Three nominated for Pilot Club Woman of the Year

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Bainbridge Pilot Club has received three nominations for their annual “Woman of the Year.” The winner will be announced on Thursday, January 22 at the Chamber of Commerce annual dinner meeting.

The first nominee is Jessica Allen.

Jessica was nominated by Missy Rollins, who wrote the following letter of recommendation.

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“Jessica has a huge heart for community involvement and is a visionary when it comes to putting her ideas into action. She has been a catalyst for change in Bainbridge this past year, not only in the non-profit ministry of Friends with Jesus, but the Downtown Bainbridge Farmers’ Market, and in a new business on the square, Maiden South.

“A little over a year ago, Jessica came to visit me at The Still Waters Home for Women and Children. She loved what we do in providing safe space and spiritual growth. Coming from a psychology background, she volunteered many hours helping the women in mental health programming, setting obtainable goals, and structuring their time. She had an idea for a social enterprise, candle making, a way for the ladies to learn a skill while being productive and purposeful. After a brief meeting with a couple of board members, the idea was put into action becoming The Refinery, from Psalm 66:10.

“Jessica spent many relentless hours sourcing the product: jars, wicks, wax, scents, lids, and packaging, thus creating the candle. The candles are in 12 stores, in five counties. There is a factory and storefront at 705 Spring Creek Road. What a joy it has been to watch the development of this ministry through the service of Jessica! This social enterprise is helping women in poverty see a brighter future for themselves. She also helped design the branding and new logos for Friends Ministries as it has expanded.

“The Bainbridge Farmers’ Market board of directors and organization originated from Jessica’s idea to bring fresh locally grown food to a centralized place downtown. She found a local grower and they recruited a board of directors that met weekly to promote the market. Jessica designed the promotional flyers/cards and took care of all of the press. Her vision for this became a reality through her dedication to the market and its first successful season.

“In addition to her Christian and volunteer service to ministry and market, she has partnered with Natalie Kirbo to bring hand-crafted items made in the South to their place of business on the square, Maiden South. It is a wonderful venue for the creativity and craftsmanship of southern makers to be housed for sale in our town as well as the Refinery Candles made by the women of Still Waters.

As you can see, Jessica has a heart for her hometown of Bainbridge, Georgia and its inhabitants and has accomplished much in a year’s time. Her “let’s do it” spirit, coupled with her humble service, brings a sense of vitality and joy to all who know her or are blessed by the results of her vision for community development and unity. She calls herself a Jill of All Trades, and she truly holds up to that description. Bainbridge has truly become a better community since Jessica’s made her mark here.

Editor Note: This is the first nomination published. The second will appear in the Saturday, Jan. 17 issue of The Post Searchlight, and the third in the Jan., 21 edition.