“Everything I do that I am successful in, I am only successful because of the team that works with me. I’ve been so lucky….The success we have is because of the team; it’s not just me.”
In response to being asked why she sacrifices so much of her time and talents to serve her community, Juliana Schaffer Halvorson was quick to note that it is natural for her to do so, and attributed all her work to God, her friends and family. Sitting down at Stellar Coffee to discuss her overwhelming commitments in town, she was the epitome of humble.
Halvorson grew up in an Air Force family. Living all over the world gave her the opportunity to experience different communities and gain a unique perspective on involvement. “That’s probably why I get along with people so well,” she acknowledged, noting that she was a bit of a tumbleweed growing up. She was raised with a heart to serve others and learned about community involvement through her parents’ example. Both of her parents were involved in Scouting and passed their passion for working with young people on to their daughter.
She eventually settled in Roswell in 1980. Her husband, John, grew up in town and was a member of Boy Scout Troop 2, even achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank one can achieve in Scouting. When the young couple found out that Troop 2 needed a leader or faced losing the charter they have held since 1916, she and her husband stepped up to fill the roles of Assistant Troop Master and Troop Master, respectively. Later, after having two daughters of their own, their interest shifted to the Girl Scouts. Halvorson is still proud of all that she learned as a Scout. A self-proclaimed tomboy, she passed along her love of the outdoors and crafts to her girls.
Her experience with the Boy and Girl Scouts has undoubtedly helped hone her artistic talents. She currently serves as vice president of marketing at Pioneer Bank and often lends her graphic design abilities to local non-profits. “I’m so grateful. I’d say I have the best job at the bank. They’re also very community oriented. I mean, it’s a community bank. Not just me, but a lot of the people and the officers there are all involved in organizations throughout the community….The way I look at it, I love my job, I love what I do, and not a lot of people can say that. But if God gives you a gift, you’ve got to use it for good. I try.”
Halvorson began her graphic design career when she started working for KBIM-TV in the 1980s. She recalled the computer there being the size of a small room, and she taught herself how to create computer graphics with the machine using a number system. As her career developed, she continued learning more on whatever machine she had access to through her work environment. After teaching herself Photoshop, she took a graphic design class and even went on to teach a few classes. “I love teaching,” she pronounced, explaining that she and her family have quite a thirst for knowledge. “We always want to learn more.”
This lifelong dedication to learning keeps her busy long after her workday ends and even earned her the President’s Volunteer Award. She is involved in countless groups in town, from the Walker Aviation Museum to MainStreet Roswell, recalling, “Oh, gosh, I don’t even know what else I’ve been involved in….everything! But I try to help when people need help.”
She enjoys photography and arts and crafts and applies her hobbies to her volunteerism. “When I’m involved in these projects, even at work, it gives me an excuse to come up with something new. That’s why I love my job. It’s not monotonous; it’s something new all the time.” Those who attended the UFO Festival may have seen her handiwork. She constructed a mister in the form of a large UFO that kept festival goers cool during those hot summer days.
Halvorson spends the majority of her free time working with MainStreet Roswell. It is safe to say that she has used her skills for many events and had a hand in much of the positive change you see around town. When asked about her goals for continuing to improve Roswell, she paused to gaze out the window onto Main Street before saying, “I would like to see a more vibrant downtown.” She added that MainStreet’s stakeholders are also on board with this goal and have been working together to beautify the area, fill vacant spots which would include relocating the Walker Aviation Museum, and keep visitors coming back to Roswell.