Hometown and residence
Master of Science, Public Administration, University of Evansville
Bachelor of Science, Psychology, Kentucky Wesleyan College
Community development director, City of Madisonville
• 2018 president, Hopkins County Young Professionals
• Board member, Junior Achievement of West Kentucky and Hopkins County Regional Chamber of Commerce
• Member, 2018 Class of Leadership Hopkins County
• Member, Madisonville Rotary Club
• Volunteer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
Why do you give to Wesleyan?
“I want to give back to the institution that provided me with a quality education and so much more, and I want to help give others the opportunity to learn and grow in the same encouraging and challenging environment I experienced. In a world where it is so easy to be torn down, I want to help build others up, and this is one way I hope to do so.”
Why do you encourage others to give to Wesleyan?
“It’s simple. I encourage fellow alumni to give to Wesleyan so others can have the same opportunities we had. We all know what a special place Kentucky Wesleyan is. Let’s help make sure others find out what a special place it is, too.”
How did Wesleyan prepare you for a successful life?
“Wesleyan prepared me for a success in many ways. Because Wesleyan is a small school, I had many opportunities to get involved with and lead organizations, including Kappa Delta, Student Government Association and Senior Committee, and that experience helped lead me into a career that is centered around event planning and leadership.
“I also had the opportunity to build relationships with my professors and other members of the Wesleyan staff, and those influencers led me to realize the passion I have for community development, which led to pursuit of my MPA. Wesleyan also helped me form relationships with other students who are now lifelong friends and also serve as business contacts I can reach out to for assistance in many areas, including financial planning, legal advice and marketing.”
What are special memories of your Wesleyan years, and who served as mentors to you?
“My fondest memories include my Kappa Delta sisters and the rest of the Greek population on campus, and Greek Week, formals, Homecoming and fundraisers.
“Madison Silvert, then president of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation (GO-EDC), spoke on campus, and I quickly became interested in the development that was happening in downtown Owensboro. I got an internship with GO-EDC, which led to a paid summer internship, which led to my first job in community development as the public administration specialist at Green River Area Development District (GRADD). My job at GRADD and my education at Wesleyan and the University of Evansville ultimately opened doors for me to work for the City of Madisonville when I was ready to move back to my hometown.”
What are your responsibilities as Madisonville’s community development director?
“I help ensure that Madisonville is a place people want to visit. I am responsible for the coordination of our city events from start to finish, including our Friday Night Live events, School’s Out in Mad City carnival, Madisonville’s four-day Fourth of July celebration known as ‘4thFest,’ our recent Solar MADness festival, fall festivals, Christmas celebrations, and more. I book the talent, market the events, and do everything from ordering the bouncy houses to setting up the pop-up tents and to cleaning up when the event is over. I get to help create new event ideas, as well as expand on existing events.
“I also chair several community volunteer committees, assist various departments in their grant-writing endeavors, and help with the coordination of Madisonville’s ‘Madisonville Forward,’ campaign. I am so blessed to be able to work in my hometown in a field I’m so passionate about. People have been so receptive to the changes we’ve made, and volunteers are always willing to jump in and help. I am definitely not a ‘one-man’ team; I am able to do my job well because of the support from a wonderful mayor and city council, as well as a great team of volunteers.
“I enjoy being back at home where I can see how the events that I coordinate affect people I know. Every time a child is grinning from ear to ear because they’ve just gotten to meet a ‘real life’ Spider-Man or someone tells me they enjoy living in Madisonville now, I realize the hard work is paying off, and that we’re pushing Madisonville forward.”