Introducing NICF board member Shirley Rippy

Introducing NICF board member Shirley Rippy

Shirley with her alpaca, Charlie, when he was a cria (baby alpaca)

The Community Foundation would like to introduce our next board member of the week, Shirley Rippy. Shirley serves on the Starke County Community Foundation and Northern Indiana Community Foundation boards. We’re so grateful for her service! Below is our q & a with Shirley.

1. Where did you grow up, and where did you go to school?

I grew up in Griffith, Indiana. I am the third of six children. I went to Saint Mary’s School for 3rd through 8th grade and public school for all other grades. I attended college at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana majoring in Accounting with a minor in History. I have been working on my Master’s in Business Administration from Valparaiso University (I began my Masters Studies at Saint Joseph’s College before they closed in 2017) and have one more class to take to complete my degree.

2. What are your hobbies and interests?

My favorite hobbies are sewing, embroidering, knitting, crocheting, and gardening. I enjoy studying History and watching Documentaries and Pure-Flicks. I take daily walks to help get in my 10,000 steps a day. My husband and I have 13 alpacas that we have sheared annually and send the fiber off to the mill to be made into yarn and roving. I want to find the time to do more with the Alpaca fiber, I have two knitting machines that I am learning to use. I also make hats, scarfs, and gloves with the Alpaca yarn. The name of our Alpaca Ranch is Peaceful Acres Ranch.

3. What is your job title and/or what organizations are you involved within the community?

I am a Senior Budget Financial Analyst at NiSource, Inc., the parent Company of NIPSCO, and a Certified Public Accountant. In August I will have been with the NiSource for 14 years. Before NiSource, I was in Public Accounting with Crowe Chizek and Cender and Company in their Merrillville Offices.

Volunteer Opportunities
· Served Meals on Wheels Meals when we lived in Crown Point, IN monthly for six years
· Co-Chair of the Finance Committee; SS Cyril & Methodius Church; North Judson, IN
· Religious Education Teacher; SS Cyril & Methodius Church; North Judson, IN
· Served as Board of Director Member on Starke County Farm Bureau for one year
· Assisted with volunteer opportunities with the Starke County Economic Development on Manufacturers Day with the 7th and 12th-grade high school students of Starke County in 2017
· Assisted with volunteer opportunities with the Starke County Tourism Committee with free Movies in the Park in North Judson, IN
· Became the Directory of Religious Education for SS Cyril & Methodius Church; North Judson, IN in June 2018

4. What do you like most about your community?

I like the fact that people in the Community are willing to help their neighbor when needed. I also like the fact that people are nice and friendly here, I always know that I am away from home when shopping in more populated areas, the niceties are few and far between in most of the more populated areas. Last year was the first time I attended the Christmas Tree lighting at Norwayne Field; it was like the entire town of North Judson came out for the event; I experienced such a great feeling of joy and knew that I belonged to a very special Community; it was like a step back in time. I also like the peace and quiet of living with nature with little traffic and a sky full of stars at night.

5. How did you become involved with the Community Foundation?

I became aware of the Community Foundation as Co-Chair of the Finance Committee; SS Cyril & Methodius Church when Sarah would present us with our check each year. My husband and I attended the Starke County Community Foundation annual awards dinner last year. I was so impressed with the good that the Community Foundation does in Starke County. Around the same time, Sarah had sent an email about a need for Board Members and I attended a partner lunch. I communicated to Sarah my interest in becoming a Board Member. I fully support all the good the Community Foundation does for Starke County.

6. What do you like about the Community Foundation? What role do you think it plays in the community?

I like that the Community Foundation gives a vehicle for people to leave a lasting legacy of good for the Community. The benefit to the Community brought by the Community Foundation is far and wide and covers the young, the old, and everyone in-between. Joy is brought to children at Christmas, our parks are better places to bring the family. I like the saying about sowing seeds for the future. That is what the Community Foundation does, and I love to garden and watch the seeds grow.