Watauga Arts Council Weekly column for The Watauga Democrat October 23, 2009 edition Submitted by: Cherry Johnson, Executive Director Ph: 828.264.1789 Fax: 828.262.4599 e-mail: email@example.com I’ve heard it said that the best persons to know around an office, business, or organization are the secretary and the janitor because they’re the ones who really know what’s going on and how to get things done. While the Arts Council and the Jones House don’t really have a janitor (we use a great cleaning service instead) I can certainly tell you that one of the most traumatic transitions an office faces is the one which involves a change in the administrative staff. Having just lived through such a transition, I am delighted to introduce you to our new Office Manager, Teena Cone. Teena’s been on board for almost a month, now, and we’re very much enjoying getting to know her and helping her get acquainted with the Watauga County Arts Council and the Jones House Community Center. It was in early August that I learned, to my dismay, that our Office Manager of five years, Jenny Schrum, was reluctantly giving notice that she needed to leave us in order to assist her husband in running a storage company they own. Working with Jenny over the years has been a very positive experience not only for the staff, but also for the Arts Council and the Jones House. She took what was originally simply an administrative office support position and became a real team member, helping us expand our visual arts programming, assisting with fundraising, and helping manage many other aspects of the organization. She even took her turn writing this same column and I’ll bet you enjoyed reading her perspective. However, all good things must eventually come to an end. Thank you, Jenny, for all you’ve done! As I reluctantly began the search for a new Office Manager I began to realize the magnitude of the unemployment situation in our community. While the numbers of applicants who inquired about and then applied for a part-time position were a bit overwhelming to deal with, it was obvious that we would be able to have our pick among an amazing pool of applicants. Fortunately I enlisted the help of our Personnel Committee members (who are members of the Jones House and Arts Council’s boards) and I was so thankful that I had done so since it was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve made in awhile. You see, our Office Manager is far more than just the friendly face who greets the public at our front desk and answers the telephone during gallery hours. There are a lot of things which occur on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even an annual basis. Things like helping me oversee the Jones House building and grounds, facility rentals, and even the parking lot. I think she’ll find that one of the more fun aspects of managing the Jones House is helping with special events and holidays. (Of course, maybe she’d better wait until she’s experienced the holiday decorating marathon before she passes judgment on that.) She helps to supervise our student workers and volunteers; and she’ll definitely need their help to keep up with both the Jones House and the Arts Council. Working only part-time, she’ll be not only performing the usual office duties but coordinating our publicity efforts, handling ticket sales and purchases, monitoring the artwork which is displayed and sold in the Jones House, through our Arts Placement Service locations, and at Artwalk. She’ll be working in cooperation with the WCAC Gallery Committee to schedule, install, and publicize monthly gallery exhibitions and receptions. She’ll help manage our annual fund drive and help us keep up with our membership donations. So with all of that to keep up with and juggle, it was very important to find just the right person and we think we just might have found her. That’s why we’re excited to bring Teena Cone on board. Teena moved here from Orlando, Florida six years ago. She and her husband, Ken, have two grown daughters and two grandchildren. While living in Florida she and her family were very active in their community volunteering and supporting their church ministries. Teena has always had a great appreciation of the arts and supported the vibrant arts community in the Orlando area. When her husband retired, they had already started construction on a home here in the Boone area. They decided to move to this beautiful mountain community after vacationing here for many years. Teena enjoys exploring the trails and taking part in the culture and arts here in Boone. Her background is in business, office management, floral design, and she is a licensed real estate broker. Teena says she is excited about her position here at the arts council and looks forward to working with the talented artists and meeting all the visitors to the Jones House. I hope you’ll make a point of getting to know Teena and welcoming her to the Arts Council and the Jones House. Obviously she’ll be very busy taking care of so many responsibilities, but I’m sure she’ll be able to find time to get acquainted. She’ll be here during gallery hours of noonfive Tuesdays through Fridays and also at many special events and activities. And, of course, she will begin next month writing a regular column for the Watauga Democrat just like the rest of our staff. Welcome, Teena. We’re glad to have you on our team! Cherry Johnson is the Executive Director of the Watauga County Arts Council. To learn more about the Arts Council, check their website at www.wataugaarts.org, call 264-1789, or visit the Jones House Community Center at 604 West King Street in Boone.