In this edition of Staff Features, we play 20 Questions with one of our most talented and caring team members! Read on to gain an insider’s perspective and fascinating insight on the life of a true
Sun Country Superstar.
Name: Tanaya Williams
Position: Rainbow Gymnastics and AAU Department Leader
Tenure: 20+ Years
What are three traits that define you?
Positivity, Caring, Enthusiasm.
What is your personal philosophy?
Constant improvement of myself and those around me!
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A 3rd grade teacher.
Do you have a nickname? How did it originate?
My nickname was Tomato when I was little because people couldn’t pronounce my name! I wasn’t a fan of it, but it was usually said in an endearing way. I just don’t like tomatoes.
What is one thing you could not live without?
What is your greatest fear?
Frogs! They are creepy, slimy, disgusting creatures that jump without warning and they give me the heeby jeebies!
Where is your favorite place to be?
The beach, but Sun Country is a very close second!
Where is the best place you have traveled to and why?
All around Europe but mostly Italy and Greece! I enjoyed their culture, the landscape, and the history. Being in a different country was eye opening to me!
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
I would want to be a surgeon because the human body fascinates me and I would like to see the insides and how everything works!
What is the weirdest job you have ever had?
I worked as an office manager for a Rainbow Vaccuum sales company that went into your home to demonstrate and sell you a ridiculously expensive vaccuum cleaner. I had to learn how to do the whole sales pitch so I could help schedule the demonstrations for the sales guys. It was weird!
Tell us how you first became involved with Sun Country?
I first came to Sun Country as a recreational gymnastics coach at the Millhopper gym over 20 years ago, before the West gym was ever built. I quickly got involved in everything we do here including the Gym Bus, birthday parties, and community events.
What is one of your earliest memories at Sun Country?
My earliest memory is just the excitement I felt when I was offered the job. And, of all the awesome (and now old) coaches that worked here way back then!
What does true leadership mean to you?
Leading by example and working for others!
What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
I would tell myself not to worry because life is going to be even better than I ever dreamed it could be! And, not to worry so much about pleasing others, but to do what makes me happy!
Did anyone influence your decision to work in Sports and Gymnastics?
My dad is definitely my biggest influence in getting started as a coach. He was my coach in several different sports and he is inspiring!
What do you wish other people knew about Gymnastics?
I wish people knew how difficult this sport is and how you cannot learn things overnight. It takes so much hard work and so many different aspects of fitness like strength, flexibility, and balance. And also, I wish people knew that it is the best sport you can possibly practice because of this! Everyone should do gymnastics!
What is it like to be the Director of a Gymnastics Program?
Being the leader of this program is like having 1000 of my own children. I want to know all of them and make sure they are all having as much fun in the gym as I do!
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your power to be?
Definitely Super Strength!
If you could share a meal with anyone in all of history, who would it be?
What is on your bucket list?
Return to Greece and skydiving!