Benner retiring at soil, water district
Friends and co-workers of Carol Benner held a retirement open house for her Thursday to say goodbye and commemorate her 34 years of service to the Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District.
The SWCD has always been a part of her life. Her father, Richard Moore, began serving on the district’s board of supervisors in 1960.
Benner’s career began in 1977 as a summer intern. She progressed to administrative assistant and then to program administrator, replacing Mike Buhrow, who retired.
“I really never expected to stay,” Benner said. “But things felt right and I really enjoyed the job because there was always something different happening throughout the year.”
Her initial duties included surveying fields and technical work, such as plotting topographic maps for landowners undertaking drainage projects.
“I’ve had great mentors over the years who have taught me valuable lessons,” she said.
“The friendships that have blossomed give me many memories – some of them make me laugh so hard I cry – to look back on,” Benner said.
Mike Libben has been promoted to the administrator’s position and Becky Simpson will be conducting educational programs for the district.
Her immediate plans for the future only involve trying to get healthy. She was diagnosed in November with an autoimmune disorder and is undergoing treatment at the Cleveland Clinic.