Kate Hammock is the new Administrative Assistant at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, but she’s also a great many other things. And while she spent some time living in Hannibal and Wyoming, she now calls Jacksonville home.
When Hammock came to Jacksonville in 2008, she knew she wanted to pursue her education again. So, with her love for English and Biology in mind, she began taking courses at Lincoln Land Community College, and later at MacMurray College. She immersed herself in studying subjects that truly interested her and got her excited to learn.
While there, she was able to explore the natural world with school trips to the Belize rainforest and the Smoky Mountains. She also earned seven awards for her writing abilities and was published in the Lincoln Land Review. In May of 2014, she graduated with her Bachelor’s degree.
She was able to pursue some new interests in this community, too. She narrated a Camus play at MacMurray and later starred in a PlayHouse on the Square production of An Evening with Shakespeare’s Leading Women. “I had a wonderful time and was able to meet so many wonderful and talented people during that time,” she said.
Now about a month in to her new role at the Chamber of Commerce, Hammock is learning many new things and is still able to pursue her love of writing. “I help put together the newsletter, organize meetings, put together letters, and get to meet lots of area business owners,” she explained. “Working with Ginny and Marsha has been so nice—and I’m so looking forward to learning more about this community.”
However, she knows there will be challenges, too. “I’ve got to learn so many names!” she said, laughing. While she learns names, faces, and the many specialties of Chamber member businesses, she’ll get a close look at all that Jacksonville has to offer. And with all of her new duties, every day has been full of activity that keeps her on her toes.
Jacksonville is a place she’s proud to call home. “I love that we have the local colleges here—I was an older student pursuing college education, so being immersed with the younger students was a great experience,” she said. “And my son and grandson live here, which is important to me,” she said.
Even though her secondary education didn’t begin until later in life, Hammock encourages others to take that same leap of faith and to challenge themselves to try something new. “Taking that chance can be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have,” she said. And for her, it certainly has. It’s lead her to a new town and into a new job—both of which are a perfect fit for her.
The next time you visit the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, say hello to Kate. She’ll be busy making sure the day-to-day operations there run smoothly and would love the chance to learn your name and face, too.