Queen of organization, professionalism

Jan. 16, 2014 @ 08:36 PM

When Joan Reid retired from her position as family and consumer sciences agent for the Granville County Cooperative Extension Service at the end of December, she left “a big gap.”

That’s the way Jackie Sergent described it.

Sergent is health promotion coordinator and health education supervisor for the Granville-Vance District Health Department, as well as mayor of Oxford. She worked with Reid on a number of projects during Reid’s 10-year tenure with Cooperative Extension.

Her retirement has prompted words of praise from people who worked with her and from the community at large.

“She did a great job teaching classes on nutrition and money management,” said Paul Westfall, the director and Reid’s former supervisor.

Reid’s service was formally recognized by the Granville County commissioners in their monthly meeting. Chairman David Smith thanked Reid for her contributions, and Tim Karan read a resolution of recognition and appreciation. The resolution cited her work with the LiveWell Granville Health Workgroup, Leadership Granville and the Gang Assessment Task Force; her volunteer efforts with West Oxford and C.G. Credle elementary schools; and her development of the “Get the Money Monkey Off Your Back” program to help families manage their budgets.

Reid said some of her work highlights were working with Sergent and Marge Mickelson, nutrition program coordinator with Community Care Partners in Henderson, to develop the Keys to Healthy Living program.

“We were known as the ‘healthy living team,’” Reid said.

They trained health ministers from churches participating in the Granville-Vance Faith Initiative for Community Action, an organization that uses churches as a vehicle to help people improve their health.

“Joan’s the queen of organization and professionalism,” Sergent said. “She’s very, very professional, very organized. She brought a level of finesse to Keys to Healthy Living.”

“We received a lot of community support,” Reid said.

A lot of that support was the result of Reid’s efforts, Sergent said.

“She’s a great worker with partners,” Sergent said. “Joan was also a very willing and active partner in the community health assessment. I could count on her to lead the effort to reach families and youth. Joan led a social marketing effort with kids who had dropped out, to identify barriers they encountered.”

Reid grew up in Delaware and western Pennsylvania. She received a bachelor’s degree in home economics education from Villa Maria College (now Gannon University) in Erie, Pa.

“My first job was in a fabrics shop,” she said.

But she soon got into the field of community service. For 15 years, she was employed by the Ohio State University Extension Service, where she worked with 4-H clubs and home economics projects.

She came to North Carolina and began working for Cooperative Extension in 2004.

“My kids were out of the house and I was looking for warmer weather,” she said.

Reid has two adult sons: Andy, who lives with his wife in Vancouver, British Columbia; and Adam, who lives in Raleigh and is an executive chef with Rocky Top Hospitality.

She found the work with Cooperative Extension very rewarding.

“The office has an excellent staff,” she said. “They work very hard for Granville County.

“There is a great need for the kind of information a family and consumer sciences agent can bring to this county.”

She spent 10 years sharing information on nutrition, health and money management with families in Granville County.

Westfall is not certain whether Reid’s position will be filled.

“We’d love to fill it, but Cooperative Extension is going through a change process,” Westfall said. “We want to maintain a county presence, but our state and federal funds are dwindling. It might be a cross-county position.”

Reid said she spends her spare time gardening and reading. Before she retired, she listened to audio books on her commute to Oxford from her home in Raleigh. “I like to read,” she said. “I do a lot of reading.”

Her tastes are varied, extending to non-fiction, politics and current events.

In retirement she’ll have more time for reading as well as for her other interests such as crafts and sewing.


Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.