2017-01-01 / Spotlight

Leading the Way

Georgia Abbey, Executive Director | Leadership Centre County
Maggie Anderson

For 17 years, Georgia Abbey has been educating adults about their community through Leadership Centre County and, she says, “It’s the best job I ever had.” As executive director, Abbey works to “inform and impassion” community members about their own community. “I like shepherding and maximizing their potential,” she says. This month, LCC will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a luncheon on Jan. 11. The anniversary, says Abbey, “means that the education of adults is an important thing for this community to invest in. I’m very proud of being affiliated with this organization and having served it all these years.” Before she celebrates that milestone, we caught up with Abbey at her home in Warriors Mark to see what, besides her husband Kevin, children Emmalia and Noah, and grandchildren, are at the top of the leader board in her life.

1. Swing Time
On what Abbey and her husband call their “sunset porch,” you can see gorgeous sunsets over the mountain ridge most of the year. “We live out here in the summer. We have countless evenings where we can watch stunning sunsets. It’s been a favorite place for everybody in my family.”

2. In Bloom
Abbey has a large and varied garden, but a few plants are extra special, like this Aloha rose bush, which survived but didn’t thrive for 18 years. Then, last year, she says, “I was standing at the sink and I saw this shock of pink, and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, don’t tell me the rose is in bloom on Oct. 14.’” She cut the flower and took it to her ailing mother, who died later that night. “I considered that rose as kind of an omen. It’s thorny, enduring and beautiful, just like my mother.”

3. Picture This
As graduate students at Central Michigan University, Abbey and her husband lived next door to an artist, Abigail Hadley. “We loved her work. We were poor graduate students, but we knew we had to have one of her pieces. We made payments over the course of a year until we could pay for this painting. It’s from a photograph that she took looking into a still part of the Chippewa River. It’s been with us for 40 years and we love it. I never get tired of looking at it.”

4. Garden Variety
At her house in Warriors Mark, dubbed “AbbeysGate,” Abbey has room to grow. “I wear my shears on my hip every day from April through October because I’m out in the garden everywhere and you have to clip all the time.” She grows both vegetables and flowers and says her perennial flowerbed is at its peak in June.

5. Spoon Fed
“Clearly I love to grow food, and that’s because I love to eat good food, and if you’re going to eat good food, you have to cook it. I use this mesquite spoon every day. I bought it in Utah many years ago. Kevin and I go hiking in the desert — Zion National Park — for a week every year.  Not only does the spoon serve me in the kitchen every day, but it reminds me of my love of the western open spaces.”

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