Zully (pronounced Zooly) Heymeyer has always been one to jump on the right opportunity when it arose.
On Monday, she officially started her new position with the City of Marathon as the new Utilities Manager.
She spent the previous decade as the Public Works and Utilities Manager with the Village of Islamorada, and prior to that, she held a similar position with the City of Coral Gables. Zully said when offered the job in Marathon; she was ready for yet another challenge.
“Islamorada was a start up with the establishment and building of their government,” she explained, “and I was involved in a lot of the beginning projects.”
From establishing signage and histories monuments to spearheading an award-winning environmental project at Indian Key, Zully is clearly proud of helping to build a community and government from the ground up.
Her first day on the job at City Hall this week, she responded to a citizen’s complaint of offending odors in his neighborhood. What she found was an isolated fish kill in mid-Marathon, which is currently still under investigation.
Swift response to the city’s residents will be one among many of her new responsibilities as the city’s go-to gal for the new sewer system. She’ll also be working diligently to manage the contractors performing the initial installation.
One of three children, Zully admitted to an interest in working with her hands that dates back to a young age.
Originally from Farmington, Maine – she’s since lost the thick accent of her roots – Zully said it was in her early teens that she became curious about, of all things, road maintenance?
“I was always interested in construction type projects,” she said. “I took all kinds of shop classes in high school.”
She laughed as she recounted her military father’s attempts to structure his children’s lives.
“He would try to bounce the quarter on our beds to see if we’d made our beds correctly, and my mother and brother and sister and I would just laugh at him.”
As soon as she graduated from high school, Zully made a beeline to Florida where her father retired, and she earned her degree in Public Administration from FIU.
Her work in Coral Gables earned her recognition as Employee of the Year that she quickly points to as one of the highlights of her career.
On the home front, Zully and her husband, Mark, a firefighter with Monroe County, recently welcomed their first son, Zane. He joined his older sister, Mila, 3, and 10-year-old Mark, Jr.
Just five months after Zane’s birth, Zully’s already back down to her pre-pregnancy trim and fit physique. When she’s not lifting weights and preparing healthy meals for her family, Zully loves to get out on the water and go fishing. When the mercury is rising, she packs up the kids and heads to the Key Largo pool where her brood loves playing on the pirate ship. Mark Jr.’s honing his skills as a skate boarder, so Zully’s anxious to get him down to Marathon to try out the bowl in the community park.
As the Marathon community welcomes Zully to City Hall – “Everyone here has been very warm and welcoming” – Zully admitted that her neighbors are by far the best part of being a “local.”
“I really enjoy the fact that wherever I go, I know so many people,” she said.
Because of her position with the Village of Islamorada, Zully was asked to serve on the board of directors for the Florida Keys Scenic Corridor Alliance. Though she now works in Marathon, she will maintain her position as a representative for the Islamorada community.
“I’m honored that Judy [Hull] asked me to remain on the board,” Zully humbly confessed. “This project is really going to continue to bring international focus to the Florida Keys communities.”
She also serves on the state and local education committees for the American Public Works Association.
Where does Zully find her favorite fish sandwich?
“Well, I had a chicken wrap today at Keys Fisheries, and it was pretty good,” she laughed.
Zully Hemeyer (left) and her husband, Mark. Zully is Marathon’s new Utilities Manager who came on board this week to help with the ongoing sewer and storm water projects.