By Brandon Martin
The Henry County Board of Supervisors honored Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) President, Dr. Angeline Godwin, with a resolution for her service to the community during an April 27 meeting. Godwin, who became president of the college in 2012, will retire effective July 1.Dr. J. David Martin, of the Iriswood District, read the resolution which stated, “Dr. Godwin has made substantial and impactful changes” and noted that her retirement “will leave a void in our community.” “She has put the community in community college,” Martin said. “The community college, here, serves a lot of different people from young folks to older folks in the fine arts, athletics, academics and everything in between. Dr. Godwin, you have left a footprint, a handprint, and a strong legacy in this community. We are going to miss you.”
Henry County Administrator Tim Hall said, “I’ve learned from how she does her job. Always with a calmness and serenity but also with the knowledge that she knows what she is talking about in a lot of different areas.”
Hall added that Godwin’s knowledge is valuable in economic development.
“Without her expertise and her willingness to be part of our economic development team, we may not have the successes we have,” Hall said. “I will miss her, I will miss her friendship, I will miss her guidance and professionalism in the community. There are no irreplaceable parts in this community, but if there is one, it’s probably what she has brought to the table.”
Mark Heath, president and CEO of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp., echoed many of those sentiments.
“I have been here for 15 years, and I can tell you that in the beginning, the community college was not a team member like the community college is now,” Heath said. “We would not consider going into a prospect negotiation without Dr. Godwin at our side.”
Heath said Godwin was integral in negotiations on the latest deal with Crown Holdings.
“Really in the eleventh and a half-hour, she came through for us,” Heath said. “She really showed what this community is all about and helped us win that deal. There is no question about it. Her fingerprints will be on deals that will be announced in months and years to come because she’s been an integral part of our success, and I don’t think she can be replaced to be honest with you. I’m sure the next person will be incredible, do a great job and we will bring them on and try to involve them, but I can’t imagine anybody ever being the kind of training partner and team partner that Angeline has been.”
“I appreciate the many kind comments, but I will tell you that all of our work here is really about a common vision and a common pathway where people have the wherewithal and the moral and emotional fortitude to sort of lift themselves,” Godwin said. “It’s not about any one of us. It’s about the bigger picture and looking at what is in the best interest of this community.”
Godwin said she believes “that Patrick Henry Community College is a great treasure of this community.”
As she prepares to return to her home in Mississippi, Godwin invited her extended local family to visit.
“I always have a strong pot of coffee,” Godwin said. “I promise you, mother has the sweetest tea you’ll ever drink and be able to stand up vertical. And I have a porch full of rocking chairs and swings. You are welcome any time.”
In other matters, the board:
*Heard a report on delinquent tax collection efforts from Treasurer Scott Grindstaff. Approximately 91.90 percent of 2020 personal property taxes have been collected as of March 31. Another 93.98 percent of real estate taxes also were collected.
*Heard an update on economic development efforts in the area from Heath. One new program discussed was the Business Relocation Incentive and Expansion Fund (BRIEFcase).
“This is a new effort for us to recruit smaller entrepreneurial-type companies to Martinsville-Henry County,” Heath said. “There is up to $24,000 that can be provided to help someone move here. We are not really looking for startups.” Heath said the program is strictly reserved to help businesses relocating from other localities.
*Approved an additional appropriation of $1,059,980 received from American Electric Power and the EDC. The refund of $969,980 received from AEP will be used for additional development in the park, and the funds of $90,000 received from the EDC will be used for professional engineering services.
*Awarded a sole source contract to Watch Guard Video in the amount of $139,202 for body-worn cameras for the sheriff’s office.
*A special meeting will be held on May 10 at 5 p.m. to adopt the fiscal year 2021-2022 budget.