April 18, 2007 | By: Laura Skillman

For the Pennyrile Area Homemakers, celebrating 75 years of community involvement doesn’t mean reveling in the past. Instead they chose to commit their annual spring seminar to educational topics to improve their leadership skills.

Topics included reaching your potential, how to motivate volunteers, setting up meetings to achieve goals, working with government officials, and appearance makes a difference. Speakers came from business, extension, government and also included the reigning Miss Kentucky, Rachelle Phillips.

In the Pennyrile area, leadership development is a priority and trainings are scheduled on a regular basis, said Laura Wilson, seminar planning committee member and University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service family and consumer sciences agent for Lyon County. There had not been a training program for a while so the committee decided to use leadership development as the topic for the spring seminar. She said she hopes attendees will take away from the meeting a desire to fulfill their potential.

“Everyone doesn’t have the desire to climb the corporate ladder, but everyone needs to have goals,” Wilson said. “Everyone needs to be a committed part of their community, and they need to have some skills to be productive in their community. I want them to know how to set up meetings, to approach an elected official and to have their appearance be the best it can be. We can look professional. And if they didn’t learn anything else today, if they learned how to motivate volunteers - that will be useful to them in extension Homemakers clubs, church groups and civic organizations. There’s a variety of things they can leave here today with that will be very, very useful.” 

Nancy O’Brien moved to Lyon County three years ago from Bloomington, Ind., and has jumped into a number of leadership roles in her community including Homemakers.

“This is something new for me,” she said. “I taught school for 27 years and had all the communications and meetings and so forth, but this is different. This is for a volunteer base. It’s not for children. It’s for working with adults. Any little information you can glean about getting more people active and so forth is very good, and I’ve learned a lot today.”

Pennyrile Area Homemakers President Charlotte Brown of Cadiz said she thoroughly enjoyed this year’s seminar, and the turnout was wonderful. 

“Maybe this put a little bit of kick in our step,” she said. “The university is there to help us, and if we don’t take advantage of it, it’s wasted.”

The seminar was open to the public. More than 80 people took advantage of the day-long training at the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton.


Laura Wilson, 270-388-2341