Partner Spotlight Get to know the people behind THRIVE!
THRIVE! will shine the light on one of our Partners in this new website feature!
Jenny Arntz Executive Director, Main Street Wellington
Q: Tell us about your background. A: I grew up in Wellington and went to Kent State University. After graduate school, I moved out of state and for more than 10 years I lived in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Then I returned to Wellington. Most of my career focused on college administration. I worked at a few different universities, and much of what I learned from college work has been helpful for working at Main Street Wellington.
Q: When did you join Main Street Wellington? A: May of 2015.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job? A: Being back in my hometown has been really meaningful – and fun! I really like planning events and networking at my job. I feel like Main Street has been improving every year. We are starting to help businesses, individuals and organizations improve, so that is energizing to the board and to me personally. It’s gratifying to get people to see what a little bit of change can do to help Wellington thrive.
Q: What do you feel are some of your greatest achievements there? A: Bringing our organization into a more positive light. When I joined, we didn’t have the best relationships with a few businesses. Hard work and really caring about the businesses have helped. We’ve turned quite a few people around to the point where they have now joined our board or have become members. Making that change with a few people is probably my greatest achievement.
Q: When did Main Street join THRIVE! and why? A: We started getting involved in June or July of 2015. We officially became a Partner at the end of 2016. We joined because THRIVE!’s goal -- to lower disease rates in our county - - is quite important. For Main Street to be involved, with what we do already, is positive. Being involved with THRIVE! has helped me connect with other non-profits.
Q: Tell us how you’re involved and which projects you’re working on. A: I was with the marketing sub-team of THRIVE!, so I helped with online marketing and events. People from Lorain County Public Health reached out to me with the Bicycle-Friendly Businesses project, so it looks like we’ll be working on that.
Q: Do you think THRIVE! is making a difference in southern Lorain County? A: I think we are. I think there are still some challenges facing us, mainly because most of us work in non-profits and we are all very busy people. We all need to commit more time and we've had challenges to get going in the right direction. We definitely still have a lot of work ahead, but are we going in a better direction than we are a year ago? Absolutely!
Q: If you could design the future with the THRIVE! mission in mind, what would it look like? A: I think that we could be more strategic with our marketing, whether it's through events or online campaigns. And perhaps forge more alliances with bicentennial events, the Lorain County Fair, or something else to give THRIVE! a boost in brand recognition. I also hope we can do a little more with the McCormick park space and events that will take place there!
THRIVE! Southern Lorain County is one of 11 Community Collaboratives powered by United Way of Greater Lorain County that are working to improve the health, education, and financial stability of all residents in our communities.