How long have you lived in Hernando County, and where do you live? Where did you live previously?
We've been here in Hernando County for 23 years. For the last six years we've been living in Masaryktown, and before that we lived in Spring Hill. We came to Florida from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Who are the members of your family?
My husband, Bill, and I have been married for 26 years. We have two boys: Charles and Evan, who are both graduates of Nature Coast Technical High School.
Tell us about your career.
I am a vice president and trust administrative officer with Capital City Trust Co. in Spring Hill. I've been here for six years, and prior to that I spent seven years with another local bank in the trust department. We specialize in trusts, estate settlements, investment management and individual retirement accounts.
What kinds of activities are you involved in?
I'm a member of the 2009 Leadership Hernando class; outgoing president of the Estate Planning Council of the Nature Coast; grants committee chairwoman for the Grants Community Foundation of Hernando County; and chairwoman of the Junior Achievement Hernando board, as well as a classroom volunteer since 1997.
Tell us more about your involvement with Junior Achievement.
Junior Achievement's vision is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. A few years ago, we began the Diploma-See initiative here in Hernando County. Our goal is to teach the Economics of Success program to every eighth-grader in Hernando County within a five-year period.
We started with the charter program at Parrott Middle School for the 2006-07 school year. This year, our first program was held at Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics on Sept. 25. In November, we'll be going back to Parrott, and then later we are tentatively scheduled to go to Fox Chapel Middle, West Hernando Middle and Explorer K-8 School. We hope to reach J.D. Floyd and Powell Middle next year.
We enlist volunteers from the community, and we hope to get business professionals to share their experiences with the kids. Each volunteer focuses the program using their own points of view. Since I'm a banker, I focus on economic issues and budgeting.
We define interests for the students and show them that sometimes their skills are their interests, and sometimes their interests are their skills.
We also talk about values and their belief system. What is important to them — honesty, responsibility, family, etc. — and how employers look for those qualities when they are hiring.
A lot of students this age really don't know yet what they want to do with their lives. The program helps them make goals for their future.
It's very easy for someone to get involved in JA as a volunteer. JA offers scripts and tips to help. And it's such a fulfilling thing to go into a classroom and feel as though you've made a difference. Folks who are interested in volunteering can contact me at (352) 797-6754.
Do you have any special hobbies?
Well, I do have an almost-2-year-old granddaughter, and I try to spend a lot of time with her. But when it's just me, I love to go horseback riding. I've been lucky to have been on a couple of charity rides here locally.
What are your favorite things to do in Hernando County?
We're blessed here in Hernando County to have lots of opportunities at our fingertips — Stage West Community Playhouse, Pine Island, the Withlacoochee River, Weeki Wachee Springs, etc. I love them all.
What do you think would make Hernando County a better place to live?
In my opinion, we need more industry. I think we rely too heavily on the building and service industries. We should expand that so those living here can make a living here, rather than having to commute to jobs in St. Petersburg and Tampa.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
I love to travel and have had lots of opportunities to travel over the years. There are three places here in the United States that I have not visited and I really want to go: the Grand Canyon, Hawaii and Alaska. I think cruising to Hawaii and Alaska would be nice.
Hernando Neighbors is an occasional feature of the Hernando Times. Do you know someone who would make a good profile? We'd like to hear from you. Contact Jean Hayes, community news coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1438.