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Ambassdor of the Year joins MCC Team

The Madison County Chamber of Commerce (Ind.) announces that Carlene Westerfield-Gunter has been named Account Executive

As of June 1, 2016, Carlene, MCC's Ambassador of the Year 2014, will assist in membership growth and recruitment as well as working with existing members as a consultant. She has over 25 years of sales and marketing experience including Insight Communications (now Comcast) and Great Deals Savings Magazine.

Carlene attended Anderson University, is a Past President of the Noon Exchange Club and Crime Stoppers. She is also a past board member of the Red Cross locally. Those who attend the Chamber “Wake Up” breakfasts will recall that she also is the “gong lady” for those going over their allotted one minute of advertising time.

Married to John Gunter, “The Singing Sherriff,” Carlene is the mother of Tim Westerfield, Senior Planner for Madison County. Together, Carlene and John have nine grandchildren.

“I don’t think of myself as a sales person. It’s my passion to help the people of our community. Anderson has been my home all my life so this is huge to me.”

 

The Millennial Movement

Attracting Young Professionals to Madison County

By Noel Marquis

 

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They are all around us. Well-informed and tech savvy, they are rapidly dominating the workplace and changing the direction of the market economy. They are millennials, and they are seeking cities that suit their creative and fast-paced lifestyles in which to work and play.

Millennials are defined as those born between 1980 and the early 2000s, and many of them are now reaching adulthood. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, millennials constitute the largest group of people in America since the baby boomer generation.

Cities across the U.S. are striving to attract these millennials, adjusting to fit the young adult’s vision of the perfect hometown. More millennials means more homebuyers and bustling, thriving cities. Surprisingly, New York City and Boston are not the only cities successfully drawing in millennials; midwestern Columbus, Ohio, and Bloomington, Indiana, are gaining an influx of young people as well.

Being home to Anderson University, Madison County certainly has the potential to keep millennials in the local area. However, many graduates decide to leave Anderson after graduation and seek jobs and homes in other cities. This trend begs the question: What are millennials looking for in a potential hometown?

Apparently, entertainment is a major plus for recent graduates.

“I’d love to live in a city with variety--unique shops and restaurants,” said Ellyana Blue, a marketing major currently enrolled at Anderson University. Blue hopes to pursue a career in advertising and plans to reside in a city booming with business and marketing opportunities, much like her favorite travel destination, Chicago. “An urban feel with a downtown shopping district, places to go on a Saturday night out on the town. Anderson just doesn’t have the entertainment value I’m looking for--or the aesthetic appeal.”

This craving for a visually interesting, creative and exciting atmosphere is common among AU students. Jake Mills, a social studies education major, echoed Blue’s desire for a variety of entertainment venues. “I don’t particularly want to live in a city. I would like to live close to a place with lots of places to shop, though,” said Mills. “It’s really unfortunate that the Anderson Target closed. It would be nice if Anderson had a bigger mall and more stores to choose from. You can’t always find what you’re looking for at Wal-Mart or the dollar store.”

Cities successfully attracting millennials, such as Bloomington, Indiana, are taking this desire for entertainment and running with it. In addition to boasting shops featuring anything ranging from fine art to college T-shirts, Bloomington is home to live music and the popular Lotus World Music and Arts Festival every fall. The “always-on” personalities of millennials are called to places that promise to keep them active with spontaneous events and activities, and feel restrained in cities that fail to deliver constant and varied entertainment. However, a purely “fun” city without job opportunities will not appeal to the career-driven side of millennials.

According to a 2014 report by the White House Council of Economic Advisors, more millennials are seeking college degrees than any previous generation of young adults. Predictably, these college graduates want to live in cities that will offer opportunities for them to make use of these degrees. Erin Holloron, a Biology major at Anderson University, dreams of becoming a genetic counselor. “I don’t want to live in a city, per-say,” said Holloron concerning a potential future place of living, “but I would like to live in close proximity to a hospital.” Holloron traveled cross-country to Indiana from Massachusetts to attend college, and has been impressed by the hospitality and general atmosphere of Anderson. “There really is a lot of potential here for growth,” Holloron said, “but I suggest trying to make the job market in Anderson more diverse. For example, it doesn’t have the best scientific or medical advances. It isn’t very career-focused for Biology and other science-related majors, so I probably won’t stay here once I graduate.”

Finance major Morgan Schroeder agrees with Holloron’s concerns. “Generally, I think people consider Anderson an affordable place to live, but not an ideal place to work. Many people who live here commute to Indy to find jobs because it’s less expensive to live in a place like Anderson.” However, Schroeder also sees potential for an improved job market in Madison County. “I would love to see the city draw in more diverse businesses, and I think we could do that by being more passionate about Anderson. Staying positive about what Anderson can offer could convince people to stay and work here.”

Columbus, Ohio is just one example of a city that has adopted this optimistic attitude. The city recently launched a campaign focused on shedding light on its most impressive aspects, complete with signboards in major cities and a website decorated with blog posts targeted at young professionals. Many other cities have taken similar approaches to attracting millennials.

The Council of Economic Advisors report points out that millennials are currently more interested in careers based in humanities and social sciences than previous generations. This data indicates that many millennials will be seeking cities with job opportunities in the fields of psychology, sociology, political science, and anthropology. Brittany Hankins, a social work major at AU who is considering entering the counseling field, wants to live in a city that shares her passion for helping those in need. “I’d like to see Anderson provide more resources for ‘the least of these,’” Hankins said. “Non-government places that help the impoverished, the mentally ill, the hurting and the sick. There’s not a whole lot that isn’t government-oriented here.”

Psychology major and Christian ministries minor Mitchell Stacy also believes that Madison County could benefit from more resources for the public, but also thinks that Anderson has excelled in providing a wide selection of churches. However, he harbors concerns about safety and the city’s job opportunities. “I haven’t experienced it first hand, but I have been told and heard that there is some poverty in the area, especially with the plant that closed down a few years ago,” Stacy said. “I’ve heard from family members before I came to AU that Anderson used to be a very ‘booming’ area, but since the company left it’s died out and that people have been left jobless, which has worsened the poverty. That would be one of my bigger concerns with moving here—stereotypically, with communities that are more impoverished, crime rates go up—I’m not sure I’d be completely comfortable with its safety.”

High crime rates do tend to repel young professionals. Of the Anderson University students asked to comment on what they are looking for in a city, all mentioned a safe community as being one of their top priorities.

Certainly, Anderson University students feel that Madison County could be improved in a number of ways, but the fact that they see potential for growth in the area is significant. Young professionals are attracted to effort. Simply shedding light on a new event or small business is a step toward improvement. Making it a point to express passion and pride in Anderson and the surrounding area will work to draw in and keep millennials. The key is positivity and openness to the possibility of growth.


About the Author: Noel Marquis is from Crawfordsville, Indiana and is currently majoring in English and Journalism at Anderson University. She has a passion for writing and hopes to work in the book publishing industry after graduation and perhaps publish a few books of her own.

 

Up Close and Personal with Superintendent Terry Thompson

Interview by Dirk Webb | Photo courtesy of Dale Pickett

 

Like many Indiana school systems in the past generation, Anderson Community Schools has been a reflection of the struggles of its home community.  What sets our local school district apart is the optimistic outlook from Superintendent, Terry Thompson.

Leading over 6,700 students and over 800 staff members is something Mr. Thompson relishes.  “We get to work with great kids and great people in this community.  Our school system had a bad reputation in the past and it is not at all deserved.”

A native of Lafayette, Terry Thompson graduated from Jefferson High School in 1972 and attended Purdue on a Baseball scholarship fully expecting to make the big leagues.  His backup plan included a degree in Physical Education with a minor in Speech Communications.  Mr. Thompson reports, “When I was young I stuttered but I was taught you can overcome anything.”

Taking teaching and coaching positions at the West Lafayette School Corporation, Mr. Thompson also continued his love of baseball as the head coach.   He soon found himself in love with teaching as well. “I said to myself, ‘Look at all the people I can affect in a positive manner.  I was a cheerleader at every level and genuinely loved the kids.”

He soon found himself teaching at Sheridan in 1989.  “All I knew about Sheridan at the time was that they had a great football team.”  Legendary coach, Bud Wright, led the Blackhawks for over 50 years, became the 'winningest' coach in Indiana High School football history.  (Coincidentally, Mr. Thompson’s daughter married into Coach Wright’s family).  Mr. Thompson found himself falling in love yet again as he met his wife, Roberta and married her soon after.

After a few years of teaching, Mr. Thompson felt he could extend his impact by moving into administration.  Armed with a Master’s Degree in Teacher Education from Purdue and two graduate degrees from Butler, he embarked on a career that eventually would bring him to Anderson.

While teaching as an adjunct professor at Anderson University at Flagship, his teaching students encouraged him to explore the beleaguered Anderson school system.  After one year as principal of Anderson High School, Terry Thompson was appointed Superintendent.

Says Mr. Thompson, “We want to expose our students to anything and everything they may want to do in life.  We make sure we inspire all kids to be productive in this community knowing that not every kid will go to college.  Previous generations learned by sitting at a desk in a row.  We know now that students learn not only at different speeds but also in different environments.”

Yet another love for Mr. Thompson is his family.  He and wife, Roberta have raised a small brood that includes son, J.J. and wife Keri.  J.J. owns Rook Consulting, an award winning Security Company and his son just earned the Best and Brightest Award from Junior Achievement of Indianapolis and was nominated as finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year.  J.J and Keri have two children, Jacob and Gracelyn who are the pride of Mr. Thompson.

Daughter Lee (Cosmetologist) and husband Brent Hume, soon to be an Optometrist using a Navy Scholarship, are parents to four-month-old Harrison who is a joy to his family.

Why here in Madison County?

“In 2006 when I started teaching as an adjunct at AU Flagship, I heard there was a need for someone who was a student advocate, and my wife and I began praying about coming to Anderson.  We love this community.  We go to every event we can.  We eat here, we go to the Mall here.  We love the people of Anderson.  We’ve teamed well with businesses and added some incredible structures because of the generosity of the people in the business community.  A $60,000 message board in front of AHS, $38,000 for auditorium curtains.

We’ve reopened the old Ebbert Career Center under the name District 26 and also offer the C.O.M.P.A.S.S (Community Organizations and Mentors Partnering in Anderson Student Success) program.  We have 30 middle school and 30 high school students that need a different environment for learning”

What are your goals for the 2015-16 school year and beyond?

Then to grow District 26.  We want to grow from a few students coming to D26 from other school districts to a minimum of 120 students and we would like to see over 500 AHS students take advantage of the career offerings. Advance Manufacturing, Health Sciences, Firefighting, Clothing and Textiles, Building Trades, Criminal Justice to not just Anderson or Madison County students but to students in adjacent counties and systems.”

Finally, to develop a culinary program that is second to none.  Our vision is to create a school operated restaurant.  We believe there are on-going and numerous opportunities statewide for culinary success.”

Who do you consider the most courageous person in history and why?

"Jesus Christ.  How can anyone not look at Him as the most courageous person who ever walked the face of this earth and died for us bearing our sins.  My wife and I pray together every morning that I would have the wisdom and knowledge to make impactful decisions for each student and staff member.”

If you were to take that person on a tour of the system, what one thing would you want them to see?

“The way people treat one another.  Anderson students get a negative rap from historical issues.  I have to say I’ve never had a student show disrespect to me and I will do anything to help them.

We would show how well they are integrated, how well they get along, and much they care for each other.  It’s so very important to let them know that education and success in life is bigger than just themselves.”

What was the defining moment when you knew your service in education was making a difference in someone's life?

“On one side, I have to share in a family’s grief, then on the other hand, share in a family’s joy.  I go to weddings, I go to funerals, and I go to every graduation party I’m invited to.  One year I got 78 invitations and went to them all.  My wife organizes that whole process.

“I believe that there are times we need to share in more than just the education of a child.  We should be a part of the milestones of their lives because we all mark our own childhood by the divisions of grades levels and schools attended.  We can all remember that one teacher that took a moment and made a significant difference in our lives.  I hope that students would say that I truly cared for them individually and their future."

 

Up Close and Personal with Superintendent Terry Thompson

Interview by Dirk Webb | Photo courtesy of Dale Pickett

 

Like many Indiana school systems in the past generation, Anderson Community Schools has been a reflection of the struggles of its home community.  What sets our local school district apart is the optimistic outlook from Superintendent, Terry Thompson.

Leading over 6,700 students and over 800 staff members is something Mr. Thompson relishes.  “We get to work with great kids and great people in this community.  Our school system had a bad reputation in the past and it is not at all deserved.”

A native of Lafayette, Terry Thompson graduated from Jefferson High School in 1972 and attended Purdue on a Baseball scholarship fully expecting to make the big leagues.  His backup plan included a degree in Physical Education with a minor in Speech Communications.  Mr. Thompson reports, “When I was young I stuttered but I was taught you can overcome anything.”

Taking teaching and coaching positions at the West Lafayette School Corporation, Mr. Thompson also continued his love of baseball as the head coach.   He soon found himself in love with teaching as well. “I said to myself, ‘Look at all the people I can affect in a positive manner.  I was a cheerleader at every level and genuinely loved the kids.”

He soon found himself teaching at Sheridan in 1989.  “All I knew about Sheridan at the time was that they had a great football team.”  Legendary coach, Bud Wright, led the Blackhawks for over 50 years, became the 'winningest' coach in Indiana High School football history.  (Coincidentally, Mr. Thompson’s daughter married into Coach Wright’s family).  Mr. Thompson found himself falling in love yet again as he met his wife, Roberta and married her soon after.

After a few years of teaching, Mr. Thompson felt he could extend his impact by moving into administration.  Armed with a Master’s Degree in Teacher Education from Purdue and two graduate degrees from Butler, he embarked on a career that eventually would bring him to Anderson.

While teaching as an adjunct professor at Anderson University at Flagship, his teaching students encouraged him to explore the beleaguered Anderson school system.  After one year as principal of Anderson High School, Terry Thompson was appointed Superintendent.

Says Mr. Thompson, “We want to expose our students to anything and everything they may want to do in life.  We make sure we inspire all kids to be productive in this community knowing that not every kid will go to college.  Previous generations learned by sitting at a desk in a row.  We know now that students learn not only at different speeds but also in different environments.”

Yet another love for Mr. Thompson is his family.  He and wife, Roberta have raised a small brood that includes son, J.J. and wife Keri.  J.J. owns Rook Consulting, an award winning Security Company and his son just earned the Best and Brightest Award from Junior Achievement of Indianapolis and was nominated as finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year.  J.J and Keri have two children, Jacob and Gracelyn who are the pride of Mr. Thompson.

Daughter Lee (Cosmetologist) and husband Brent Hume, soon to be an Optometrist using a Navy Scholarship, are parents to four-month-old Harrison who is a joy to his family.

Why here in Madison County?

“In 2006 when I started teaching as an adjunct at AU Flagship, I heard there was a need for someone who was a student advocate, and my wife and I began praying about coming to Anderson.  We love this community.  We go to every event we can.  We eat here, we go to the Mall here.  We love the people of Anderson.  We’ve teamed well with businesses and added some incredible structures because of the generosity of the people in the business community.  A $60,000 message board in front of AHS, $38,000 for auditorium curtains.

We’ve reopened the old Ebbert Career Center under the name District 26 and also offer the C.O.M.P.A.S.S (Community Organizations and Mentors Partnering in Anderson Student Success) program.  We have 30 middle school and 30 high school students that need a different environment for learning”

What are your goals for the 2015-16 school year and beyond?

Then to grow District 26.  We want to grow from a few students coming to D26 from other school districts to a minimum of 120 students and we would like to see over 500 AHS students take advantage of the career offerings. Advance Manufacturing, Health Sciences, Firefighting, Clothing and Textiles, Building Trades, Criminal Justice to not just Anderson or Madison County students but to students in adjacent counties and systems.”

Finally, to develop a culinary program that is second to none.  Our vision is to create a school operated restaurant.  We believe there are on-going and numerous opportunities statewide for culinary success.”

Who do you consider the most courageous person in history and why?

"Jesus Christ.  How can anyone not look at Him as the most courageous person who ever walked the face of this earth and died for us bearing our sins.  My wife and I pray together every morning that I would have the wisdom and knowledge to make impactful decisions for each student and staff member.”

If you were to take that person on a tour of the system, what one thing would you want them to see?

“The way people treat one another.  Anderson students get a negative rap from historical issues.  I have to say I’ve never had a student show disrespect to me and I will do anything to help them.

We would show how well they are integrated, how well they get along, and much they care for each other.  It’s so very important to let them know that education and success in life is bigger than just themselves.”

What was the defining moment when you knew your service in education was making a difference in someone's life?

“On one side, I have to share in a family’s grief, then on the other hand, share in a family’s joy.  I go to weddings, I go to funerals, and I go to every graduation party I’m invited to.  One year I got 78 invitations and went to them all.  My wife organizes that whole process.

“I believe that there are times we need to share in more than just the education of a child.  We should be a part of the milestones of their lives because we all mark our own childhood by the divisions of grades levels and schools attended.  We can all remember that one teacher that took a moment and made a significant difference in our lives.  I hope that students would say that I truly cared for them individually and their future."

 

JAGS Restaurant officially open for business

By Vanessa Courtney, MCC Staff

Lisa Singleton-Roberts, Mayor Tom Broderkick, MCC CEO Kyle Morey, Eva Angelopoulus, Bob Jones and others

Photo Courtesy of Lisa Singleton-Roberts

 

It was standing room only at the Ribbon Cutting for the new JAGS Restaurant in Pendleton, where you will experience a relaxed atmosphere and serious food.

Kyle Morey, Madison County Chamber CEO, welcomed everyone to the event; Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick, Pendleton Town Manager Tim Mclintick & Pendleton Town Council President Bob Jones all praised Eva on her latest venture and for her dedication to Anderson, Pendleton and all of Madison County.

Meanwhile, Eva thanked all those involved with the restoration that made JAGS possible. As Eva commented that a new restaurant is a risk, everyone present agreed that JAGS is a welcome addition to Pendleton.

And all enjoyed sampling some of the "serious food" - breaded chicken, penne pasta, spinach salad, and of course, chocolate cake!

For more information, please visit:

JAGS Restaurant
8424 South State Road 67
Pendleton, IN 46064
(765) 221-9134 (work)
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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