Tag Archives: Kentuckiana

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Letter From The Editor | October/November 2019

When the Extol Magazine Team opted to make this edition our third annual Business Issue, we spent hours in a meeting debating what that means today.

For some of us, the word “business” conjured up images of professionals in classic attire working for corporations and companies in cubicles and windowless offices still utilizing faxes and copy machines and refraining from responding to people outside of the 8-5 working hours. That model still exists and can be beneficial. But, all of us agreed while the old stereotype of what constitutes a business and a business professional remains true in some aspects and should be acknowledged, it’s time to also extol those who are working in ways that usher in the changing times ahead.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (sba.gov), the overwhelming majority of businesses are defined as small with a range from 1 to 499 people. Here, in our Southern Indiana community, we see the value of said “small” shops, firms, restaurants and entities as well as the importance of frequenting their businesses. We also appreciate the connectedness such businesses offer that big box chains can’t or simply don’t.

For example, my husband and I recently purchased bunk beds for our soon-to-be 4-year-old daughter from Schmitt’s Furniture. In addition to receiving a follow-up phone call about delivery, we also enjoyed — and I mean that — a post office mailed letter signed by owner Louie Schmitt thanking us for our purchase.

A week before writing this, I shopped at Ben Franklin Crafts in New Albany for frames and fall decorations and was greeted by employees who also aided me on my search and welcomed me to return instead of treating me as an annoyance.

At Cricket’s Cafe in Sellersburg, where the Extol Team recently met, the cashier took the time to explain the day’s special and help us find a quiet corner. We were so grateful for the kindness.

Before heading home, I stopped at Preferred Meats, where the helpful staff assisted me in selecting the best meats — and more — for an upcoming family gathering. At other big box locales, this wouldn’t and hasn’t happened.

I could go on and on exalting – extolling – the excellence of small businesses located in our midst. Instead, I’ll let this issue speak for itself as we celebrate businesses, especially those connecting with and in our community in this issue.

As always, thank you for taking the time to pick up Extol. This small business – our magazine – is heading into its fifth year of existence, and we couldn’t do that without you and your support.


Angie Fenton

Editor in Chief


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Southern Indiana is a caring and giving community that offers wonderful opportunities to those of us who call it home. Les Albro and his wife, Virginia, learned that when they moved here with their family in 1959 so that Les could start a new job at local car dealership Rambler City.

With his accounting background, Les was going to help on the business side of the dealership while Walt Bales would handle the sales side of things. By 1979 Les had become president of what was now Bales Auto Mall and he and Virginia were doing their part to give back to a community that had already given so much to them.

“This community has always been very good to our family,” Les said. “We always felt that because of how Southern Indiana embraced us it was our responsibility to give back and support the causes that were making a difference.”

Les and Virginia were actively involved at Oak Park Baptist Church, the Red Cross, Jeffersonville Rotary Club and a number of other organizations. As time moved on, and after Virginia’s passing in 2014, Les wanted to find a way to pass down the value of giving back to his grandchildren and established the Les and Virginia Albro Family Fund at the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana.

“I wanted to see my grandkids learn about giving back and I wanted to be a part of it,” he said. Today, the Albro family has an annual meeting – usually around the holidays – when the family sits down to talk about being philanthropic and the important role giving back plays in this community. Each grandchild puts together a presentation about a particular cause or nonprofit they’re passionate about and by the end of the day the family decides what to support with grants from their fund.

Les said, “the Community Foundation is helping my family give back in meaningful and impactful ways. But most importantly, we’re doing it together, as a family – learning about what each of us is passionate about and having fun giving back.”

At CFSI, we help individuals, families, and businesses give back in meaningful and impactful ways. Last year, CFSI fundholders granted more than $5 million to the many varied and individual causes that are important to them.

If you’d like to learn how you can start your own family fund, or a fund to support your favorite causes, please call the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana. Because of a matching grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. you can add to or create a new endowment fund for your favorite charitable causes and receive a $1 match for every $2 contributed.

Or, if you want to help the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana give back to our community through our community grant program, you can give to the Foundation’s unrestricted Community Impact Fund. For every $1 donated to the Community Impact Fund, Lilly Endowment Inc. will donate $2 – a two for one match – TRIPLING your charitable investment.

Have questions on how to take advantage of the match, start an endowment fund, or support the Community Impact Fund? Visit CFSouthernIndiana.com, or call 812-948-4662.

4108 Charlestown Road

New Albany | 812.948.4662


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Voice & Vino at the Casino Returns

Event benefiting LifeSpan Resources features local singers who take to the stage


The Oct. 29 event, which benefits LifeSpan Resources – a non profit agency serving the elderly and those with disabilities in the southern Indiana area – will be held at Horseshoe Southern Indiana and features local singers who are vying for the coveted trophy prize by working to raise the most money for the charity.

“We are so excited about this year’s event,” said Lora Clark, Executive Director of LifeSpan Resources. “We have four local ‘celebrity’ judges in Mark Maxwell from Maxwell’s House of Music and The Crashers; Jerry Finn of the Horseshoe Foundation; Leslie Lewis-Sheets of LL&A InteriorDesigns; and Angie Fenton, editor-in-chief of Extol Magazine and host of WHAS11’s Great Day Live.”

And yes, Clark added, the red swivel chairs will be back, just like on the TV show, “The Voice.”

The evening’s highlights will feature musical performances presented by eight local performers. They include family physician Dr. Mike Bittenbender; licensed pilot and UPS Aircraft maintenance instructor Wayne Fulton; professional hair stylist Kimberly Glyn; The Juice Box Heroes’ rocker Sydney Magers; Business Development Executive at MCM Doug Helm; Executive Director of Scottsburg’s Planning and Zoning April Ramoni; Kimberly Roby of Rodefer Moss & Co.; and Real Estate/Broker at Schuler Bauer, Dayna Ashley.

The event will also include a wine pull, raffle, silent auction and a delicious, plated dinner, in addition to the entertaining singing competition. It promises to be an evening focused on having fun and fundraising and not a competition, other than who can raise the most money.

To purchase tickets of support your singer of choice by making a donation, visit Bidpal.net/voiceandvino. To learn more about LifeSpan Resources, go to lsr14.org.Extol_29_Final images_Page_015_Image_0009

Voice & Vino

Benefiting LifeSpan Resources

Oct. 29

Horseshoe Southern Indiana

Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; dinner at 6:15 p.m.; performances begin at 7 p.m.




Local charcuterie board company brings flavor to the table.

IT’S A TREND that’s been sweeping both coasts and taking Instagram by storm: stunning charcuterie boards filled with premium cuts of meat like prosciutto and capocollo, hand rolled and surrounded by blueberry goat cheese, brie, hummus, multi-grain crackers, fresh grapes and chocolate-covered strawberries.

Thanks to Board & You, these mouth-watering plates are now available right here in Kentuckiana.

What started as a friendly “charcuterie off” competition between founder Sean Lara and a co-worker – who both claimed to make the best charcuterie boards for their families – turned into a fully blown business concept.

And the competition?

No two boards are alike, and each is a sensory smorgasbord designed to please both the eyes and taste buds.

“Both Sean and I are extremely competitive, so we did our research and Sean’s from San Diego and he’s very familiar with charcuterie because it’s very popular on the West Coast, the Northeast (and) some areas in Texas,” Flanagan says. “We put together this awesome board, and it looked so, so good for Easter and brought it to my mom’s side of the family. Both of my parents are one of five, so any event is no small occasion whatsoever.”bnu

Everyone crowded around what Lara describes as “a huge spread” – and Flanagan’s grandmother gets a shout out for telling the pair to put the charcuterie board on social media.

“It became the centerpiece of the party,” Lara says. “Everyone was so amazed by it, and Zack kind of looked at me and said ‘I think we have something. I think this definitely is something we can make something out of.’”

A9R3322w3_i0fc0m_39lcWith some quick research, they created Board & You as a fully formed business model. At first, Flanagan and Lara found their customers on Instagram and Facebook. They took orders for custom charcuterie boards filled with cornichons, nuts, rare meats and cheeses, fruit, candies, crackers, cookies and other delectable treats they could source locally or from vendors.

“One thing that we found during our research is yeah, there’s a lot of variety out there, but some lacked presentation and color.


Lara and Flanagan built a web site and now create small boards for anywhere from two people up to entire tables full of creatively-designed catering goods for businesses and large gatherings.

The duo are graduates of the University of Louisville, where Lara served as cheerleader for five years and studied exercise physiology and Flanagan chose marketing as his course of study. They met almost three years ago and hit it off immediately.bnu2

“I would say the most popular cheeses that we have are our Merlot BellaVitano, our blueberry goat cheese, and the Saint-André triple cream Brie, which pairs amazingly with everything, either savory or sweet,” Lara says. “I’d definitely say those are the top three favorites.

A9R1dmht48_i0fc0w_39lcProducts are now sourced from large meat and cheese distributors, with some serving as staples and others as limited-time offerings.

“When you think of charcuterie, it’s a big, gorgeous platter of food,” Flanagan says. “One thing that we found during our research is yeah, there’s a lot of variety out there, but some lacked presentation and color. I think Sean kind of found his way with incorporating so many different colors into these boards just to make them really, really eye-popping and inviting to the guests that are grazing on them. I think that’s what helped set us apart in the beginning.”

They’re hoping to hire another staff member around February. “We’ve even had people ask if we can do something on Christmas Day, and we’re definitely not opposed to it. It’s just crazy to think that we’ve created something that’s so desirable.”






The Business Issue Q and A

Extol_29_Final images_Page_029_Image_0002ANDREW PRESTON

Preston Arts Center

222 6th St.


3048 Bardstown Road




What motivates you? While there is no single motivation, the greatest I have is sharing. I see sharing as a great spark for contact with others, for the exchange of ideas, for showing that we care for each other and want what’s best. Art (whatever that means to you) is a remarkable field with many benefits, personal, emotional, mental, social, etc. To share something so good, productive, and thoughtful with others brings something positive and hopeful to the table.

What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? The biggest professional risk I’ve taken is opening the Jeffersonville Preston Arts Center. It’s no secret that owning a small business has always been difficult, but doing it in a century when consumers have a world of choices and a portal to those choices in their pocket, it presents a whole list of challenges to meet and overcome. When we visited what would become known as NoCo Arts and Cultural District in Jeffersonville in Aug of 2018, we saw an opportunity in its early stages and knew that nothing ventured means nothing gained. The support and kindness of the people of Jeffersonville has been exceptionally encouraging, and we can’t wait to see more and more folks stopping in, taking classes and participating in our events.

What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? The most rewarding part of what I do for a living is seeing someone I’ve assisted in the store take a project somewhere they couldn’t have before due to limits in understanding of materials and technique, or even a lack of belief in themselves. Bonus points for when one of our staff takes the initiative and helps the customer achieve this on their own. This pertains to both our classrooms and our salesfloor, which is essentially a big open classroom space depending on how you think about it.

Extol_29_Final images_Page_029_Image_0001DEREK INGERSOLL

Pacers and Racers

3602 Northgate Court

New Albany



What motivates you? Having a store environment that both the customers and employees enjoy being at. Over the years, so many retailers have abandoned the charm and service in favor of being profit driven. As a small business, it’s been great to be able to focus on our community and stay true to what has made us successful – which is service. It’s not hard to be kind to people and treat everyone like family.

What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? I fell into my role here at Pacers and Racers, so I am fortunate to not have much risk now, but I have done a wide variety of things over the years. I was a working musician for a good while, so all of that was risky in a sense there was such a large part of your career that was out of your hands, no matter how much effort you put into it. I feel I have been pretty lucky in the risk department.

What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? It would have to be helping others. Everyone is unique, so you not only get to meet all types of great people, but you get to help their feet out while doing it. Finding the right pair of shoes requires us to ask questions about what they do in those shoes. Not a week goes by that I am not amazed by the life of one of our customers. Everyone is on their own journey, and I am so thankful that folks wear our shoes for that journey.

Extol_29_Final images_Page_040_Image_0001BENJAMIN BYRN

DADA Boutique

219 Pearl St.

New Albany



What motivates you? I get incredibly motivated when given the opportunity to guide, mentor and develop the talents of others. I really enjoy training our new hires, helping them discover their passions and talents, and creating and environment for them to further cultivate that passion and skill set.

What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? Choosing to open a brick and mortar store versus staying online and selling through pop-up shops was the definitely the largest professional and financial risk I’ve ever taken.

What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? One of my favorite things is meeting with a client for the first time whose confidence has deflated due to weight gain, aging or other body changes, and watching that confidence be completely restored through the guidance of one of our stylists or myself. Positively impacting others is difficult when you don’t feel great about yourself. Knowing that we are causing a positive ripple effect by helping others feel great about themselves is very rewarding.

Extol_29_Final images_Page_041_Image_0003MORGAN COOMER

Sweets By Morgan

533 Spring St.




What motivates you? Being able to make something different and meeting new people are what motivate me each day. I love being able to create new desserts and design different cakes for customers. I would get bored if I did the same thing day after day, and I’m lucky to be able to have freedom to create.

What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? My biggest professional risk I have taken is to open a brick and mortar store. We will be celebrating five years at our location in October, so I’m thankful the risk has worked out thus far.

What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? I think the most rewarding thing about what I do for a living is being able to make beautiful and tasty sweets for customers events and parties. It’s so awesome getting to do what you love every day. We have the best customers ever, and I’m so thankful for all of them.

Extol_29_Final images_Page_042_Image_0001ROSS WALLACE

HIM Gentlemen’s Boutique

40314 Pearl St.

New Albany

2352 Frankfort Ave.




What motivates you? One of my biggest motivators is my passion for helping people feel great. At Him, I have created my dream shopping experience for guys that gives them confidence in their own style.

What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? My biggest professional risk was leaving my corporate job and putting everything I had into starting Him Gentleman’s Boutique.

What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? The most rewarding thing is all the support I have received from the community. It’s led me to build so many relationships with incredible people.

Extol_29_Final images_Page_043_Image_0001LAURA APPLEGATE


234 Pearl St.

New Albany

562 South 4th St.




What motivates you? I love when I hear the words, “This is the coolest shop.” This is verification that we must be doing something right. It is my biggest motivation to keep doing what we are doing.

What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? The biggest risk I have taken professionally was quitting my job in the corporate world and start working the store full time.

What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that we created a very successful, fun, quirky business that people love.

Extol_29_Final images_Page_054_Image_0001SARAH CHARMOLI

Effiji Breath

138 E. Spring St.



What motivates you? I have vision. I can see a way to affect people’s lives in the most powerful, potent and positive ways. I can see that the thing I’m doing has the potential to change the world; for people to heal themselves and be free. I can’t stop because the fire inside of me burns too hot.

What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? I can’t say it’s something that would be easy to see. But I think standing up for what I believe and holding tight to my point of view, even when I can feel the criticism, the judgment and the projection. It’s happening all the time. There’s a constant test to take. But there’s always someone knocking on my door saying I can’t do what I believe in – and I just keep going.

What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? When people’s lives change for the better. And when they change in ways that I couldn’t have predicted. It feels like a miracle. Every single time.

Extol_29_Final images_Page_055_Image_0001AMANDA MULVENE

Dress & Dwell

138 E. Spring St.

New Albany



What motivates you? The hunt. I am always on the hunt for the latest and greatest. I love searching for what’s on trend at our Dress & Dwell fast fashion price point. I’m always on the hunt! From market to travel. I absolutely love market as well as sourcing and finding new brands when I travel. I am very interested in traveling and what else is going on in the fashion world that isn’t what I am most familiar with. I’m currently in France scouting boutiques and finding new brands as well as antique buying with my husband for his business and buying displays for Dress & Dwell.

What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? If you’re an entrepreneur you are definitely more of a risk taker because as a small business owner, you aren’t guaranteed anything. I’ve taken my fair share of risk over the eight years we’ve been in business, but I believe in steady growth that’s good for both Dress & Dwell and my family. Steady growth has helped us build a strong brand, which has its own difficulties. As you grow, you are challenged to learn new things that maybe isn’t your what you are accustomed to and familiar with and that within itself can be risky.

What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? It’s a two part answer: It’s wonderful to help women feel great through fashion and enjoy an experience that makes them feel joy. I also love mentoring my team, seeing them grow and the relationships that cultivate through our business.

Extol_29_Final images_Page_058_Image_0001BRENT BRAUN

J&B Magic Shop

129 East Spring St.

New Albany



What motivates you? At the end of the day, it’s just people: I’s about making people smile and making people have a better day. I was going through a divorce, unhappy and didn’t know what I was gonna do. I walked into a magic shop, and it changed my life. I walked out a happy man. I didn’t think about the divorce and losing friends and losing everything. For three or four days, all I thought about is “How the hell did that thing happen?” and I just want to give that moment to people.

What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? Six years ago, I quit my big job, a sales job, to start the Magic Firm, which is a magic business consulting company. I dropped everything. I looked at my wife, Stephanie, and said I’m just not happy doing what I’m doing, I need to be doing something else, I need to be making art. We downsized the house, sold everything, eliminated all of our overhead and started living the dream so I could do what I loved to do. And then three months ago, we got a brick and mortar magic shop in New Albany where we are doing shows and theatre.

What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? The most rewarding thing I do is sharing moments with people. We actually had a customer come in this week, saw a magic trick, left, came back three minutes later crying, “I don’t understand what just happened. Thank you for that.” Part of having the magic shop is passing the torch forward. I get to see people my age bring their kids in and tell me the story of how they went into the magic shop in Jeffersonville 20 years ago. And hopefully these kids that come into my magic shop will remember the magic and that moment.

Extol_29_Final images_Page_058_Image_0002MICHELLE WELLS

Mariposa Consignments

222 Pearl St #102

New Albany



What motivates you? One of my favorite quotes is “Owning a business is like riding a lion. People think, “Wow, that’s really brave!” In the meantime you’re like, “How the hell did I get a lion, and how do I keep it from eating me!?” I get so wrapped up in the day to day stuff sometimes I forget to stop and be present in the moment.

What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? The biggest risk would be owning Mariposa Consignments. That was nearly eight years ago. There were many freak out moments in the middle of the night – still do sometimes. Downtown was just beginning, and the bridge had closed. It was sink or swim. I ate and breathed Mariposa. No one cares more about your business than YOU. Owning a business is a love/hate relationship.

What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? The most rewarding things are those moments when customers come in and tell us we made a difference. Sometimes, it’s us (Mariposa staff) and sometimes it’s our space. We help them find that special treat and become a part of their day. What has surprised me are the moments when a client says,”You know, when I was here last week, it was one of the worst days of my life. I came in here and you made me feel better.” I never expect that, and it humbles me every time. Our customers have become like family. We have been through births, deaths, proms, weddings, special occasions, health diagnoses, promotions and life changes.

Extol_29_Final images_Page_059_Image_0001TINA COOPER

RiverCity Workwear

4020 Earnings Way

New Albany



What motivates you? Enjoying my job motivates me. Having good workers around me doing their job motivates me.

What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? Biggest risk was opening my own business. Most rewarding is opening my own business. There were and always will be struggles, but overall, I would have rather have taken the risk of opening my own business than looking back years later and wondering if I could have done it. I live with the risk of failure everyday, but it just keeps me moving forward and trying new ideas and taking more risk.

What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? The most rewarding thing to me is the accomplishment of taking nothing and building a financially successful business from the ground up.

Extol_29_Final images_Page_060_Image_0001NICOLE LENFERT SHARP

Balance Holistic Salon

1419 E Spring St.

New Albany



What motivates you? My motivation and inspiration stems from my creativity. I love being an artist. The beauty industry has allowed me to express my artistic side for 16 years now. As a business owner, I can finally put all of my ideas to life. Balance Holistic Salon is my work of art.

What is the biggest professional risk you have taken? The biggest risk I took was opening up my space in two weeks time – but I did it! Passing state board, ordering supplies, filing LLC, and promoting my new business with a logo, brand, etc. I probably didn’t need to go so big so fast, but that’s how I roll. I get an idea, and so it shall be done!

What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? The most rewarding thing to me about being a hair designer is the experience we give our clients from the minute they walk into the door. They can finally relax. From the scalp massage to their finished look, we are making people feel good about themselves.


Banking On Success

A new day at The New Washington State Bank with CEO Jessica Carroll at the helm

By Laura Ross
Photos by Zach Schansberg


A9Rea17ji_i0fc0b_39lc“I’m everywhere these days,” laughed the CEO of New Washington State Bank. At the young age of 41, the dynamic executive is on a fast track to success and service in Southern Indiana.

Banking is in the Indiana native’s blood. Carroll, who grew up in New Washington, graduated from Hanover College with a degree in business administration and set her sights on an accounting career. As a college student, she took a job with New Washington State Bank in 1998 and found her home.

New Washington Sate Bank was founded in 1908 to serve surrounding farm communities. Over the years, branches were added in Henryville, Charlestown, Borden, Jeffersonville, Sellersburg, Scottsburg and River Ridge. A new branch in New Albany will open soon.

“I worked in the bookkeeping department while I was in school, and once I graduated, I worked as an assistant to the controller,” she said. “I number crunched until 2007 and then became a risk officer and moved into lending.”

Fateful timing put her entrance to lending right at the economic downturn, but that didn’t deter Carroll. “It was an enormous education,” she said, “I learned how a bank worked from the inside out and learned how to work with customers.”

As she rose through the ranks, bank officials took notice and encouraged her growth, with an eye toward guiding Carroll into the bank’s succession planning.

“When I moved to the risk officer position, and later, as COO, I got to work with real estate sales, appraisals and helped develop policy and lending compliance,” she explained. “I was in the right spot at the right time to get the right experience. I had a great mentor in our past president, Pat Glotzbach, who took me under his wing and taught me.”

When Glotzbach left the bank in 2017, his position was split into two jobs with Pat Daily assuming the president role and Carroll taking on the CEO position in June 2018. She was named president and CEO of New Washington State Bank’s holding company in 2019.A9Rfznxng_i0fc0d_39lc

Becoming a young, female CEO of a community bank in a traditionally male-dominated industry is not lost on Carroll. But, it’s also not something she dwells upon.

“It’s surreal and humbling,” Carroll explained. “I never really thought of myself as different, as a woman. Our bank has a female chairperson and directors, and I’ve worked with talented women in banking my entire career. Everyone has always been supportive.”

Carroll added: “I like to prove any doubters wrong. I’m not naive, and I know it’s a very male-dominated industry, but I also know the tide has turned and there are so many women in leadership positions, both in banking and the Southern Indiana business community. Last year, a customer told me I had inspired his daughter to accomplish things and it hit me then: I’m proud of what I do, but I also just come to work every day. I’m not the bank. The bank is our 95 employees working hard every day in our community, giving back and getting to know our neighbors in Southern Indiana.”

Carroll and her team focus on strategic thinking and have future growth plans for the independent, locally-owned bank. “We work with our neighbors, our friends and our community,” she said. “All decisions are made here, and we excel in serving small businesses, providing mortgages, and construction lending. We know it’s important to be good citizens of our community.”

“We want to help people grow and follow their dreams,” Carroll explained. “That’s the true value of a community bank.”

One of New Washington State Bank’s newest branches landed in the River Ridge area in 2015, and the bank plans to open another branch in New Albany in mid-October. “River Ridge is such a growing and dynamic area for business, and has just blossomed our community,” she said. “It’s unbelievable and exciting how many good paying jobs there are at River Ridge. There was a need for a bank there, and we knew we had a large customer base passing through the Highway 62 corridor every day. We are happy to service the many River Ridge area employees with a community bank focus.”

As the bank spreads its footprint across Southern Indiana, Carroll and her team focus on giving back. “I serve on the Greater Clark Education Foundation, Clark County Extension Board, Southern Indiana Partnership Council for the Center for Women and Families and more,” she said. “We also work with the Indiana Banking Association Future Leadership Advisory Board. As a bank, we give a lot of money to our schools, our fire departments, our churches and booster clubs. We are a part of these communities and are proud to support them.”

Strong community involvement has always been an important part of the bank’s mission and vision. “We want to help people grow and follow their dreams,” Carroll explained. “That’s the true value of a community bank.”A9Rvky8m0_i0fc0g_39lc

But banking is not Carroll’s all-consuming passion. She also is married to her high school sweetheart, Aaron, and has a 12-year-old daughter, Gracen, who is active in drama, band and chorus.

I like to paint and craft, and I like to bake for stress release. If my husband comes home and I’ve baked a pie, he knows I’ve had a bad day.

“We run a cattle and grain farm in northern Clark County outside of New Washington, (Indiana),” said Carroll, noting her husband also works as an agronomist and sells seed and fertilizer. “We are a super busy family, but we love that.”

Running a bank, being a wife and mom and active community volunteer and mentor doesn’t leave much time for personal relaxation. “What’s that?” laughed Carroll. “I enjoy being on the farm and being outdoors. The farm is my center. I’m really an introvert and to get out and do some of the things that are required for a bank CEO is tough, but I’ve learned to balance. You can’t let mom guilt get to you. I love my time at the bank, and I love being at home with my family. I know my limits and what makes me tick. I like to paint and craft, and I like to bake for stress release. If my husband comes home and I’ve baked a pie, he knows I’ve had a bad day. A good day is any time with my daughter – home is my happy place.”A9R17y24xs_i0fc0i_39lc

For Carroll it’s about having the best of both worlds. “As a bank, we’re small, but mighty. One of my goals is to be in top 10 percent of community banks in Indiana,” she said.

At the end of the day, though, it always comes back to community. “My work is so fulfilling, but I know my job as both CEO and mom is so important,” Carroll said. “My daughter is proud when she’s at an event with me or sees my picture in the paper. I have raised her to know that she can be a CEO, too. There’s no limit to what she can do in the future, and that excites me.”

And, you can take that to the bank.

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Life in the Slow Lane

Schmitt Furniture celebrates longevity and overcoming industry changes


Mention the name “Schmitt Furniture” and many folks in Kentuckiana will follow with a quick “on the furniture corner of State and Main in New Albany!” It’s one of the best-known taglines in the region following decades of commercials. The family-owned business – now under third-and fourth-generation management – remains true to its origins dating back to the 1930s, while bringing in the modern flair desired by today’s savvy shoppers.

Extol_29_Final images_Page_051_Image_0001Fourth-generation partner Zack Schmitt and his father and company president Louis Schimitt, along with aunt Anne Schmitt, who serves as treasurer, are on hand daily at the massive New Albany store.

Schmitt Furniture’s story hails back to 1936, when founder Charles H. Schmitt and A.M. Heleringer opened two locations in downtown New Albany. It was second-generation Charles Jr. who grew the business exponentially. “The second generation in successful family businesses tend to work out in the same way: the second generation generally grows the business, and that was the case here,” says Zack, who serves  as the company’s current vice president.

Extol_29_Final images_Page_052_Image_0001Eventually, Schmitt Furniture expanded into neighboring buildings as they vacated, “and that’s where we are today,” Zack says. “We technically have nine buildings downtown, but it’s seven separate facades that have been acquired over the years as recently as two years ago. That original building has brick on the inside, original hardwood floors (and) tin ceilings.”A9R46yyp9_i0fc05_39lc

Zack handles the buying (his most enjoyable responsibility). They also have a designer on staff and often work with interior designers in the region to furnish whole homes. Today’s open floor plans require furniture to flow seamlessly from one room to the next. “Function has become a top priority for the furniture industry for about 10 years now,” Zack says, but function shouldn’t override quality. “We are definitely products of my great grandpa, of my great uncle and my grandpa – we haven’t changed the old-fashioned traditional ways of doing business,” Zack says. “I believe that’s one of the reasons we are still able to be successful in this difficult retail space.”A9Ryisn3b_i0fc01_39lc

“Where a lot of manufacturers, vendors or dealers like us have tried to find ways to cut corners and cut costs, we have not done so when it comes to customer service, from the beginning, working with salespeople to delivery,” he says, “and then to servicing the product after delivery. That’s a huge profit center for most retail businesses – charging to service the product after it’s sold. It’s not free (at Schimitt Furniture), but we don’t profit from it. Our time and labor is always free and that’s what keeps generations of customers coming back to us.”

“We’re definitely here after 83 years of business because of our dedicated employees and loyal customer base.”


It’s a fine line, keeping the buildings as original possible while using modern architectural techniques that will bring the business into a new era. In the near future, residents will see the facades undergo extensive renovations outside to preserve the historical features of downtown New Albany as well as structural changes inside. It’s part of a three-and-a-half year project to complete.

New Albany itself is an important part of Schmitt Furniture’s history and they’re honoring that as the buildings are overhauled.

Says Zack: “We’re definitely here after 83 years of business because of our dedicated employees and loyal customer base.”

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A Touch of Class

Arnold Painting Celebrates 60 Years in Business


The history of Arnold Painting involves six decades and four generations – but for a moment, owner Micah Arnold only wanted to herald his current team: “It’s really about these guys who are working with us day in and day out. They’re the reason we’re able to do what we do.”

Before that, however, in 1937, Micah’s great grandfather, Garnett Arnold saw an opportunity to start a business after the massive Ohio River flood that wreaked havoc, took hundreds of lives and left property owners in search of aid to rebuild. Thus, Garnett & Son was born.

“They basically did wood floor refinishing after the flood,” Micah explained.

In 1959, however, Garnett’s son, Raymond – Micah’s grandfather – saw the need had shifted to residential painting – and repainting – so he launched Raymond L. Arnold Painting Company.

But when Raymond’s son, Michael, returned from serving in Vietnam in 1974, he joined the family business, and the name was changed to Raymond L. Arnold and Son’s Painting Company.

In 2001, Micah, Michael’s son, took over the company, turned it into a LLC and renamed it Arnold Painting, which is has continued to be known.

Now located in Sellersburg, Arnold Painting is known for providing commercial and residential painting solutions, custom epoxy floors and pressure washing services. Clients have included Byerly Ford, Koetter Construction, Strohbeck Construction, arc and countless others.

“We strive to provide quality work,” Micah said. “I was raised to take pride in my work and how satisfied the customer is. It’s not just moving on from one project to the next.”

For employees of Arnold Painting, it’s not just working for yet another employer, either.

“The team I have working for me, most of my employees have been with me a lot of years. I try to take care of them,” Micah said. “I like to create a family atmosphere with my employees. They know they can come to me. I don’t see them as employees – I see them as family.”

Clients can feel the same, Micah assured. “At the end of the day, our clients can expect a quality job. We care about what we’re doing for them and are, always, trustworthy.”

The most rewarding aspect is “seeing completed projects – what they started out as versus what they are when we finish,” Micah enthused. “There are certain jobs that it’s so cool to see after we get done.”

So what comes next for Arnold Painting after this milestone anniversary? “I don’t know exactly,” Micah admitted, “But I have plans. The company will stay alive and thrive. I’m very proud. It’s not an easy industry. We all have gone through some tough times … but Arnold Painting powered through it, and now we’re bigger than ever and proud of our success.”

Arnold Painting

7234 Novas Landing





Blue suit available at Dillard’s; blouse and metallic shoes available at Stella’s Resale.

Business 101 – Fashion Up and Forward

From casual to kempt – and everything in between – here’s what’s hot this autumn.

Photography by Clay Cook

Styling: Miranda McDonald

Model: Alex Duke

Hair and Makeup: Anastasia Gerdes

Assistant: Emily Frye, Sean Reagan

Jumpsuit available at Dillard’s; Express blouse from stylist’s personal collection.

Jumpsuit available at Dillard’s; Express blouse from stylist’s personal collection.

Blue suit available at Dillard’s; blouse and metallic shoes available at Stella’s Resale.

Blue suit available at Dillard’s; blouse and metallic shoes available at Stella’s Resale.

Coat, t-shirt and jeans all available at Dillard’s.

Coat, t-shirt and jeans all available at Dillard’s.

Yellow lace dress available at Dillard’s

Yellow lace dress available at Dillard’s

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Sept. 25 • German American Bank in Sellersburg

Photos by Jason Applegate

German American Bank hosted its annual Oktoberfest celebration Sept. 25 at the company’s Sellersburg location. Guests enjoyed German food and craft beer, received a complimentary glass stein and were entered to win a German-themed weekend trip to Jasper, Indiana.