Ivor clerk holds down the farm
Published 10:24 am Friday, September 26, 2014
By Merle Monahan/Contributing Writer
ZUNI—Jennifer Bumgardner, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s in business communications from West Virginia University, reveals that her real passion has always been to become a nurse.
“It was not to be, however,” she said. “I was already enrolled in nursing school when I became pregnant and could not perform my clinical duties, so I changed to the business part of nursing—quality management, building databases, things like that.”
Bumgardner said she was disappointed in not being able to finish her nursing program, but making the change was not all bad. “Working with computers is another thing I enjoy, so it worked out.”
And so it has. Her experience and expertise in this field no doubt played a large part in the decision to hire her as the new clerk for the Town of Ivor.
Bumgardner assumed her duties at the clerk’s office a little more than a year ago.
She says it’s perfect for her. “I didn’t want anything full-time at this time,” she said of her three-day-per-week employment. “I want to have time to be with my kids as long as they’re in school and this provides exactly what I wanted.”
Bumgardner and her family moved to Smithfield from West Virginia in 2005, when her husband was offered a full-time job at a radio station there. They lived in Smithfield where they stayed for seven years.
During this time Bumgardner drove to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield office in Norfolk where she worked daily.
“It was awful,” she said. “I was on the road four hours a day, five days a week, and it just grew to be too much. I had so little time with my children.”
So the mother of three quit her job in 2012 and the couple bought a small farm just outside of Zuni.
“Wonderful,” she said with a smile. “My husband and I both grew up on a farm and we love it.
“As a matter of fact, my husband actually grew up on Bob Evans’ (the packaged food we see in the grocery store) Farm and we got to meet Bob’s brother, Dan.
“But back to our farm. We love animals, as do our children,” she continued, “so we’ve accumulated quite a few.
“So many and so varied that my mom calls it the ‘funny farm,’” she added with a grin.
She admits that the Bumgardner farm can get pretty hectic at times, but she says, “We make it work.”
As for her work, Bumgardner is responsible for all business that transpires in the Ivor Clerk’s Office. She is the secretary, treasurer and office manager, a big job, but workable, she says.
She also knows everyone in the little town of just over 400 by their first name, which is “a big plus.”
“But that’s small town living,” she replied with a broad smile. “I’ve worked in the city and there is a big difference between the two. I’ll have to say, a small town is hard to beat.”
NAME: Jennifer Bumgardner
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS AREA: My husband was offered a full-time job at a radio station in Smithfield, so we took advantage of the opportunity.
HOMETOWN: Ripley, West Va.
OCCUPATION: Clerk for the Town of Ivor.
MARITAL STATUS: Married to T. R. Bumgardner for 12 years.
CHILDREN, SCHOOLS AND AGES: We have a son, Morgan Hall, 17, who attends Southampton High, a daughter, Madison, 8, and a son Mason, 4, both of whom attend Nottoway Elementary.
FAVORITE NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN: Dinner and a concert with my husband.
FAVORITE FOOD AND BEVERAGE: Steak and a Diet Mountain Dew.
FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Checkers.
WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU: I like to drag race, and my husband and I used to race a lot before the kids were born.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOURSELF: I love people and I have not found anyone that I could not get along with.
PETS: We have two dogs, a Collie named Maggie and a Chorkie named Cooley. We have four cats, rabbits, goats and every kind of poultry you can imagine, from chickens to peacocks. Actually we live on a small farm near Zuni and my mom often calls it the Funny Farm.
WHAT IS YOUR WORST HABIT: I am so honest and outspoken that it often gets me into trouble.
FAVORITE HOBBY: Reading.
PET PEEVE: Dishonesty.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED: As a good wife and mother.
IF YOU HAD 10 MINUTES ON NATIONAL TELEVISION, WHAT WOULD YOUR TOPIC BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU SAY: I would talk about the family unit and how it is breaking down. So often parents do not take an interest in their children’s lives, especially school work. How can we produce good honest citizens if we neglect the responsibility teaching and nurturing our children? Do things together, encourage their desires and love them.