NCHC Chamber Magazine, Spring 2024

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Spring 2024 Chamber Awards Gala 2024 | Chamber scholarships Spring 2024 17 WHO HAVE SHAPED HENRY COUNTY women
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Henry County women and their community impact

On Feb. 27, The Pew Research Center published a primer about gender gaps and gains in advance of Women’s History Month, which has been observed every March in the United States since 1987.

Here is some of the data included in the report:

• Women made up 47 percent of the U.S. civilian labor force in 2023, up from 30 percent in 1950 – but growth has stagnated, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows. The BLS projects that women will continue to make up slightly less than half of the labor force through 2032.

• Women outnumber men in the U.S. college-educated workforce, now making up 51 percent of those ages 25 and older, according to Current Population Survey data from the fourth quarter of 2023.


Shonda Kane
‘It’s obvious that women play a huge role in the Henry County business community.’

• The gender pay gap – the difference between the median earnings of men and women – has remained relatively flat in the United States over the past two decades, according to an analysis of hourly earnings of fulland part-time workers. In 2022, U.S. women typically earned 82 cents for every dollar a man earned. That was about the same as in 2002, when women earned 80 cents to the dollar.

It’s clear that women have made great strides in the workplace, but there’s still work to do.

On a local level, it’s obvious that women play a huge role in the Henry County business community. For proof of that, one only needs to look at the unbridled success of one of the Chamber’s newest programs, The Chamber Network for Women.

Since its initial event on Feb. 23, 2023, the Network for Women has made impressive gains, with sold-out events and growing involvement among members.

In Henry County, it’s apparent that everyone recognizes the impact women have on our community. And from a historical perspective, we know that women were crucial to the establishment and growth of Henry County.

To read the Pew Research Center report, please visit: short-reads/ 2024/02/27/ for-womenshistory-month-alook-at-gender-gainsand-gaps-in-the-us/

This edition of Chamber Magazine puts a long overdue focus on the women who shaped – and continue to mold – our community. The women included on these pages are part of a large group who work quietly and steadily to constantly improve our community, and to them we offer our gratitude for their service.

Shonda Kane is Executive Director of the New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce.



Volume 14, Issue 1

Shonda Kane, Executive Director, New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce


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Chamber Magazine: The voice of New CastleHenry County Chamber businesses. It is a product of the New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and The JMetzger Group. These materials are the sole and exclusive property of the New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and The JMetzger Group, and may not be used without written consent.

Copyright 2024: The New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and The JMetzger Group.

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Entrepreneurship as a local economic development strategy



Debi Ware is one of several Henry County visionaries who have left their impact on the community. Read their stories in this special report.

Funding the future though scholarships

10 SPECIAL REPORT: Meet the women who are shaping Henry County

Chamber news and updates

Chamber’s 2023 awards


Spirit of service is alive and well in Henry County community

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” The Chamber Awards Gala on March 20 at the historic New Castle Armory proved beyond a doubt that the spirit of service is thriving in Henry County, and we are a better, stronger community because of it.

Our Gala gives us the opportunity to recognize businesses and individuals who contribute in various, impactful ways to the vibrancy of Henry County through their service to others. And we barely scratched the surface: Every day, the people of our community make our little corner of the world a better place through their important work.

If you were unable to attend the Gala, we missed you! And you missed some important information about your Chamber. Consider these facts:

n We welcomed 52 new members in 2023, bringing the total membership to 315 at the end of the year.

n We held 18 ribbon cuttings for new or expanded businesses in 2023.

n Chamber events attracted 2,267 attendees in 2023.

n Two highly successful programs were established in 2023: The Youth Ambassador Program and The Chamber Network for Women.

n The Chamber Scholarship was greatly expanded. You can read more about the scholarship in this edition of Chamber Magazine.

I am honored to take the reins as the Chamber Board President, and I offer my humble gratitude for those who served in this role before me. Your groundwork makes my job easier, and your advice and guidance are deeply appreciated.

Mark your calendars! The next few months offer many opportunities for you to get involved and engage.

Here are just a few:

n Chamber Career Day, Friday, May 3 at New Castle High School Fieldhouse. Career Day is a students-only event. Contact the Chamber to learn how you can help with this important initiative.

n Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade: Presented by Citizens State Bank on Monday, May 27 beginning at 9 a.m. at the east side of the Henry County Courthouse in Downtown New Castle.

n Chamber Cup Challenge Golf Outing: Monday, July 15, Memorial Park Golf Course

n Cash Bonanza: Saturday, Sept. 21, New Castle Armory. Be sure to watch our website and Facebook page for other events and announcements.

Justin Helman is President of the New Castle Henry County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He is a loan officer with Cross Country Mortgage, a certified executive coach with FocalPoint Business Coaching and Career Coach Liaison for Henry County high schools.


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Executive Board Members

1st Vice President

Wayne Williams Eastern Indiana Works

2nd Vice President Kristen Bennett ERA Integrity Real Estate

Treasurer Brianna Chapman Weiland’s Flowers

President Justin Helman FocalPoint Business Coaching Secretary Amber Houser Henry County REMC

Immediate Past President Latina Masters Citizens State Bank

General Board Members

Kevin Brown Hinsey Brown Funeral Service

Diana Coy Action Staffing, Inc.

Cathy Crabtree McGowan Insurance Group

Kevin Davenport Clean N Simple Commercial Cleaning

Amy Glaser

Amy Glaser State Farm

Emily Hurst New Castle Main Street

Cara Huffman

F.C. Tucker Crossroads Real Estate

Jeff Jaco The Sanctuary

Cindi Kiner The HR Connection

Anna Marie Leyes Wolf Creek Farms Accounting

Cynthia Lines First Financial Bank

Ex-Officio Board Members

Linda Link Chamber Ambassador

Amy Madden New Castle School Corp.

Matt Martin Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame

Vickie McIntosh First Merchants Bank

Vaughn Reid III Vital Computing, LLC

Travis Weik The Courier Times

Corey Murphy President: NCHC Economic Development Corp.

Chamber Staff

Shonda Kane, Executive Director Cindy Brooks, Member Services

Greg York Mayor: City of New Castle


EDC economic development strategies support Henry County entrepreneurs

Supporting entrepreneurs and the expansion of small businesses is part of our mission at the New Castle Henry County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and our community partners.

The Enterprise Loan Fund (ELF) has loaned $700,000 to small Henry County businesses since 2012.

To learn more about ELF, visit: business-resources/ enterprise-loan-fund/

Creating a healthy environment or eco-system for the creation and growth of small businesses is a long-term strategy for improved quality of life and community prosperity. It is a sustainable strategy that provides incremental improvement, not overnight instant success. It is a long game.

An entrepreneurshipled economic development strategy was the focus of a 2022 Report authored by Courtney Zaugg of Plaka & Associates. According to the report, the best place to start is with the entrepreneur themselves.


Here are two programs that focus on the entrepreneur:

The EDC partners with the East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center to provide no cost confidential business advising services to any small business and entrepreneur in Henry County. Access their services by visiting or call the EDC office at 765-521-7402.

The EDC offers the Enterprise Loan Fund (ELF), a revolving loan fund designed to enhance access to capital for small businesses that otherwise would not qualify with a traditional lender.

Since 2012, the ELF has loaned out nearly $700,000 to 25 different small businesses in Henry County. Learn more about ELF, by visiting enterprise-loan-fund/.

Recent ELF customers were Ky and Jo Scott, founders of Ky’s Kreations. With a combined 80 years of restaurant experience, this women-owned business was founded in 2018 with a food truck. It grew in 2022 with the opening of Ky’s Lunch Box. The ELF loan proceeds were used to help with the opening of Ky’s American Bistro, located at 1333 Broad Street, New Castle.

Ky and Jo Scott’s mission is to “create a welcoming and inclusive dining experience that celebrates diversity and fosters community.” The Scott’s “believe that food has the power to bring people together.”

Small businesses like Ky’s Kreations are the heartbeat of our community. The EDC is here to help them grow and flourish. Let us know how we can help.

Corey L. Murphy, CEcD, serves as President of the New Castle Henry County Economic Development Corporation.

To access the services of the East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, visit: or call the EDC office at 765-521-7402.

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Local student scholarships help make the future more affordable

Agrowing scholarship program is helping Henry County students take steps on their college pathways.

The New Castle Henry County Chamber of Commerce scholarship fund has awarded 17 scholarships to date. From 2009 to 2022, scholarships were each $500. In 2023, the scholarship amount increased to $1,000. With a fundraising effort that is growing stronger each year, the fund is able to help an increasing number of students.

Cathy Crabtree, chair of the Chamber’s scholarship committee, said scholarships were initially awarded only to students from New Castle High School, but the scholarship committee wanted the effort to reach farther to include all Henry County high schools.

In 2022, the committee began a fundraiser – Designer Handbag Bingo – an event where participants compete for purses while contributing to a good cause. More than 300 people took part in the event each of the past two years.

“It’s a really fun event and has been very successful,” said Crabtree. Last year’s event netted the scholarship fund $16,800, she said. The growing fund has enabled the scholarship awards to be expanded. They are now available to one student in each of the five Henry County high schools: Blue River Valley High School, Knightstown High School, New Castle High School, Shenandoah High School, and Tri High School.

Jordan Flynn, a 2022 Blue River graduate, is putting her chamber scholarship to use at Ball State University, where she is majoring in entrepreneurship. Flynn recently learned that she has been accepted to the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. She will start there in the fall. Flynn said scholarships have been key to her not having to take any student loans, so far, in her higher education pursuits. “My mom works at Ball State, so that helps with tuition, but scholarships have helped so much with other expenses. It creates less of a financial burden, and I’m really grateful.”

The Chamber’s scholarship committee is working to endow each of the five scholarships with funds set up at the Henry County Community Foundation. “We have one endowed and are working to endow a second,” Crabtree said. “We estimate it will take us seven years to have all five endowed. That is our dream – to have the scholarships here when we’re long gone.”

In addition to raising money to support the scholarships, the committee also reviews applications. Crabtree said each year several hundred students apply by the February deadline. Scholarships are then awarded each spring. Crabtree said that everyone on the scholarship committee has a passion to see the scholarship fund grow. They are looking forward to this year’s bingo event, scheduled for October 24th at the New Castle Armory. “It’s a way for us to give back and allow kids to have a better opportunity for higher education,” she said. “To be able to impact each high school is exciting.”

It’s a way for us to give back and allow kids to have a better opportunity for higher education.
— Cathy Crabtree
Jordan Flynn
MAKE A DIFFERENCE: To make a donation to the scholarship fund, go to and enter Chamber into the fund name.
How a vision and a group of women gathered around a kitchen table drove community assets to more than $54 million and added to the legacies of local women who have changed Henry County

A road paved with strength & empowerment

The Henry County Community Foundation might not have existed if not for three women, visionaries who worked alongside other committed community members to establish this impactful resource.

Virginia Reeves was the first woman to join the HCCF Board of Directors in 1987. During a time when most business leaders were men, Virginia served with them on the board and laid the foundation for what HCCF would become. Through her service, she paved the way for future women to make a difference in their community.

Judy Melton was a past president and board member of the HCCF. Beneath her quiet, humble nature was a driving force as an enthusiastic grant writer, program coordinator, and cheerleader for the Foundation. Although Melton died in 2009, her dedication is celebrated annually through an award given to an outstanding citizen who replicates her

service to the community and to the Foundation.

Patty Danielson used her knowhow and influence at local and state levels, along with her time, treasure and talent to ensure that the Henry County Community Foundation was set up properly, and that every tool was utilized to increase resources during the formative years.

In 1985, Danielson’s kitchen table became the Foundation’s working office. She and other volunteer staff began the journey of taking a foundation with $400,000 in assets and laying the groundwork for a foundation that in 39 years would hold more than $54,000,000 in assets.

Danielson, who died in 2013, nurtured the Foundation until it outgrew the kitchen, went into an office, employed its first executive director and began to stand on its own.

After that came a bigger office, larger staff, and Lilly Endowment GIFT challenges initiated and completed.

And Danielson’s perspective on this accomplishment? “A piece of cake.”

Women visionaries:

The Henry County Community Foundation Board of Directors in 1996. Front row, from left: Patty Danielson, Judy Melton and Barbara Ward. Ward, who died in March 2024, was the fourth woman to serve on the board. She was a teacher at Knightstown and Tri High Schools, and served as the TASC (Teens About Serving the County) Grant Committee adult advisor.

GET INVOLVED | THE CHAMBER NETWORK FOR WOMEN meets on the first Friday of every other month. Visit the New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s website at for more information.

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WOMEN who shaped our community Virginia Reeves

Jennifer Fox | Henry County Community Foundation

• President and executive director

• Hometown: New Castle, Indiana

• Family: Husband, Jeremy; son, Jacob; daughter, Jillian

Career journey: Born and raised in Henry County, Jennifer’s career began with a focus on education before transitioning to social work and psychology. Her dedication to helping others led her back to her roots in Henry County, where she initially worked in the non-profit sector.

“It became evident to me that Henry County is filled with neighbors who care about the neighbors they know, and those they don’t,” she says. “People who give to help others with food, housing and healthcare during their most vulnerable moments, and those who give so our little community can offer opportunities in education, recreation, and arts and culture.”

Her path soon took her to the Henry County Community Foundation, where her roles evolved from administrative assistant to program director, and then to marketing and development, demonstrating her versatility and capability to grow within an organization. She spent five years working in the advancement area for her college alma mater, broadening her skills in a larger organizational setting. One day, an unexpected call from her predecessor at the Community Foundation coincided with her family’s return to Henry County, leading her back to the Foundation, this time eventually as its leader.

Giving back: At the heart of Jennifer’s story is a profound commitment to giving back. Leading by example, she strives to empower her team, emphasizing strength, support, and continuous learning. Her engagement with the Henry County Chamber of Commerce further amplifies her impact, connecting her with community members and opportunities to serve. “The chamber allows me to meet people within the community that I might not otherwise be able to meet,” she says, highlighting the importance of networking and collaboration in fostering community development.

Fun fact: In 2003, Jennifer’s husband had work in Nashville, TN. Their little family of three was photographed by a fairly renowned photographer (Oprah’s magazine, ‘O’, called while they were in the studio!). A couple of weeks later, they received a call asking permission to use their picture in a national Christmas advertising campaign. They agreed, and their picture was used in bookstores across the United States.

Words of wisdom: “When we watch the news or browse social media sites, it’s easy to feel like our world is crumbling around us and that there’s little good left. However, in my role and through my experiences, I’ve come to realize that there are countless wonderful people out there. This position has given me the chance to connect with exceptional individuals in our community—donors who generously give to make a difference and find joy in impacting others’ lives, as well as the dedicated individuals in nonprofits who are on the front lines meeting critical needs. I’ve had the privilege of being a partner to their incredible work.”



Lizzie Bailey was the first black graduate of New Castle High School, Class of 1896. Her parents, Edward and Cassy Bailey, were freed slaves from North Carolina and Virginia. They arrived in Henry County, Indiana, sometime before 1877 and owned a farm near Kennard.

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WOMEN who shaped our community



A New Castle Chrysler Corp. nurse, Elizabeth J. Howren volunteered in World War II as a U.S. Army flight nurse. On Feb. 24, 1944, Howren was aboard a USAAF 807th MAES evacuation flight of wounded soldiers leaving Catania, Sicily for Algiers, North Africa.

An hour after takeoff, the aircraft crashed into a hill near Caltagirone, Sicily, killing the crew of six, a medic, Howren, and 16 U.S. Army evacuees/patients. A certificate honoring Howren’s sacrifice, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is at the Henry County Historical Society and Museum.




Just two years after United States women won the right to vote, Mary E. Caldwell was the first woman elected to a Henry County office. She served almost 10 years (1921-1930) as Henry County Recorder, and later was elected for two terms as Henry County Auditor. Caldwell served as curator of the Henry County Historical Society from 1965 to 1976.

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WOMEN who shaped our community

WOMEN who shaped our community
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Melissa True | Henry County REMC

• Chief Executive Officer

• Hometown: New Castle, Indiana

• Family: Husband, Donnie; Beagle/Basset Hound mix, Dolly

CAREER JOURNEY: Melissa embarked on her professional journey straight out of high school, initially working with New Castle Community Schools. Her path wound through diverse roles, including stints at a prison and in economic development before she discovered her true calling at the Henry County Rural Electric Membership Corporation (REMC). tarting as a customer service representative in 2006, Melissa’s dedication and the company’s support propelled her through further education. She steadily climbed the ranks, ultimately reaching the CEO position in August 2021. Even amidst her professional ascent, Melissa pursued higher education, completing her master’s degree in August 2022, all while steering Henry

County REMC towards new horizons.

GIVING BACK: At the heart of Melissa’s philosophy lies a deep commitment to mentorship and community development. Within her organization, she actively fosters a culture of professional growth, striving to see her team members flourish. Beyond the workplace, Melissa’s involvement with the Chamber of Commerce, particularly the Chamber Network for Women, underscores her dedication to empowering women in the community. “Being part of the Chamber Network for Women presents a tremendous opportunity for our community,” she shares. “It’s a time for women to come together, offering support and encouragement. We share our stories, celebrate achievements, and learn from one another. Hearing about the significant impacts women are making in our


is truly inspiring and deserves recognition.”

FUN FACT: Melissa’s life outside of work is as varied as her career. Believe it or not, she once gave tractor pulling a shot—a sport typically dominated by men. However, her debut was met with a sudden downpour the moment she revved up, prompting her to realize that she preferred rooting for others from the sidelines rather than taking the lead herself.

WORDS OF WISDOM: For women embarking on their careers or seeking to make their mark, Melissa offers advice drawn from her own experiences. “Be yourself. Look for opportunities, find a mentor,” she says, stressing the importance of seeking guidance and seizing opportunities to learn and grow. She also underscores the value of having a voice, especially in male-dominated spaces. “If you are invited to the table, you’ve been invited for a reason. You need to share your voice and contribute your unique perspectives,” she says.

Henry County:

We’re advocating for innovators through Entrepreneurship-Led Economic Development (ELED). Learn more at

This collaboration with other community partners includes the Business Builders workshop series and pitch contest. The 2023 winner is CJ’s Candies.

The Enterprise Loan Fund (ELF) is a revolving loan fund that offers an attainable funding option for local businesses.

Your EDC hosts the East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC). They offer free resources and business consulting services. 765.521.7402

Debi Ware | STAR Financial Bank retiree

• Retired, STAR Financial Bank; Family Assistant, Hinsey-Brown Funeral Service.

• Hometown: Knightstown, Indiana

• Family: Husband, Dan; daughter and son-in-law, Danielle & Carl; Grandchildren, Dawson, Cooper, and Carly.

CAREER JOURNEY: Debi’s journey into the working world started right out of high school, landing a job at a local bank in 1976. Over the next 45 years, she dedicated herself to the banking industry, starting as a teller and gradually climbing the ladder through various roles, including bookkeeping, collections, and mortgage lending. Her tenure at STAR Financial Bank culminated in her retirement in 2022, marking the end of a remarkable chapter in banking. Retirement didn’t signal a halt to Debi’s active engagement with her community. Instead, she found a new calling at Hinsey-Brown Funeral Service, where she embraced the opportunity to continue serving others. “I wasn’t ready to completely let go because I love helping people,” she says. “It’s different from banking, but the sense of making a difference remains the same.”

GIVING BACK: At Hinsey-Brown, Debi’s role extends beyond administrative tasks. “I thought I’d just be a door greeter,” she says. “But now, I help run the office, prepare services, and greet families. It’s fulfilling to support them during difficult times.” Debi’s dedication to her community goes beyond her work at the funeral home. She serves on multiple boards, including the Henry County Community Foundation, Henry Community Health, and Secret Families of Henry County, to name a few. Family gatherings and cheering on her grandchildren’s various endeavors bring her immense joy, as well.

FUN FACT: Debi’s life is filled with unexpected surprises. For more than two decades, she served as the track photographer at a local racetrack, Mt. Lawn Speedway, capturing the thrills and spills of racing events. This hidden talent behind the camera revealed her multifaceted interests and deep connection with her community. Now, she works the concessions stand at the very same racetrack.

WORDS OF WISDOM: Debi’s advice for women starting their careers is simple yet profound: “Get involved and meet people. Being part of something bigger than yourself is incredibly rewarding.” Her own journey into community engagement highlights the impact individuals can have when they actively participate in their surroundings. “Being involved and forming connections with the people you meet is so rewarding,” Debi reflects, “and nobody can take that away from you.”



Helen Magner was born on March 9, 1888, and raised in Sioux City, Iowa. She attended Chicago Academy of Fine and the Chicago Art Institute. She was a teacher, working in rural Chicago schools and later Henry Kendall College in Tulsa, Okla. For many years, Magner lived in New Castle and had a home studio. She illustrated her own children’s book. Magner was a newspaper columnist for the The Courier-Times, New Castle. Her column, “Pencil Sketches,” focused on art exhibitions, reporting what was being shown, where it was on display, and the background of the artist. Magner died in May 1986, at the age of 98.

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WOMEN who shaped our community




Frances Murphey Goodwin was born in 1855, three decades after New Castle was founded. Her father, George W. Goodwin, is described as one of the pioneers of Henry County. She studied in New York and the Chicago Art Institute, becoming quickly known for her talent. She was the second woman given a U.S. government commission. Her work --a bust of U.S. Vice President Schuyler Colfax -was installed in the Senate chamber gallery in 1897. Frances died in 1929 in New Castle.


Helen Goodwin, born in 1865 in New Castle, was one of the younger sisters of Frances Goodwin. Helen learned the fundamentals of painting from Frances in what is now known as The Murphey Building at the corner of Main and Broad streets in New Castle. Helen went to New York to study at the Art Students League and then on to Paris to study at the Academie Julian. She was known for her landscape and miniature paintings. Together, the Goodwin women became a dynamic duo of art and put New Castle on the artistic map in the early 1900s. Helen died in 1955.

WOMEN who shaped our community

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HERst ry WOMEN who shaped our community 1896 NEWS COLUMNIST AUTHOR CHILDREN’SBOOK
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Carrie Barrett | New Castle Main Street

• Executive Director

• Hometown: Tipton, Indiana

• Family: Husband, Matt Barrett; children, Wyatt Barrett, Owen Barrett; dogs, Georgia, Duke.

CAREER JOURNEY: Carrie’s career began in the vibrant marketing scene of Chicago, but eventually led her to the heart of downtown New Castle. “Starting in the Windy City was exhilarating,” she says, “but finding a home in New Castle truly ignited my passion.” Armed with her marketing background, she saw untapped potential in the city’s downtown, and embarked on a mission to breathe new life into it by founding New Castle Main Street. “It began with planting flowers and advocating for Wi-Fi,” she says. “But it’s grown into a movement to restore pride and prosperity to our beloved town.” New Castle Main Street is dedicated to renewing, growing, and promoting downtown New Castle by stimulating economic growth and fostering community pride, while preserving the city’s unique history. In her role as executive director, Carrie plays a pivotal role in spearheading initiatives aimed at revitalizing the downtown area. Whether it’s organizing community events, advocating for local businesses, or implementing beautification projects, her dedication shines through. She’s often found collaborating with volunteers and local leaders, working with her teammate, Emily, to create a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere for residents and visitors alike.

GIVING BACK: Carrie’s commitment to Henry County transcends professional duties; it’s a personal crusade to empower her community. “We deserve better than we’ve settled for,” Carrie says. Through her tireless work with New Castle Main Street and strategic partnerships with the Chamber, she’s reshaping the town’s narrative and demanding excellence. Her efforts haven’t gone unnoticed, with businesses flourishing and residents feeling a renewed sense of pride.

FUN FACT: Amidst her bustling schedule, Carrie finds solace in the world of comedy. “Laughter is my therapy,” she admits with a smile. “Comedians like Fortune Feimster and Kate McKinnon have a knack for lifting my spirits, even on the toughest days. It’s a reminder to find joy wherever we can.”

WORDS OF WISDOM: For Carrie, success isn’t just about personal achievements; it’s about lifting others up. “You matter. Your voice matters,” she says. “We have a responsibility to support each other, especially women, and create spaces where everyone can thrive. We’re building a legacy, not just for ourselves, but for those who will come after us.” With her infectious optimism and unwavering dedication, Carrie continues to inspire and uplift her community, leaving an indelible mark on Henry County.

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Dorotha Louise Hoover was born on Dec. 27, 1916, and graduated from New Lisbon H.S. in 1934. She attended Dayton Conservatory of Music and studied piano, organ and accordion. She was a concert pianist for the Wurlitzer Company of Dayton, OH, and gave piano lessons in New Castle for years after her 1938 marriage to Robert K. White. The Whites established a dairy farm of Jersey cattle on Messick Road, New Castle. She was a life member of several organizations. She played her musical instruments into her 90s and milked cattle past her 94th birthday. White was active in the Republican Party. She served on the Henry County Council, and served as council president. She retired from politics at the age of 90.



Juanita Jane Rucker taught English and speech at New Castle schools for several decades, starting in the 1930s. She established and managed a student radio station at New Castle High School from 1950-1955. Before that, Rucker served her country in World War II as a Red Cross volunteer. Her Red Cross uniform is on display a the Henry County Historical Society and Museum.

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WOMEN who shaped our community


Ruth A. Masengale, born Sept. 30, 1930, in Gap Creek, Ky., graduated from Lewisville H.S. in 1948. She married William “Bill” Hayworth on July 16, 1950. Ruth worked for Dickerson Insurance, Jack Nash Insurance, Bill Chapin, and Thornhill Davis Insurance Agencies. She became a partner with Steve Chapin and owner of Chapin-Hayworth Insurance in 1977. In 2009, Chapin-Hayworth merged with Thalls-Ameriana Insurance, where Ruth retired in June 2010. A passionate community activist, Ruth was the first female to serve on the Henry County Council, where she was Chairperson. She served as president of the Indiana County Council Association and was a member of Business and Professional Women (BPW) for more than 50 years. She served on the Board of Directors of the Henry County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), New Castle/Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Guyer Opera House, Christian Love Community Center, Henry County Heart Society, and Henry County Habitat for Humanity. She was active in the Henry County Republican Party, and their travel group, the Roving Elephants. She was named the Citizen of the Year by the New Castle Henry County Chamber of Commerce in 2001. Hayworth died on November 29, 2015, in New Castle.




WOMEN who shaped our community

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Natasha Hamilton | Children’s champion

• Former Director, Victory Lane Camp

• Hometown: Cambridge City, IN

• Family: Husband, Zach; sons; Joseph, Josiah, John Luke, Jacob; daughter Nora.

CAREER JOURNEY: Natasha’s career trajectory has been deeply influenced by her family’s personal experiences. The decision to adopt a special needs child, Josiah, served as the catalyst for her involvement with Victory Lane Camp, an organization dedicated to supporting families with children facing similar challenges.

“As parents, we often felt isolated and misunderstood, as if nobody truly grasped the challenges of our daily life,” she says. “But we discovered a supportive community where we felt embraced and understood. Our child’s disability wasn’t judged, and we were accepted for who we were as a family.” Inspired by this transformative experience, Natasha and her husband transitioned into roles of service, driven by a desire to make a positive impact on the lives of others in similar circumstances. Recently Natasha made the difficult decision to leave her professional role to allow more concentrated time with her family. She and her husband remain committed to nurturing a sense of belonging for families navigating the complexities of raising children with special needs.

GIVING BACK: Alongside her husband, Natasha embodies a profound dedication to giving back, which is evident in their remarkable journey of expanding their family through both adoption and fostering. Their decision to welcome five children into their home and foster another demonstrates a deeply rooted belief in the power of community and the importance of supporting vulnerable children. Natasha strives to cultivate a genuine sense of belonging and acceptance for all families, ensuring that nobody feels isolated or alone on their journey. Through her active involvement with the Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Natasha further amplifies her influence, spearheading networking opportunities and fostering collaborations that benefit the entire community.

FUN FACT: In middle school, Natasha embarked on a unique language-learning journey, studying six languages for six weeks each. While she found French particularly challenging, her experience with Japanese was the most intriguing.

WORDS OF WISDOM: “Sometimes, we must set aside our own desires and expectations and trust that there’s a greater plan at work. I’ve learned that God often has different paths for us, ones we may not initially understand. By striving to lead by example and giving back to our community, we can inspire future generations to embrace the importance of serving others and accepting people for who they are.”

CHAMBER MAGAZINE │ SPRING 2024 19 765-388-2099 Industrial/Commercial/Residential • Licensed & Insured Visit us online to learn more about our services! 1315 Broad Street, New Castle, Indiana 47362 David Brock Jon Madison Jim Millikan Matt Kelsey 765.521.0656 Christi Brock Formed in 1886, we are the oldest continuously operating historical society and museum in Indiana. Since 1900, the Henry County Historical Society & Museum has occupied Gen. William Grose’s 15-room mansion at 606 S. 14th Street in New Castle. Henry County Historical Society & Museum Bringing history to life & life to history since 1887! Thaddus Coffin spent 35 years building this desk, using more than 56,000 pieces of wood from 324 different tree species. Visit us! Admission to the museum is free, but appointments are required. Contact us to visit during these hours: Tuesday - Friday: 1- 4:30 (March through December) 765-529-4028 HenryCountyMuseum


2024 Chamber Awards Gala was another sold-out event, with about 350 people in attendance!

“Our community is strong and vibrant, thanks to the actions of so many companies and individuals,” said Shonda Kane, the Chamber’s executive director. “Being able to recognize so many of them during our annual Gala is a lot of fun. It brings us together and reminds us of why Henry County is such a great place to be.”

Chamber champions Henry County celebrates a special group who makes

a difference


Polly Blake and Ryan Hammer


recognizes a Henry County business with

26 or more employees that demonstrates achievement and innovation in management, product service development and commitment to growth in Henry County. This business is also civically engaged with the communities in the past 12 months.


l Jack’s Donuts Distribution

l Jake’s Heating, Air & Plumbing

Award presenter:

l Jake Adams

Jake’s Heating, Air & Plumbing

Jake’s Heating, Air & Plumbing was the presenting sponsor for the March 20 gala at the historic New Castle Armory. The evening began with a cocktail hour sponsored by Metronet, Henry County Saddle Club, Scooter’s Coffee, and L.A. Liquid Catering.

Music by Ball State University violin performance student Sophie Buselli, sponsored by F.C.Tucker Crossroads Real Estate and Bridgenorth Homes. Dinner was catered by Ky’s Kreations, with service assistance from New Castle Career Center Culinary Program. Dinner sponsors were Rose City Funeral Home, Weiland’s Flowers, Duke Energy, and Jeff Raatz for Congress.

Other sponsors:

• Awards table: Empire Title

• Coasters: Koorsen Fire & Security.

• Floral arrangements and ferns: The Flower Studio, Weiland’s Flowers and DeadHeaders Greenhouse of Spiceland.

• Dessert: Grede Casting Company, Hinsey Brown Funeral Service, IU East and Lifestream.

Special appreciation goes to ServPro of Henry and Randolph Counties and Clean N Simple Commercial Cleaning for preparation of the venue, The Sanctuary of New Castle for parking service and Defense Grid for traffic assistance.

Chamber recognitions are based on the previous year, and all organizations, businesses and individuals must be active and/or located in Henry County. Included here are the award descriptions, finalists and award recipients for 2023.


recognizes a Henry County workplace that has made significant strides in employee practices to establish a highly desirable work environment. The award also recognizes the company for its leadership, culture and best practices, and its demonstration of uniting people of different backgrounds and abilities, including a diverse and inclusive workforce.


l First Merchants Bank

l MRS Heating & Cooling

Award presenter:

l Cindy Brooks, NCHC Chamber of Commerce



recognizes a Henry County business with 25 or fewer employees that has been in business for more than five years. The business demonstrates achievement and potential growth and has also civically engaged with the communities in the past year.


l CJ’s Candies

l Modest Midwest Wax Co.

l Poynter Brothers Pro Shop

Award presenter:

l Vickie McIntosh, Board member; First Merchants Bank

Angela Cox

With Coy Adkins, who received a special award that recognized his actions at a house fire.


recognizes a Henry County frontline worker who has excelled in working toward the well-being of our residents and visitors in the past year. Nominees may be a volunteer or employed in the areas of health care, law enforcement, firefighting, or education.


l Coy Adkins

Award presenter:

l Amy Glaser, Amy Glaser State Farm Insurance and Chamber board member


recognizes a Henry County service employee whose efforts often go unrecognized. They are the frontline at restaurants, stores and attractions. The nominees are those who help make Henry County a great place to live, work and visit.


l Juli Coffman

l Mike Hacker

Award presenter:

l Greg York, Mayor of New Castle

Karl B. Niles


CJ’s Candies

Valerie Lamb


recognizes a Henry County business in business 5 or fewer years. This award honors the skill, courage and determination to create a business out of an idea. It celebrates the hard work and inspiring stories of many outstanding Henry County entrepreneurs.


l Blue River Taphouse

l Selah Salon and Spa

Award presenter:

l Judy Porter

Regional Director at the East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center


recognizes a Henry County young professional ages 1840. The award celebrates the accomplishments of a highly motivated, emerging leader from Henry County. Nominees demonstrate excellence, creativity and show initiative in their company or profession.


l Wyatt Brewster

l Krystal Stanich

Award presenter:

l Amy Madden, Board member and Community Liaison at New Castle School Corporation

Hudson Rentals


Chris Wilkey Young Professional CITIZEN OF THE YEAR

recognizes a Henry County citizen who, through their personal involvement, leadership abilities, and selfless giving of their time and talent, has positively affected Henry County and the lives of its citizens. The award honors a recent effort resulting in a substantial benefit to the county, and a steady, reliable long-term history of service.


l Jeff & Cindy Ross

l Mary Nicholson Tait

Award presenter:

l Carrie Barrett, New Castle Main Street 2022 winner


recognizes a Henry County non-profit organization that has made outstanding contributions to the county. This organization, over the previous 12 months, has positively affected Henry County and the lives of its citizens. The organization has a reputation for integrity in its dealings with clients, volunteers, staff or other individual groups. The organization must be an active 501(c) organization.


l Healthy Communities of Henry County

l Henry County New Castle Kiwanis

Award presenter:

Secret Families of Henry County

l Cathy Crabtree, McGowan Insurance; Board Member

Scott Frost Citizen of the From left, Frankie Niles, winner Karl B. Niles, Liz Niles, Noah Niles

2023 Chamber CHAMPIONS

PRESENTERS & their award

LARGE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: Polly Blake, Ryan Hammer, Jake Adams SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: Doug Hudson, Vickie McIntosh, Greg Hudson COMMUNITY CULTURE EXCELLENCE: Presenter Cindy Brooks with Carmen Cash and Scott Cash ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR: Valerie Lamb with Judy Porter YOUNG PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR: Chris Wilkey with Amy Madden CITIZEN OF THE YEAR: Scott Frost with Carrie Barrett, 2022 Citizen of the Year. FRONTLINE HERO OF THE YEAR: Angela Cox (center) with Amy Glaser (left) and Coy Adkins
All that’s old is new again! Watch for our improvements! We’re adding 6,600 square feet of space to preserve the history of Indiana basketball and bring the Hall of Fame into the future. Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Honoring, preserving and promoting the heritage of Indiana high school basketball One Hall of Fame Court | New Castle, Indiana 47362 765-529-1891 New interactive exhibits throughout the museum and needed renovations on current exhibits Additional artifact storage space to ensure preservation of Indiana basketball history for years to come Expansion of current enshrinement hall to ensure space for future inductee portraits Administrative offices for staff and enclosed gift shop, creating more event space for upcoming celebrations Please donate to the “Past & Present, Forever” Expansion Campaign! Contact Development Director Cory Criswell: (765) 529-1891 x107
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID MUNCIE, IN PERMIT NO. 860 100 South Main Street, Ste. 108 New Castle, IN 47362 Heart of Indiana United Way is committed to providing support and services in New Castle. We are grateful for the Henry County Health Department for providing space at their location. Services at this office include but are not limited to: · Health Care Enrollment · SNAP Assistance · Assistance Connecting to Re sources ATTN: Heart of Indiana United Way is at the Henry County Health Department Request to schedule an appointment online: Mary Nicholson Tait 1201 Race ST. STE 208 OFFICE HOURS: Tues. & Thurs. 10 am - 4 pm or by appt. For more information contact Mary at 765-896-5903 Come see Mary Nicholson Tait for FREE help with healthcare enrollment, managing benefits and connection to community resources
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