting the mail, and purchasing supplies, Heil serves as a sounding board for students, faculty, and staff. “If someone is having a bad day, often they will come and share their problems with me,” he says. “They just need someone to listen or offer an encouraging word. I like to think I’m everybody’s buddy.”
Heil has received several emails from students thanking him for making their day. “They have told me that my kind words or smile have helped them feel better during a stressful time,” he says. Students aren’t the only ones who appreciate Heil’s desire to make a positive difference. In 2003, he received the President’s Staff Excellence Award for providing exceptional service to the College.
For more than 20 years, Heil has taken his love of people and applied it to his side job—drawing caricatures. Through Jim’s Caricatures & More, he provides entertainment at parties, events, and retirement homes. “Something new I’m doing is ‘Drawing to the Oldies,’” Heil says. “I did one for older STLCOP alumni last year where I wore a pompadour wig, dressed up in 50s clothes, and played oldies on a karaoke machine. Then I sang to the people I was drawing.”
His caricatures are not the only things that keep him busy. Heil enjoys spending time with his wife, Nancy, his two sons, and his granddaughter. He has also illustrated a children’s book, created greeting cards, and written plays. Another of his passions is being involved with his church, where he does children’s ministry and sings in the choir. In addition, he leads a weekly Bible study with three STLCOP students.
“I really enjoy personal interaction in all aspects of my life,” Heil says. “And I’m so thankful that I’m able to do that at the College—it’s a great place to work!”
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