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Recreation is Cottrell’s job and family is his passion

Familiar Faces
By: Menka Belgal, Telegraph Correspondent
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For a little more than five years, Mike Cottrell has been the recreation supervisor for the El Dorado Hills Community Services District (CSD). He oversees the special interest classes, special events and volunteers. He’s been involved in many outreach programs with scouts and other non-profit organizations. What projects are you working on at present? Right now I’m working on the CSD’s 50th anniversary and all the great ideas and activities we have planned for the community. I don’t want to give away too much but our actual 50th anniversary celebration will be on Friday, May 18. We’ll be having Movies in the Park on the Fridays we don’t have concerts. I’m also working on the Summer Concert Series, which entails reaching out to local businesses for sponsorship and finalizing the band line-up. What are some of the most interesting things that have happened to you? In high school I was selected to travel around Europe and play soccer. It was a great experience, but I would need to go back to appreciate it more. A few years ago I was on a train going from Orange County to San Diego for a Charger game, when the train hit a car on the tracks. Thankfully nobody was hurt, however due to the impact the train caught on fire and we were evacuated. It was pretty intense. Tell us about your family? My parents live in Fair Oaks in the same house they moved us to from North Carolina in 1986. We’re originally from Kentucky. I thank them for moving us here every time we go back to visit relatives. My older sister lives in Bakersfield with her fiancée and my niece, and my younger sister lives in Folsom. I live in Orangevale with my girlfriend, Chela, her son and of course there are the dogs; Bruno (puggle), and Maker (black lab). Family is extremely important to me and I am eager to see what the future has in store. What hobbies do you enjoy? Health and fitness are a big part of my life. I started working out at CrossFit Folsom Lake last year and it’s not only gotten me in great shape, but the motivation and camaraderie by everyone there is truly inspiring. Also, I enjoy being outdoors and taking advantage of what the area has to offer. Chela, her son, and I frequent local hiking and biking trails and are at parks all the time. My favorite hikes are around Folsom Lake and the surrounding areas. Just a little north of here in the Feather Falls area near Oroville there is a nice day hike where you can hike to just under the falls. It is also a great place for taking pictures. I’m very much looking forward to returning to Yosemite this August. There are several different hikes to do there. I am looking forward to scaling Half Dome this summer. What are you most proud of? I’m proud of a decision I made five-and-a-half years ago. I was living in Southern California and had a very good job, but I was only seeing my family once or twice a year. I missed them and decided that my personal life was more important than my profession. Although, I waited to find a job prior to moving and decided to move back to the area, a choice I’m extremely happy with. What is one thing about you people might be surprised to learn? I love to cook. I worked in a kitchen at a country club through college. I started as a dishwasher, and worked my way through the ranks from pantry, sauté and sous chef. These days I typically make healthy meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner daily), barbecue a lot, and use my fine dining skills for special occasions.