This week's guest blogger is Brandy Myers, recent transplant to Atchison County and employee at Midwest Data. If you are a native, I hope this makes you proud of how we can be to newcomers to our fantastic county! Either way - I know you'll enjoy Brandy's story and outlook on life. ~MMB
Just about a year ago Justin and I were living and working in Mexico. No, not the country! Mexico is a town of about 12,000 in Audrain County, about half an hour from Columbia, Missouri. We’d never heard of Rock Port, nor had any idea where Atchison County was.
Justin was working with a contracting company as an apprentice lineman, but really wanted to find a steady, reliable job at an electric cooperative. So, the hunt began! We looked online at jobs close to home, within the state of Missouri, and surrounding states. Both of us are very close to our families and we knew we wanted to be able to take trips home when we could, so finding something reasonably close to home was a top requirement. One day, Justin tells me that he was asked to interview in Rock Port at Atchison-Holt Electric Cooperative. I asked, “Where is Rock Port?” Thinking of Rocheport, Missouri just 20 minutes outside of Columbia, I was like, “That’s not far at all!” Justin tells me no, Brandy…Rock Port, Missouri…in the very North West corner of the state. Hmmmm….well, let’s see how this turns out! If this is where the opportunity lies, maybe this is where our life will take us.
Fast forward a few weeks and Justin has been offered a position at Atchison-Holt. Now, for everything else… I owned a house in Mexico, had a job that I had been at for several years and loved…not to mention breaking the news to family and countless friends…all while planning our wedding! I found a renter for my house, shared the news with work, who didn’t want to see me go, but wished us well on the adventure! Our family understood that we wanted to start our married life off and running in a new town, the chance to strike out on our own and blaze a path together. But, I needed to find a job! By trade I am a graphic designer, but have retail management experience, and customer service skills coming out of my ears. How do I find a job in a town of 1,200 people with my skills? A friend in Mexico, Paula, tells me that there is a phone company in Rock Port, and maybe they would have something. She makes a few phone calls, and that very weekend Justin & I happened to be coming to Rock Port to look at a house. In steps: Raymond and Connie Henagan. Raymond and his wife met Justin & I, showed us the phone company, took us on a little tour of Rock Port telling us all about the town and all the good things Rock Port had to offer, and introduced us to the Black Iron Grill and the yummy food they had! Three words come to mind, “Hook, line and sinker!”
Never have either of us been welcomed into a town like we have experienced when we were just considering moving here. Our realtor, Hardin Cox, and Lloyd & Sharley Branson who we ended up purchasing our home from, treated us like old family friends. They didn’t know us, and yet, it didn’t matter. They took us under their wing, and truly made Justin and I feel welcome. Arrangements were made for Justin to move to Rock Port so that he could begin his job. So our dads, Grandpas and other family members helped us load up the U-Haul, trucks, cars and a van…and here we came with all our things. I stayed in Mexico to finish out a few weeks on my job, and would then move to Rock Port, not knowing what my future held.
Little did I know that my meeting with Raymond would turn into interviews and a job offer. Officially, I work for Midwest Data Center, the IT and data company that serves Rock Port and companies across the country! Who would have thought that Rock Port, Missouri would have such a company right in its little town of 1,200? Boy was I shocked to find how just how much this company does for its customers and people in the Rock Port and surrounding communities! This job has been such an opportunity to expand my professional knowledge. I am now developing websites, something that I’ve had an “itch” to get into for several years. I also coordinate our outside plant technician’s schedules, so if you’ve had services installed in the last year, I’ve probably talked to you! Since I’ve started working at Midwest Data I’ve been involved with the marketing and ad development for several projects that Rock Port Telephone, Rock Port Cablevision and Midwest Data have taken on. We’ve expanded our cable television services into the towns of Hamburg, Sidney, Tabor and Malvern. We’re now the local choice for internet and cable services in Mound City. Not forgetting to mention, our current transition to HD Cable TV in the Rock Port, Watson, Tarkio and Fairfax areas. We’ve now set the date for TiVo installations to begin. All of this in ONE year’s time, even with the flood of 2011 knocking on our door. I am proud to work for a company that stays up to date with an ever-changing technology world that offers “city” quality services in our small town. I also have to say, the people both Justin and I work with, are some of the best people we’ve ever encountered.
For a small town, we sure have kept busy! Justin’s discovered that he’s quite the handy man, and has done project after project on our home. He says I am a “social butterfly”, and in order to meet more people, I also waitress at Black Iron Grill. This gives me an opportunity to visit with people stopping in Rock Port for a bite to eat, and to work with a lot of young adults that are in high schools in Rock Port and Fairfax and well as college students from local schools (not to mention keeping me on my toes). If the people I work with at BIG are any example of our future generation, I’d have to say the parents are doing a fantastic job! There is such a strong, ingrained sense of family and work ethic in this town that it is without a doubt being passed on to the next generation. I also am a Pampered Chef consultant, and have met lots of wonderful women in Rock Port and surrounding towns, that share my passion for cooking and being in the kitchen. After all, Pampered Chef was started by a mom to cook better meals faster, so that she had more time to spend with her family. With that being said, family is definitely a major part of the way things are done in Rock Port. This community pulls together for families in times of need unlike anything I’ve experienced. The way families get together for school functions and fundraisers; this town is a shining example of teamwork and a “will do” attitude, for other towns to follow.
Moving to a new town and leaving behind all family and friends is no easy task. If it wasn’t for the people in Rock Port, I don’t know where we would be today. Our neighbors, peers at work, and our new friends…have all been so wonderful to us! It is obvious to see that all the pieces of the puzzle fell together for Justin and I, and for some reason, it is our shared belief that we are supposed to be here. This town has found a place in our hearts, and we are so thankful that we’ve been given the opportunity to live in such a wonderful community. No, it may not have a Taco Bell or a Wal-Mart in its city limits but what it does have is its people. The people in this community, with their strong sense of family, commitment to hard work, and acceptance of new faces, makes Rock Port one of the best places to live in our book!