Reynolds named ABWA Business Woman of Year
By Larry Ferguson
Award-winning journalist, community leader and activist, consultant, criminology and law enforcement specialist, planning board member, fire commissioner, school advisory council member, student, caregiver...
Carmen Reynolds pursuits and accomplishments seem as varied as they are remarkable.
She recently added another distinguished award to her list of achievements the Business Woman of the Year for 2003 for the Navarre Charter Chapter of the American Business Womens Association.
She came close to receiving the award presented by the ABWA for activities and involvement in outside activities twice before when she received honorable mention in 2000 and was runner-up in 2001.
During her four-year association with ABWA, she has served as the groups vice-president for a year and as program chairman for two years.
Im so very shocked and honored by this award, Reynolds said. Being part of the American Business Womens Association has been uplifting. There is such a diversity of backgrounds and expertise among the women.
To those who know and work with her, the recognition from the ABWA comes as no surprise. Reynolds, a retired lieutenant colonel with the U.S. Air Force, is known for her seemingly endless energy and commitment.
During her 22-year military career, she served in a variety of executive positions, including deputy chief of the Academic Instruction Division at the Battlestaff Training School (now Command and Control Warrior School) at Hurlburt Field.
Other Air Force positions through the years have included deputy director of administration for the U.S. Air Force Academy, chief of ATCALS/Weather Maintenance Division, chief of PACAF Small Computer Technical Center, computer systems officer for the Joint War Fighting Center, and Security Police shift commander and executive officer. She was one of the first seven female Security Police shift commanders in the Air Force.
Reynolds retirement from active duty in May 1998 signaled the beginning of a vigorous community service career. As a team member of the local planning and zoning board of Santa Rosa County, she headed a subcommittee on commercial fire protection.
She was elected as fire commissioner for the Holley-Navarre Fire Protection District; served as co-chairman of the Navarre Chamber of Commerce transportation committee; co-chaired the inaugural Navarre Cancer Relay for Life; and served as secretary for the Holley-Navarre Middle School Parent-Teacher-Student Organization and on the School Advisory Council.
Currently, Reynolds is editor-in-chief of the Voyager, the student newspaper of the University of West Florida where she is pursuing a degree in print journalism. She already holds a masters degree in business personnel management from Central Michigan University and a bachelor of science degree in criminology and law enforcement from Metropolitan State College in Denver.
Her newspaper articles covering news, features, health and community-related issues appear on a regular basis in the Navarre Press and in other area publications. Her work on the Voyager recently earned her top honors in the feature writing category of the Southeast Journalism Conference.
But of all her pursuits and vocations, Reynolds says she is most proud of her role as caregiver for her father, who is suffering from a terminal brain disease. In this capacity, she often turns to her friends and acquaintances in the American Business Womens Association for support.
Life is tough sometimes, and the ladies are there to lend an ear or a kind word, she said.
Support like that is incalculable and irreplaceable.