HomeNewsRenshaw honored as Woman of the Year

Renshaw honored as Woman of the Year

By Brandon Shields

Managing editor

Judy Renshaw has been involved in community events in Jackson for awhile.

In fact, her time at The Greater Jackson Chamber is what tipped her off on Wednesday at the Rotary Club meeting at First United Methodist Church is what tipped her off that she was the guest of honor during the annual naming of Jackson’s Woman of the Year.

The guest is typically not told of the honor until their resume is read at the meeting, and Rotarian Ron Kirkland was reading Renshaw’s, who was waiting her turn to speak.

“They’d invited me to come speak about the upcoming Andrew Jackson Marathon,” Renshaw said later, so I was waiting to do that. “Then when Ron said something about ‘serving for 40 years at The Chamber’ I knew no one other than me had spent that long there.”

Everything came together for Renshaw after that – her decades of coordinating the Leadership Jackson program for The Chamber, her role as co-chair of the Bicentennial Celebration committee with last year’s Woman of the Year, Elaine Christian, her years helping coordinate volunteers for the Marathon and numerous other ways she’s been involved in other community happenings throughout Jackson and Madison County and her time on multiple non-profit boards in the city including the Exchange Club Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Red Cross.

Her name was announced, officially recognizing Renshaw as the Woman of the Year, and she turned around to a standing ovation from about 150 Rotarians and guests.

As she accepted her bouquet of flowers and stood at the podium, she turned to the right and saw her family, who’d just entered the room so they wouldn’t spoil the surprise and were standing on the edge.

“When I saw my family, that was it for me,” Renshaw said, referencing the closest she came to getting emotional during the honor.

When asked why she’s stayed so involved in community events, Renshaw said that was an easy answer.

“If you really care about something, you’re going to be involved in it and do what you can to help it be as good as it can be,” Renshaw said. “And that’s how I feel about our community.

“Jackson and Madison County is such a great place, and I’m glad to be from here and to have lived here all my life.”

Renshaw said she was humbled by the honor.

“There are some great women from here who’ve been honored this way and so many that deserve it,” Renshaw said. “I never thought I would be one worthy of it, but it really is a special honor that I cherish.”

She said that probably the greatest thing she’s proud of from her years of service was helping decades of emerging leaders in Jackson learn more about their city through Leadership Jackson.

For more than 40 years, classes of about 30 people have gone through 13 weeks of sessions of learning about different aspects of the Hub City with many going on to become leaders in local government, business, non-profits and other aspects of the local culture.

“I’ve had a few tell me that because of Leadership Jackson, that started their journey to learning what they could do to help their home,” Renshaw said. “And to think I might’ve played a small part in that is something that I really am glad to be able to say.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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