Jennifer Keohane and I go a long way back, 13 years to be exact. Jennifer will be leaving her position as the Business Outreach Librarian at the Simsbury Public Library on July 31. She has accepted a position as the Executive Director of the Connecticut Librarian Consortium and will bring her tremendous marketing and library skills to promote libraries throughout the State.
Through my position at the Simsbury Chamber and Jennifer's at the library, we collaborated over many business initiatives throughout the years. At one time the Chamber offered a series of business seminars called "Lunch and Learn". We knew there was a need especially for the small business to get access to up-to-date information, education and training. Simply put, the Chamber initiative
didn't work. Then along came Jennifer who created the "Wednesday Night is Business Night" seminars and it took off - big time! How fortunate we were to have her and thepublic library fulfill this need. From the first seminar to the present, the Chamber has enthusiastically supported and promoted her business seminars and workshops. Rather than compete with the Business Resource Center, the Chamber enthusiastically promoted her.
Together we also collaborated on the Town of Simsbury "Doing Business in Simsbury" brochure, the University of Hartford CT-EGG Graduate Program(pairing graduate students with local businesses) and provided assistance andguidance for the new entrepreneur in town.
But my best memories with Jennifer will be her years on our Education Committee and her help with the Chamber's "Job Shadow Day Program" which the Chamber hosted for Simsbury High School students. Jennifer spearheaded the "dress for success" and "business skills" workshops that helped to prepare our students for their daylong visit with a Chamber business. Jennifer always made these lively, innovative and fun while still getting the message across to the students. She was also a strong advocate on our committee to help develop the SHS Career Center and the development of the Chamber's very popular "Lunch and Learn Program" at Henry James Middle School.
Among many awards and accolades, Jennifer was awarded the prestigious Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times "I Love My Librarian Awardin 2011".
Often stopping by to share a quiet moment of conversation, "Jen" is bright, funny and has the most wonderful stories about her life and adventures with her husband Bill. We have talked about how great it would be if we could work together again at the State level to promote and support our Connecticut libraries.
There is a public farewell reception for Jennifer Keohane on Tuesday, July 24 from 5p to 7p at the Simsbury Public Library. If you haven't met "Jen" yet Iencourage you to stop by and meet her before she leaves on her new adventures.
For more about my candidacy for State Representative, visit www.simsburycoc.org