So says award winner Coleen Rector
Interview by Dirk Webb
Photo courtesy of Dale Pickett
Coleen Rector was born in Randolph County but has been a resident of Madison County since she was four years old. “I grew up here and our family members like to joke that together we have attended 19 schools in Madison County.”
A former employee of Best Ever/Prairie Farms Dairy, Rector spent much of her just concluded working career in higher education. She wore a variety of hats for Anderson University spending time in Student Life, Advancement, Admissions and the School of Adult Learning. Rector continued serving the students of our area at Harrison College as the campus Dean, Business Program Chair and Director of Career Services before retiring last year.
This year’s FAB! Award winner recalls her role in creating this networking forum, “I’m a networker and a lot of service clubs were losing membership. I was the local President of the White River Express Network of the American Business Women Association (ABWA), where attendance was slim. I spoke with Angela Barbosa and we agreed that our Chamber’s Women in Business program wasn’t attracting young women in the format we were using. Angela wanted to start something new for women; something at lunch time, aimed at younger business women. We thought the group should meet once a month, use technology, have music, make it fun!
Together with women like Deanna Zimmer, Kris Sandman, Pat Storm, Skye Huff, Lyla Graddy, Jill O’Malia and others contributing to the planning, FAB! happened. Coleen jokingly calls it ‘The Gathering of Goddesses.’ “Now, when you walk into FAB!, we may have a photo booth for selfies, slideshows of celebrations or non profits, vendor booths, polling the audience or music. It’s fun. We think it’s a happy place to be, very welcoming, and we really care about and support each other. You feel like if you do miss a meeting you might miss something important happening in the community!”
According to Rector FAB! is all about women networking and discussing things women care about: business, beauty, philanthropy, health, and even human trafficking!?
For Coleen Rector, what she values most is easy to list: Tim, her husband of 44 years, daughter Skye Huff (Kevin), son, Wade Rector (Bethany) of Holland, MI and her four amazing grandchildren. Oh yes, and ballroom, country and swing dancing.
Family, Community, and helping other women in Business. She’s definitely FAB!
Would you consider Madison County to be in the midst of sunrise? What does the business sunrise across the horizon look like to you?
“I would consider Madison County to be in the midst of a sunrise that is hopeful. There are many opportunities on the Horizon, i.e. NTN, Purdue Technical, and other businesses who are expanding and arriving in our county. My hope is that we welcome them, and pursue more of them to grow opportunity in our community.”
What does "A New Day" mean to you?
“A new day in my hopeful imagination looks like commerce, growth, decent-paying new jobs and compassion for others uplifting the entire community.”
How has your optimism helped you guide your vision?
“As someone who kept watch for job opportunities for graduates the past three years, my optimism for the people in our community to have a solid livelihood grew as more jobs became available. I would share that information with students and guide them as to where I saw job growth.”
Is your optimism ever threatened?
“My optimism for this community is threatened when growth is threatened, sometimes by other communities, and sometimes by our own naysayers. I see 2016 as a year of new ideas, and fewer roadblocks.”
If you were to have five minutes with someone who was considering relocating to Madison County what would you tell them?
“If I were meeting someone relocating to Madison County, I would first invite them to fabulous coffee at MUGS Coffee & Tea Company, and then talk about the people of Madison County, about the local only loyalty, and how we encourage each other. I would discuss the Christian Communities, the festivals, and resources we hold with potential, like the mighty White River, the land, the low taxes, and the local officials who help businesses in the community survive.”
To view past award winners, or to read more about the awards, visit MCC's Wall of Fame.