January 25, 2021

Wells announces retirement from Adair County Extension Office

One of my favorite poets and inspirational authors once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou

I truly hope I have shown respect, compassion and support to all those who have crossed my path during my time with Adair County ISU Extension the past eight years. With a heavy heart I am announcing my retirement effective December 31, 2020.

When I was first hired in 2012, I had just gotten off the E. E. Warren Opera House Association Board after working for six years to help open the restored and new Warren Cultural Center. When I was hired by Adair County Extension and able to work out of a facility we had worked so hard to open for business, it was like a dream come true.

I am very thankful for the opportunities and experiences I have been given through Adair County ISU Extension and Outreach. I have worked as an Office Assistant, Youth Council Advisor, Clover Kids Coordinator, Human Sciences Coordinator, Assistant Bookkeeper, Office Manager, County Director and Empowering Adair County Foundation Administrator. I have been privileged to work with a number of phenomenal co-workers, council members, regional directors, ISU Extension professionals, club leaders, youth, volunteers and organizations. So many have touched my life and imprinted my heart. ISU Extension is a wonderful service to all Iowa counties.

One of my goals was to educate others as to all the great resources, educational programming, and opportunities to build strong youth, families, communities and economic development that Extension has to offer. Adair County is fortunate to have an Extension office with staff and council members who are caring and continually willing to strive to improve the quality of life in their county.

Some of the memorable experiences in the past few years have been: celebrating Adair County ISU Extension’s 100th Anniversary; Donna Wallace retiring after 23 years of service; hiring a Youth Development Coordinator; hiring a County Youth Coordinator; working with 4-H clubs to incorporate club financials into the Extension bookkeeping process; welcoming Erika Lundy, Beef Specialist, to be housed in our office; helping Empowering Adair County Foundation Board to consolidate grant opportunities into one annual grant cycle; meeting the challenges of every annual county fair (contaminated water issue, new fair software, and COVID-19 regulations); work through an ISU Extension and Outreach reorganization; and adapting and adjusting to the ongoing challenges of a global pandemic….just to name a few adventures through the past few years.

However difficult the position has been, it has been equally as rewarding and I am thankful for the support of so many. ISU Extension professionals are known for adapting, adjusting and overcoming challenges. This is no different in Adair County.

Even though the office is going through some changes, staff, council members, and our regional director continue to work hard to help in any way they can. Regional Director, Alan Ladd, will be taking over my job responsibilities. He has over 40 years of Extension experience and brings a great deal of expertise to the office. The office will be taking some time to find the right candidate to fill County Youth Coordinator position.

My husband is retiring at the end of January and we are both excited to begin a new chapter in our lives. Everything is very bittersweet right now. As we reflect on all the past work experiences and the people we are leaving, we remind ourselves that we are not saying goodbye but ‘see you later’ when our paths cross again.

I have gained so many friends along the way. Thank you for all your support and kind words through the years.