Leadership ‘12: Girl Power

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By Pat Wallace

The Leadership Class of 2012 is changing the rules of the past.  Instead of the class running from October-June, this class began in March and will graduate in November.  This lets new experiences not featured in other classes as the summer brings new opportunities to explore Henry County.
Joyce Meyer of Smithfield is a self-employed lady who does website hosting and design (My Cottage Web Studio and Henry County Web, caregiver and domestic engineer).  Among her many community involvements are Henry Co. Historical Society board, Chamber member, extension service technology committee as well as previously a member of the 4-H council, homemakers council, and state police citizens’ Police Academy Alumni.  When asked what she considered the major challenge facing our community, she replied, “Being prepared and addressing concerns before businesses exploit our resources and cause potential damage.  I am confident “they” will come; I just want us to be ready for “them.”
Jill Fallis is the administrator at Homestead Nursing Center in New Castle.  She served as director of nursing for more than five years before taking this position.  She feels the major challenge we face in the community now and in the future is economic development.  We must grow while maintaining the small town, traditional feel that is unique to Henry County.
Karen Shannon is from Campbellsburg and she and her husband have a small farm where they raise and race thoroughbreds.  She is retired from the utility industry.  She serves as secretary of the Eminence Rotary Club and has been an active member of the Henry County Historical Society.  She feels one of the major challenges facing our community is the expansion of water and sewer facilities to provide opportunities for growth and development in our county.
Kelly Dockter is employed at the Henry County Cooperative Extension Office, and is the cheerful voice you hear when you call.  She serves on the Eminence Education Foundation Board and is an active member of the Pleasureville Baptist Church.  She feels that the major challenge facing our community is that the county operates on a “who you know” system.  Because of this, unfortunately, the best person for a position is not always the one chosen.  There are even local businesses not supported because they are not the popular owner.  No one wants to be on the outside of this system so this is never confronted.  “I have served on the school site based committees and other township events and have witnessed this first hand.  This is a major challenge facing this community because we are doing ourselves a great injustice.  Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean it is the best way or the only way.”
Helen Moore is a domestic engineer and manager.  She is very involved in the Historical Society, serving on the current board.  She believes that  bringing in business will bring local jobs, a desperate need and a major challenge for Henry County.
Irene Smith of Smithfield retired with more than 32 years as controller and office manager at Bagdad Roller Mills Inc., where she serves on the board of directors as treasurer.  She has been a member of the Smithfield Baptist Church for 55 years and served as organist, adult Sunday school teacher and WMU director as well as member and president of Jericho Homemakers and member and secretary-treasurer of the Smithfield Garden Club.  She sees the major challenge to Henry County is finding more and better paying jobs for our younger generation.
JoAnn Adams retired from teaching in Henry Co. Public Schools in 2010.  She taught at the Middle School, Eastern Elementary and New Castle Elementary.  Now she spends time on her family farm raising sheep, gardening and running Sweet Home Spun, a knitting and spinning studio in the Low Dutch Meetinghouse.  In 2005 her family moved the original timbers and rebuilt the Low Dutch Meeting House (circa 1824) on the farm.  She welcomes visitors to the meetinghouse to experience our local history and to learn the craft of spinning and knitting wool.  She also serves as secretary/treasurer of  the Dutch Tract Cemetery in Pleasureville.  She hopes the county will grow economically and culturally while maintaining the charm of an historic, rural Ketnucky community.
Connie Snowden is retired and has enjoyed organizing the livestock pavilion exhibits at the Harvest Showcase each year since 2006.  She also works with the Henry County Equine Association organizing equine educational programs, served as treasurer of the Historical Society, Gala committee member and was a member of the fairground pavilion building committee.  Connie agrees with class members that creating jobs within the community to keep bright young people in the county and provide families with a living wage and burn less fuel than commuting to a job outside the county.  She also sees obesity as a continuing problem that needs to be addressed.  “Henry County had a high disability population and appears to have a high childhood obesity rate.  I can’t safely walk to my neighbor’s house because the roadside drops away into tall grass and drainage ditches.  Biking on these roads is also dangerous.  Getting exercise in the country is more difficult than one might think.”
These ladies love Henry County and are excited to learn more about it.  On history day the group visited Colonial Hill Bed and Breakfast for a lovely meal and tour, saw movies of Henry County that were first shown at the Eminence Movie Theater, learned about Drennon from Linda Roberts and were given interesting bits of history about Henry Co. authors from Hammer Smith.  Their next meeting  is tourism day where they will visit the Renaissance Faire, Smith-Berry Winery, Sweet Home Spun, and visit the clock done by the 2003 Leadership class.