Inside the Basket - Kim Judge, Balloon Fiesta Navigator/RV Manager
Kim Judge is Balloon Fiesta’s Navigator and RV Manager. She works to help volunteers provide guests with the best experience possible.
Take a look at this month’s Inside the Basket, where we explore what it takes to become a Navigator and why Kim does the job that she does.
1. Give a brief overview of your background and how you became involved with Balloon Fiesta.
I became friends with a pilot and began crewing for him in Colorado and at Balloon Fiesta. Once I moved to Albuquerque, I became a Navigator and worked in Group Tours/Gondola Club/ Team Lead for the Information Booths and I was the VIP Concierge for Music Fiesta.
2. Please explain your role at Balloon Fiesta.
As the Navigator/RV Manager, I oversee the volunteer management program which maintains training, retention, performance and recruitment. I also register and track volunteer assignments, contacts, update the training videos and quizzes as well as the policy manual. I manage the Information Booths, Greeters, Navigator Tent and RV program.
3. What is your favorite part about your job and what is the hardest?
During the event the job is physical, early mornings, late evenings and a lot of standing outside, but it's also extremely rewarding. I enjoy working with the Navigators and seeing the camaraderie between the community/ pilots/ crew and guests that occur every year.
4. What advice do you have for Balloon Fiesta guests interested in becoming a Navigator?
If you would like to be more than a spectator, join our family of Navigators. We are always in need of more volunteers and welcome anyone who can commit to at least 4 shifts. We have over 40 teams to staff that can cater to just about anyone’s interest. Please reach out to me if you are interested.
5. What part of Balloon Fiesta do you look forward to most?
I personally enjoy seeing the guests, young and old, get excited when they see the balloons inflating and filling our blue skies. That will never get old. I enjoy making new friendships and catching up with old ones during this event.
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