Chamber luncheon honors administrative professionals

By Crystal Burns

The Greater Gibson County Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a luncheon to celebrate administrative professionals last week.

Three guest speakers, Lyndsey Norman, Lindsey Heglar, and Tiffany Bowen tackled different elements of the theme, “Grow Where You Are Planted.”

Norman is an agriculture teacher and FFA sponsor at Gibson County High School. She filled in for Fonda Milligan, owner of Milligan’s Nursery and Landscape who was unable to attend, and offered tips on growing your curb appeal. Norman said adding interest and color to your home’s exterior is simple. She suggested the “thriller, filler, and spiller” method of container gardens, hanging baskets, and planting annuals in gardens or around the mailbox.

Heglar, a financial advisor with Raymond James, likened financial planning to gardening and gave seven steps for success.

  1. Plan – goals, time horizon, money, risks, and options
  2. Diversify – Don’t plant all your seeds in the same hole or fill your garden with the same flowers. Spread your investment dollars among different asset classes.
  3. Weather the storm – It can’t rain forever. The market goes up and down.
  4. Be patient – Focus on your long-term goals.
  5. Prune – Re-balance your portfolio just as you would prune any plants that are taking over your garden.
  6. Feed and water – Monitor your portfolio continually and make ongoing additions.
  7. Don’t delay – Heglar shared a Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.” Start financial planning now.

Bowen and her husband Jason, pastor at First Baptist Church in Trenton, moved their family here about three years ago. She spent 10 years teaching sciences in public high schools before a health issue pulled her from the classroom.

“My first time in the classroom, I found out I love children,” she said.

When she was pregnant, she suffered a pulmonary embolism and was unable to finish the last four weeks of the school year.

“That really broke my heart,” she said. “Teaching is where I found my encouragement. I didn’t know what God was going to do with me.”

Bowen eventually began homeschooling her children, which she said was scary at first. With reduced stamina, homeschooling was a perfect fit for Bowen. It’s worked well for her children too.

Her son has Autism and moves at his own pace. On a family trip to an amusement park, Bowen needed a break. Her son decided to sit with her instead of going on the next ride. He told her, “I like that God slowed you down for me.”

“Trust God where he sends you,” Bowen said. “He will send the encouragement. Look for it.”

Administrative Professional of the Year

Chamber Executive Director Libby Wickersham presented the Administrative Professional of the Year Award to Dana Williams. Williams began her career at The Farmers & Merchants Bank in Dyer in 1992.

“She is the person to go to and wears many hats,” Wickersham read from Williams’ nomination letter. “She has faithfully served her customers and her community.”

The chamber solicited nominations for the annual award and sent the applications to chamber directors out of Gibson Co. for judging.

The luncheon included a catered meal from Bestway in Bradford, cupcakes from Sweet Retreat Bake Shop & Gifts in Bradford, and door prizes and goody “buckets” with gifts from Gibson Electric Membership Corporation, Gibson County Utility District, Pat Riley, Cindy Flowers, Trenton Light & Water, Tyson Foods, Inc., The Corner Boutique, Dona Leadbetter/The Trenton Garden Club, Lindsey Heglar, The Squirrel’s Nest, Felecia Bella, Ivy Gate, Security Bank, and Westwin.

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