Three, two, one, Happy Wedding Day! The New Year rang in a highly-anticipated 2021 as well as a new beginning for Greg Godec and Melanie Greenlee Godec. Social media has gotten a 'bad rap' as of late, however, if it hadn't been for the forum, the happily married couple might still be single.
The two knew each other while in high school but ‘never hung-out’ said Spedale. Both moved away after graduating but called Paducah their hometown. Spedale is class of ‘83 at Paducah Tilghman High School and Godec is class of ‘81 at St. Mary’s High School. Though they didn’t run in the same circles, the pair lived within a mile of each other growing up.
Fast forward nearly four decades, Spedale and Godec reconnected via Facebook. “We had been Facebook friends for years and Greg found out I was single and looked me up.” smiled Spedale. She said they started dating in September 2017 and shortly thereafter ‘took a break.’
After ‘the break’ the couple started dating again in March of 2019. We can all agree that everybody deserves a second chance and this time Godec wasn’t going to repeat the Beyonce’ Knowles scenario, “If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it.”
A trip to Shell Key Preserve took their relationship to the next level. If you’re unfamiliar with the underdeveloped barrier islands located in the mouth of Tampa Bay, it’s a secluded spot where locals and tourist enjoy wildlife, fishing and boating.
While at Shell Key Preserve, Spedale said, “We were at Shell Key Beach and Greg popped the question. He put my ring in a shell and got down on one knee as we were walking on the beach at sunset. It was so special.”
Godec proposed in May 2020 but there’s no way the two were having a wedding anniversary date of 2020. Spedale said, “We got engaged in May but didn’t want to get married in 2020 so we picked the first Friday in 2021 and it happened to be New Year’s Day.”
Spedale and Godec live in Redington Beach, Florida which is right on the intercoastal waterway in Pinellas County about 26 miles from St. Petersburg, Florida. Spedale said, "We're three-quarters of a mile from the beach."
The beach wedding will take place on Redington Beach at the private resident’s area. There will be a pre-wedding celebration complete with fireworks and grilling. Family and friends are taking to air and the road to participate in the wedding weekend. Temperatures will be in the upper 70s under a mostly sunny sky. The weather couldn’t be more perfect for outdoor festivities during a worldwide pandemic.
The wedding party will be Spedale’s daughters, Samantha and Emily as maids of honor, Godec's brother Danny as best man, brother-in-law Andy Gilland as groomsman and Spedale's great niece Halle Grace (11) with Godec's great niece Ava Grace (4) as flower girls. They'll be scattering seashells instead of flowers.
Of course, we all wanted to know the wedding attire. Spedale will wore an off-white beachy dress and the girls wore dusty blue dresses. Godec wore a white linen shirt and khakis. The guys wore navy blue patterned shirts featuring a hint of dusty blue to coordinate with the girls’ dresses.
After the ceremony, the wedding party headed over to the ‘Godec’s’ home for a catered surf and turf wedding day reception. “The honeymoon will have to wait ‘til spring. We’re very busy at work,” said Spedale.
“I have grown in Christ, healing and healed my brokenness, learned to serve others and love like Christ.” Ayrie Crump
As the former ultimate ZUMBA instructor in the Paducah area, Ayrie Crump began each ZUMBA class with a prayer circle inviting each person to focus on the positives in life and pray for those in need. Through Christ everything is possible including good health, happiness, and inner peace.
Church was a huge part of Crump's life growing up. She and her two brothers were raised in Paducah and grew up attending Second Cumberland Presbyterian Church on 10th and Boyd Street where her Dad was Pastor. It was here, in the church, she found strength. "Whatever assignment God would lead me to do, in obedience and submission, I would humbly do unto him."
Physical fitness is another one of Crump's passions specifically her love of dance and weight lifting. "I've always been physically active." she said. In high school she was a member of the Drill Corp, an extra-curricular activity that involved dance and a good sense of rhythm. She also sang in the high school choir. After graduating from Paducah Tilghman in 1973, Crump stayed in town and began higher education courses at Paducah Community College.
Crump's first job after college was at Western Baptist Hospital (Baptist Health) as a nurses' aide. After leaving the hospital, she went to work for the American Red Cross as a lab technician. Her last position before retiring from her career job at USEC was Environmental Technician as Sampler and Laboratory Technologist working in Analytical. She worked at the former Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant for 24 years.
While working a full-time job, Crump started a Mary Kay business. It was the late 90’s and she was a single mother with two children. After two unsuccessful marriages, she pulled up her big girl panties and started a third job as an independent beauty consultant. In this position, she could work from home and make extra money for her kids. Her mark on the beauty business was so successful that Crump was awarded a car leased and paid for by the company for two years. Then, an illness struck the family and she had to pivot.
Crump didn’t stay single long. She was introduced to her future husband George by mutual friends. He worshiped at Ninth Street Tabernacle Ministries where Crump started attending. The two began dating and were married in 2001. Both had children from previous marriages that are now grown; Martin Grubbs (45), Mia Cooper (42), and Maurice Crump (40).
Through the years, Crump has remained steadfast and true to her exercise regimen. In 2010, she attended an exercise class while visiting family in Richmond, Virginia. She said, “I thought I was going to a kickboxing class. The lady at the gym suggested I take a ZUMBA class and I was hooked,” she continued. "The Latin beats and the easy movements made my heart race like I was running a 5K."
When Crump got back to Paducah, she became licensed to teach ZUMBA. The following month, she taught her first class.
A new calling
It all started at Crump’s church with a small group of women who called themselves ‘the Fab Five.’ The ladies invited their friends and like most conversations among church-going southern women, news got around fast. The Latin-style dance craze 'cha-chaed' its way from friend to friend and quickly grew to 80 participants.
As mentioned, church has always been a big part of Crump’s life so it would make sense to start her new venture at a place where she’s most comfortable. Her motto is God first, family then career.
Crump said she’s an introvert by nature and her interactions with people are always intentional and with purpose. Suffering from chronic anxiety, Crump strategically plans her moves and exercise helps to keep it in check. She said part of her purpose is to serve the Lord in whatever way he deems fit, even if that means stepping out of her comfort zone. “I am called as all believers are, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. I feel that I may be the only Jesus some people see.”
With a strong commitment to the Lord and to physical fitness, Crump’s ZUMBA classes quickly outgrew the church facility and moved to the Julian Carroll Expo Center in downtown Paducah. While teaching at the expo center, Crump taught two classes each day twice a week with 250 participants per class. Co-instructor Clarissa White played a big role in growing the classes. She and Crump were a dynamic duo.
The last ‘pay as you go’ ZUMBA class taught by Crump moved to the Paducah Board of Education offices a.k.a. Choices Education Center at 800 Caldwell Street. Crump and White would dance and lead from the auditorium stage to ‘fire up’ the ZUMBA troops. They encouraged each person to dance and ‘live’ the ZUMBA lifestyle.
The ZUMBA lifestyle motivates people to get off the couch and move to a beat that’s fun and burns mega calories. If going to ‘the gym’ isn’t appealing and getting on the dance floor is, then ZUMBA might be for you. It’s a fitness party with both slow and fast rhythms, addictive dance steps, and lively tunes.
All the moves are taught by an expert teacher like Crump. Though she may be small in stature she’s a force to be reckoned with on the dance floor. She’s strong, determined, and motivated to seek out those that need her the most.
“I am drawn to the left out and looked over...to those persons that are underserved,” said Crump. There’s no doubt she encountered individuals during daily ZUMBA instruction that benefited from her words of encouragement. Part of her mission was to go where the Lord leads. The other part was to give back all that was donated during those years prior to her paying gig.
In total, $25,000 was donated to charity, nonprofit, and other organizations plus tons of canned goods. Either $1 or a can of food got you in the class. None of the instructors were paid. "To much is given, much is required. That was the beauty of the ministry," said Crump.
People take dance classes for a variety of reasons and one is to lose weight and improve overall health. Crump was one of those that practiced what she preached and led by example. One of her physical impediments was hypertension. Incorporating cardio into her daily routine was one way to battle the controllable disease.
Another reason to join the ZUMBA exercise group was for companionship. We’re social creatures and the need to bond is undeniable. Crump said, “The biggest trick of the enemy is making us feel we are the only one." Crump has anxiety and had to learn to push past her fears. Knowing there are others like you while supporting each other through group activities that are fun and social is one way to meet the enemy head on. Zumba classes are designed for participants to never feel alone. The more people the better.
The diversity of participants in the ZUMBA exercise class was incredible. People from all walks of life came to dance. Persons of different age, ethnicity, wealth or lack of, men/women, all standing within six feet of one another dancing to a Latin beat and moving with some salsa flavor. It was a beautiful thing.
The energy in Crump's ZUMBA class was electrifying. Crump would push herself and others to the brink, sending out messages of support via headset. She would reach out to those that seemed lost and invite them into her world by dancing alongside them or inviting them on stage. God's presence was felt through her smile, demeanor, and encouraging word. By following His lead, all good things were possible.
It wasn’t until 2014 that Crump stopped teaching two classes a day to join the team at Energy Fitness on Highland Church Road teaching ZUMBA Gold and Cardio Dance. She also substituted for Silver Sneakers and Yoga. During this time, she became an AFAA (Athletic and Fitness Association of America) personal trainer.
As the years rumbaed along, the constant wear and tear on her body took its toll. Crump taught Zumba Gold at the Senior Citizens Center until her back pain stopped improving. She studied the art of belly dance for a while with Margie Hyde. Finally, after 40 years of physical fitness, it was time to retire. Now, Crump takes her dog Stella for walks and does chores around the house.
Stella is a rescue dog from the McCracken County Humane Society. She was adopted at 10 weeks old in December of 2014. “She is more of an emotional support buddy,” said Crump. “She’s a mix between a rat terrier and probably a hound. The dad is unknown.” she said. At first, George wasn’t crazy about getting a dog. Crump said, “Now they are best friends. She even helps him do yard work.”
Crump started the Mary Kay business again. She said she picked it up because she loves the company, their philosophy, and the products.
The pandemic has affected the personal interaction that Crump was most interested in as a Mary Kay consultant. However, she pivoted. The family has taken a moment or two adjusting to her Zoom meeting but everyone’s on board and business is booming.
For a short period of time, you may have missed Crump’s post on Facebook. She said she stepped away from social media for a while due to all of the negativity. She jumped back on after restarting her business. She said, “I limit my conversations and posts to things that are lovely, true, helpful, and bring hope and peace.” Crump continued, “I live a simple life, stay away from drama, negativity and divisiveness. I take care of my home, family, and friends.” It's a beautiful life and there's much more to be written.
Women Who Do it All are powerhouses with an abundance of drive, energy and heart. Since the creation of the DC comic book superhero ‘Wonder Woman,’ women with careers and families have been compared to the fictional character granted superhuman powers by Greek gods. In addition to family and career, these ‘super’ women still find time to develop better self-awareness and continue the path toward personal growth.
A more modern day depiction of the character might look like Jessy Graff, the Supergirl stuntwoman on American Ninja Warrior that made history on the show during its fifth season as the first woman to make city finals.
The point is a woman with a career, family, and the ability to make time for herself is typically young, ambitious, and full of fight. Brandy Key, pharmacist and business owner fits that mold. From the ‘get go’ Key's parents were strong supporters of both their children’s dreams and ambitions. Brother Benji Trice was, and still is, one of her closest confidants and 'the one' that kept her on her toes. “We were very close growing up and remain so to this day.” said Key.
Born in Paducah and raised in Kevil, Kentucky, Key is a graduate of Ballard Memorial High School. When planning her career, she said it wasn’t a difficult choice. “My mom was a pharmacy tech her whole adult life and I was in and out of pharmacies with her as a child. It was a natural career path.”
After graduating high school, Key completed undergraduate work at WKCTC (formerly Paducah Community College) and received her Doctorate of Pharmacy from St. Louis College of Pharmacy in 2007. To receive a Pharm D. degree, the program required at least two years of specific undergraduate college study and four academic years of professional pharmacy school. Now, armed and dangerous with an advanced degree, Key’s first job after graduating college was with an independent pharmacy in Paducah.
Working for an independent pharmacy had its perks, but Key decided a corporate career would provide a greater advantage and took a position with the Kmart Corporation. The first Kmart opened in 1962 and until the 90’s was the second largest retailer in the country after Sears. At its peak, the corporation owned nearly 2,500 stores globally. Key stayed with Kmart in Lone Oak, Kentucky until it closed in 2018. After leaving the company, she found her new home at West Towne Pharmacy in Paducah’s west end.
It wasn’t enough for Key to have such a demanding career as a pharmacist, she kept pushing herself even more. In 2015, she became a CrossFit level 1 trainer for CrossFit Dig Deep. “I’ve always had a passion for fitness,” said Key.
CrossFit is a combination of safe, effective exercise and sound nutrition. The workouts are varied and tailored to fit an individual’s needs. All workouts can be modified whether its weight-lifting, cardiovascular, or flexibility training; the movements are designed to be used with an everyday lifestyle. Intensity levels are dependent on skill level, whether a beginner or seasoned pro.
When living the CrossFit lifestyle, eating lean meat and vegetables, seed and nuts, some fruits with very little starch and no sugar is what’s recommended. Key said, “Nutrition and mental health play such a critical role in overall wellness. Sometimes I neglect those areas when I’m overwhelmed but I’m working on it as I speak.”
CrossFit Dig Deep was Paducah's first CrossFit gym, established in 2013 by Dennis McClain. In 2017, Key and her husband purchased the affiliate to CrossFit Dig Deep from owners Mike and Sammy Ray. CrossFit Dig Deep is located at 857 McGuire Avenue in Paducah. The business was thriving until the pandemic caused a temporary paralysis.
“Covid has taken a toll on the CrossFit business. We were shut down for 76 days in the spring and it’s been hard to recover.” COVID-19 has been difficult on many small businesses and especially gyms and restaurants. Key continued, “We had to make adjustments to our day to day operations but we are RESILIENT!”
Key gets much of her drive and ambition from her parents. “I watched my dad do whatever it took...working long hours, multiple jobs, to provide for my brother and I growing up.” Her parents had high expectations of their children. Key said that her brother Benji Trice is an overachiever as well. “I have to keep up,” she said.
Trice graduated with a Telecommunications degree from Murray State and has been employed with Computer Services Incorporated in Paducah for over 20 years. He resides in Princeton, Kentucky with his wife Jennifer Potter Trice and two sons.
Key is married to her best friend and business partner Doug Key. She has a daughter Sophie 10 and three stepsons, Kolbee 22, Braiden 20, and Tristan 14. Key is a great role model for her daughter. “Sophie has watched me run and gun and hustle her entire life.” She and Doug’s hope is to ‘pay-off all debt and leave a legacy for their children.”
Recently, Key started a nonprofit organization with a group of high school friends called ‘All Time Sports.’ The nonprofit helps to raise funds for kids in need of sports equipment, sign-up fees, whatever financial assistance is needed to keep them active. Since many sports programs in the area have been shut down due to C-19, the organization has decided to help families in need this Christmas. If you know of a family struggling, go to their Facebook page for more information.
Key is a member of the Charity League of Paducah. This particular organization raises funds for a number of good causes. One such cause is the local Special Olympics. This year, Key was on the board for the ‘Big Brown Truck Pull’. The socially-distanced affair took place in October and raised money for the McCracken County Special Olympics. Donations paid for competitions in basketball, bowling, softball, cheerleading, as well as track and field. This year’s event raised over $25,000.
It’s a goal of Keys to get her CrossFit level 3 certification in the near future. She earned her CF-2 in February that’s centered around coaching and training other athletes. There are four levels of CrossFit certifications. One of her passions is to help others grow and reach their fitness goals.
Many friendships have formed while training, owning, and working out at CrossFit Dig Deep. She said it’s fun having friends that are interested in fitness. They do things like game night, pumpkin carving contests, and even Christmas caroling.
As a pharmacist at West Towne Pharmacy, COVID-19 testing has kept Key on high alert. She and partner pharmacist Grant Mathis have been crazy busy as one of only a few places in Paducah to offer rapid COVID-19 testing. Key said, “It’s been insane. I had no idea there was such a need in this area.”
Multi-tasking is a preordained gift to women. Key takes it to a whole new level. There are other opportunities and adventures currently on her radar screen. Be watching and listening for Key’s next move. It’s guaranteed to be the next big thing. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be, When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.” Lao Tzu
The Cappocks with their children, sister Leslie and her children, Selma, and future grandson.
Compassionate people are those that are willing to help others. Compassionate people are those that are able to put themselves in others’ shoes and really understand how they feel. Compassionate people are those that are thoughtful, giving and kind even to the meekest of God’s creatures. ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice. Mourn with those who mourn.’ Ephesians 4:32
This week, Caroline Penrod Cappock was surprised by her kids with a new puppy. “I haven’t had a puppy in 30 years.” said Cappock. That’s because she’s one of those compassionate people who takes a few hours out of their day to volunteer at the local shelter only to leave a few hours later with a foster dog. “I’ve had as many as six dogs at one time. All were rescues or given to me.” One of her most compassionate rescues was Selma, a forgotten furbaby at the animal shelter.
One very cold Saturday morning, Cappock volunteered at the McCracken County Animal Shelter located near the McCracken County soccer fields. One of her first encounters was with Selma, a Pitbull mix who had been at the shelter for seven months. As soon as Selma received the first snuggle from Cappock, it was endless belly rubs for the remainder of the day.
That weekend, Selma went home with Cappock as a foster dog. “It was so cold outside the day I brought her home and the shelter wasn’t heated. Of course, she never returned. She’s the best dog ever!” said Cappock.
Cappock's love of animals doesn't stop at dogs. In elementary school, she, Mary K. Dyer Hinkle, and Shannon Green shared ownership of a horse boarded at Carson Park in Paducah. All three girls would head to the stables after school to ride and care for their horse. The trio loved inviting neighborhood friends to the park for a trot around the corral. They also welcomed any help with feeding, brushing and shoveling manure.
During her high school years, Cappock's extra-curricular activities included drill corp, golf team, and Spanish club. Cappock was part of the inaugural Paducah Tilghman High School girl’s golf team. The team’s coach was journalism teacher Vickie Russell. Fellow golfers included Marta Metzger Hoy, Roberta Friend Rhodes, and Stacy Dyer. “We had fun!” said Cappock.
After high school, Cappock went to college at Murray State University majoring in Business Administration. While there she was active in Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority, one of several social clubs on campus. Freshman year, a friend introduced Cappock to future husband Mike Cappock. Two years after graduating, the couple married and life began.
Work life continued after marriage for Cappock at the Kentucky Transportation Department Hearing and Reinstatement Office. Anyone with a suspended license passed through Cappock’s door. She continued working for the state until taking maternity leave to give birth to identical twin boys. After the boys were born, she didn't return to a full-time paying job.
Mike Cappock started his career working for the Murray Drug Company in Murray, Kentucky. The couple and their two year old twins transferred to Chicago, Illinois after Murray Drug was acquired by a larger company. It was during their six month stint in Chicago that Mike called up a couple of buddies proposing a new venture. In 1993, the company, Quest Pharmaceuticals officially opened for business.
Quest Pharmaceuticals quickly grew and currently sells over 3,000 generic products nationwide. As the company continues to grow, the foundation remains customer service based always extending a handshake and an ever-present smile.
After starting the company, the Cappocks lived in Murray for six months before returning to Paducah. To this day, Mike still commutes everyday to Murray as he has done for almost three decades.
Living across the street from their church and the children’s elementary school was very convenient for the family. The family was perfectly content until a beautiful, spacious house was placed on the market. The Montgomery house in Heather Hill became available.
The owners, retired surgeon Dr. Wally Montgomery and former Mayor of Paducah Gerry Montgomery were ready to sell their family home. Cappock said they decided to go for it because she just liked it. The house and property sit on two acres of land, just shy of the average city block, with a grand home, swimming pool, gardens, and tennis courts. The interesting thing about the tennis courts is that it’s most often used for playing basketball.
Since the pandemic, the public courts have been closed. The tennis/basketball courts located in the back of the Cappock’s property have remained open. According to Cappock, it’s become the local hangout for kids young and old. She said, “There are days where cars are lined up on the street to play on the courts. As long as they keep it clean and respectful, they can play."
The pandemic has been hard on kids who miss shooting hoops and playing ball. Having a game on the court is one way to release energy. Cappock keeps a close eye though. She said, "I’ve been known to yell up there to watch their language.” Don’t mess with Cappock. She’s got a big heart but will scold you when you’re up to no good.
Cappock keeps herself fit by playing tennis, riding bikes, and playing pickleball. She said she’s been staying outside as much as possible since COVID-19. All of her outdoor activities are great cardiovascular workouts. In case you’re not familiar with pickleball, it’s a sport that uses a badminton size court, wooden paddle and a ball, much like a whiffle ball, that’s hit across a net. Two to four players may play at a time. If played aggressively, players could burn up to 360 calories per 30 minute workout.
Traveling and vacations are one of the family’s most favorite pastimes. Much of Cappock’s extended family lives in Florida. Her 95 year old Aunt lives in Deland, Florida and Cappock visits her often. Cappock’s Mom, Jean Penrod, is from Florida and passed away December of 2018. Her dad, John Penrod, retired from the FBI and was a former Mayor of Paducah. He passed away in 2009. Cappock has a sister, Karen, in Orlando, a brother, Kirt, in Tulsa, and another sister, Leslie, in Paducah.
The Cappocks have three children; identical twins, Chris and Penrod, 30 years old and Grace who’s 24. Chris and his wife Rachel are expecting in February. Cappock is over the moon. Both twins live in Paducah. Grace recently graduated from U of L and is living in Louisville.
Speaking of Grace, she showed up with the new puppy this past week. The children wanted to surprise mom with a new cuddly gift. Since August 2020, it’s been just Selma, the rescue dog, and Cappock (Mike's there too). Both the Basset Hound and the American Bulldog were put to sleep within months of each other due to cancer. “They both did chemotherapy for as long as it worked but then it quit.”
Since it’s been just the two of them most days, she and Selma have been making the best of it. Selma rides ‘shotgun’ and goes everywhere with Cappock. “We’ve got a pretty good routine going,” she said. Still, the kids decided to shake things up a bit and bought their animal-lovin’ momma a present. So enters 'Murray’ the white boxer puppy. Boxers are upbeat, playful, patient, and protective. A great companion as Cappock sets her sights on babysitting her future grandbaby while mom Rachel goes back to teaching at Clark Elementary School. There’s never a dull moment at the Cappocks.
Cappock opens up her heart to animals, her courts to local kids young and old, and more importantly her family. The Cappocks have been married for over 32 years and have three adult children, a daughter-in-law, a grandbaby on the way, two living family pets, five grand-dogs, and still plenty of room if there's a need. She’s a wonderful mother, wife, and friend to all.
Mentoring begets mentoring. The theory is that a person who experiences good mentoring will more likely ‘pay it forward’ and be a good mentor themselves. Mentoring isn’t formally taught, it’s a gift passed down from one passionate person to the next with the goal of witnessing success. Good mentoring increases productivity, creates positive attitudes, instills healthy lifestyles, teaches collaboration, and promotes a work culture that contributes to the end result of the mentor’s mission.
Shirly Koven Bachman is one such mentor. She said, “I’m passionate about positivity. I like to make others feel better. Working with the team that I have and making sure they feel supported and successful is my truest passion.”
Bachman is the Vice President of US Market Access at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, a Biotech company located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She’s a rising star that had great mentors. People that recognized her potential and steered her down career paths best suited for her business acumen and personality. An unbelievable ride landing a dream job that she absolutely loves.
It wasn’t until junior high that Bachman left Paducah for Westport, Connecticut. She was 14 years old and her step-father's company, Westvaco transferred the longtime Paducah residents to New York City. Bachman said it was a ‘monumental move’. Her mom, Shirley DuPucchio had lived in Paducah for 54 years and this was going to be an adjustment.
After graduating from Staples High School in Connecticut, Bachman attended the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing.
One of Bachman’s marketing professors, Richard Shainwald, was a very supportive mentor. “He was instrumental in shaping my career aspirations by exposing me to companies and career options.” said Bachman. She went on to say, “With my gift of gab and fearless nature, sales was the perfect career to pursue.”
Paducah friends knew Bachman’s ‘gift of gab’ firsthand. In junior high school, she had more confidence in her little finger than most have in their entire body. She was a head taller than most and blessed with beautiful shoulder-length dark hair coiffed like Farrah Fawcett. Bachman said she’s always been a huge believer in EQ (Emotional Intelligence). “I think my EQ has guided me to where I am today and cannot be taught.”
Bachman’s first job was at Harland check printers out of Atlanta. Her position was sales and she called on banks and credit unions selling services. After training for a year in Charleston, it was off to the ‘Big Apple’ specifically Manhattan. Her first ‘grown up’ apartment was in Stamford, Connecticut which is about a 54 minute commute to New York City. Probably her most important first encounter was meeting her husband David. The two met at a Christmas party in 1986 right before she moved back to Connecticut.
David was living in an apartment with Bachman’s best friend Libby from high school. She introduced the two and after moving back to Stamford, they started dating. After three years, they got engaged in Florence, South Carolina.
Wedding bells were getting ready to ring. “The first time I took David back to Paducah to meet my sister, Carla Koven Berry, he fell in love with its charm.” said Bachman. For this reason, the couple decided to tie the knot and get married in Paducah. Bachman said they got the ‘red carpet’ treatment and it was truly one of her happiest memories. “It was a southern affair and truly a dream wedding.” said Bachman.
During the same year Bachman and David were married, Bachman changed career paths and started working at Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceuticals. Twenty-two years later holding various sales and leadership positions, Bachman went rogue. In 2012 she ventured out of her comfort zone and signed up with a start-up biotech company called Medivation, an Oncology Biotech in San Francisco. After leading their payer team for five year, Pfizer bought out the company. The next career move was Alynlam Pharmaceuticals.
Alnylam is a Biotech company that focuses on drug discovery in RNAi therapeutics. The company is a pioneer in RNAi and was the first to bring these medications to market. In fact, the company commercialized three drugs in three years, the same number of years Bachman has been with the company. “My groups’ purpose is to work with all US payers to ensure that our patients have access to our medications. We make certain when a physician prescribes one of our drugs, insurance covers it so that patients have access and reimbursement without hassle,” explained Bachman.
David Bachman is a telecommunications marketing executive. He works as a consultant with technology startups. When the two first got married, the couple moved several times following David’s career. After several years, they moved several more times following Bachman’s career. Once Bachman and David decided to start a family, they settled in St. Louis, Missouri, a place they’ve called home for the last 23 years.
After firmly planting roots in St. Louis, along came Payne, 23 and Cole, 20. Bachman said, “David and the boys are at the core of everything I do and motivate me to do my best.” Payne graduated in May from Maryville University with a degree in Cybersecurity and Cole is at the University of Colorado Boulder majoring in Media Communications.
The family loves to travel, pre-Covid. “European travel is a true passion. As the kids have gotten older, we’ve taken several international trips. Our most favorite place on earth is Marbella, Spain. We love France too,” shared Bachman. Marbella is one of the best-known resorts on Costa del Sol. The beaches, nightclubs and venues are famous around the world. In fact, Marbella is one of multiple places around the Straits of Gibraltar in Europe where you can see the African continent.
Bachman said, “The goal after retiring is to spend a fourth to half a year exploring Europe and other international destinations.”
During the Bachman’s international travels, they’ve made many friends around the globe. “David and I have a very eclectic group of friends that we see regularly during non-pandemic times. I cannot wait to get back to a pre-pandemic pace and socialize with all our friends.” Bachman said she has work friends and St. Louis girlfriends but she’s not a ‘good’ girls weekend getaway type. She gets plenty of work travel time, however, during her free-time her husband is her travel buddy.
Bachman is in terrific physical shape. She’s a person that exercises using the Bar Method two to four times a week and participates in Yoga meditation. The Bar Method uses one's body weight for resistance along with props. A ballet bar is used for leg exercises along with balls, mats, and free weights on the floor all to a musical beat. Bachman said her secret weapon to combating stress is getting eight hours of sleep each night. Before ‘lights out’ at 10 pm, she’ll decompress by watching tv or reading a book.
Along with staying fit and traveling, Bachman enjoys cooking, interior design, and writing. Part of Bachman’s ‘giving back’ includes working with families whose kids are suffering from eating disorders. “I love to write and contribute to the Mighty documenting our family’s journey with eating disorders.” Her son Cole is in recovery from ED (Eating Disorder). The Mighty is a digital health community that connects people facing challenges and disabilities.
Bachman said, “I love seeing my family healthy, thriving, and happy. Children don’t come with manuals and seeing them mature into kind, decent adults brings me pure joy. Empathy, compassion, and positivity guide me each day to be better.” Mentors beget mentors. Bachman’s ‘with each one teach one’ attitude will serve the world well.
“Having daily interactions with players and listening to them speak about their lives is a great way to spend the day,” said Clint Conway, a PTHS alumni, career coach, and little brother to a dear friend. There are certain events or moments that flash before your eyes and instantly transport you to a different time and space. Memories that flood your mind after hearing a song, having a chance encounter, or looking at a photograph. In that sweet moment, time is suspended and an uncontrollable smile crosses your face.
One particular memory was shared by long-time friend Nicole Conway Williams, Conway’s ‘big’ sister. Williams said, “when Clint was a little boy, he wanted to run away from home. I tied a blanket to a pole with a sandwich. When he got to the end of the sidewalk he yelled for me to come down there to hold his hand while he crossed the street.” That cute little blonde hair, blue-eyed boy with the big grin and dimples grew into a man with a family, career, and a love of high school football.
That love of high school football has turned coaching into a career for Conway. He shared, “I never considered coaching as a career, but after more than 20 years, I believe most who do coach are born to do it.”
“As a kid, having access to the sidelines, the coaches, and the players likely contributed to how comfortable I am in that space,” said Conway. His dad, Charles was the sports commentator on the radio for the PTHS games in the 80’s and early 90’s. Conway got to tag along as his sidekick. Both Mom, Jeannie and Dad attended every game since little league. As the story goes, Conway started hiking a football as soon as he could walk. His mom said, "We are extremely proud of the man and especially father he has become."
In high school, he played offensive guard for the Tornado football team. He was a member of the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), an officer for the Bleacher Bums and played basketball. He lettered three years in football and was All-Purchase, All-Conference, and All-State Teams.
“I was blessed to be part of some of the most successful teams in PT history,” explained Conway. “We played in three state championships, tar-and-feathered Mr. Mayfield, our biggest rivalry all three years, and beat powerhouse teams like Lou Trinity, Brentwood Academy and FT Thomas Highlands.”
Mentors weren’t on short supply for Conway. He fondly remembers Coach Troutman, Ray Moore, and teachers Korte and Smith. Cotton Walker played a critical role in his development. Walker was a family friend and watched over Conway while principal at Paducah Middle School and again as athletic director at PTHS.
Most of Conway’s close friends played high school sports. His best friend Casey Allen was the best man at his wedding and vice-versa. To this day, the duo are in touch almost daily. Other long-time friends include Brett Williams, Kevin Garland, Duane Dew, Jason Gentner, and Radu Pop.
After graduating high school in 1990, Conway received a full scholarship to Eastern Illinois University (EIU) in Charleston, Illinois. Conway played several positions including offensive guard, center and tackle.
While at college, Conway became fast-friends with two African American young men from the suburbs of Chicago, Clint Hyde and Duane Conway. Though their backgrounds were very different, the trio hit it off. “I couldn’t answer to Clint or Conway, so they called my ‘Country’. Conway said since he was from Kentucky, everyone assumed he lived on a farm. Funny story...Conway’s sister said his pet name at home was Clinkie. You know you’re loved when someone gives you a special nickname.
Duane went on to play center for the Indianapolis Colts. He passed away five years ago. Conway said, “The funeral was the first time so many classmates had been at the same place at the same time since college.”
After graduating from EIU, Conway spent two years in Chicago playing semi-professional ball. Semi-pro players don’t earn a paycheck leaving Conway to find a job. He worked as a bartender in Oak Park, IL. John Mahoney from the television sitcom Frasier lived in Oak Park. “He was one of my regular customers,” said Conway. After two years, it was time to find a day job.
It wasn’t until 1996 that Conway found his way back home to Paducah. He started a successful commercial cleaning business with his best friend Casey Allen. After a year and a half, both decided to change directions. Allen went back to school to earn his teachers certificate and is now the Superintendent at Ballard County Schools and Conway started to work for Paducah City Schools. Part of that job included coaching.
Coaching has been Conway’s ‘breath of fresh air.’ Being a coach was definitely in the cards for him. While working at Cooper-Whiteside Elementary, he met April, a first grade teacher and a coaches’ daughter. Her dad, Yogi Trice, was a long-time coach and athletic director at Ballard Memorial High School. Coming from a coaching family, April understood the commitment coaches make to their craft. She was marrying Coach Conway. A man dedicated to faith, family, and football. “I can’t imagine being able to coach without her support holding everything together,” explained Conway.
A year later, Conway became head football coach at Paducah Middle School and assisted with the varsity team at PTHS. From 1998 to 2004, Conway was the varsity assistant coach at the high school. In 2004, he left organized coaching to pursue other careers but still kept one eye on the ball.
Conway kept the stats, scoreboard, and announced the ballgames over the PA at Paducah Tilghman. It wasn’t until 2017 that he stepped back into a high school coaching role. This time it was for McCracken County Schools.
After sidelining his high school coaching career for over a decade to focus on his children’s extra-curricular activities, family time, and career, an opportunity presented itself. This time it was for McCracken County Schools. “As fate would have it, there was a coaching change at McCracken. Marc Clark had been a great customer of mine at Hopkinsville High School and we developed a friendship during my time working with him. He approached me about helping out as a freshman coach.”
Marc Clark is in his fourth year as head football coach at McCracken County High School. He’s in his sixteenth year of coaching. Clark’s previous six years were with the Hopkinsville Tigers.
Conway said Coach Clark has a great work/life balance. He believes that it’s important to make sure the entire family is involved. As it stands, two of his children, Gracie. a senior at MCHS and Jack age 12 are both on the field with him during ball games. Gracie is a cheerleader and Jack is the ball boy. Conway said it’s such a joy running out onto the field with his daughter cheering and his son Jack by his side. His oldest daughter, Emma is a senior at the University of Kentucky.
This will be Conway’s fourth season at MCHS. This year, he’s in charge of the running backs “One of our players, Hunter Bradley, was recently named “Player of the Year’ for our district.” Bradley is a senior at MCHS and plays tailback, the one responsible for carrying the ball on the majority of plays.
Conway lights up when talking about his team. “Coaching high school football is second to my family in the ‘joy’ factor. Other than my own kids, it’s the best two hours of my day.”
COVID-19 has tried to take away some of that joy. Conway said it’s been tough on the players and the staff. “We were sidelined earlier this season for two weeks due to one positive case of the virus. Our players have done a good job though. They follow protocols and do what they can to protect themselves and our team.”
Conway’s family has experienced ups and downs during the pandemic too. Emma is finishing up this semester at college online. Gracie is a senior at MCHS and is missing out on some important moments like homecoming, senior night, and others. “Jack has had it the toughest,” said Conway. He’s in middle school, his classes are virtual, and he’s home alone most of the day. Basketball practice and games have been suspended. “It’s very difficult to stay in touch with friends and teammates that he would normally see at school,” said Conway.
After coaching for a number of years, it gives one time to reflect. Conway said, “I am blessed. I get to spend almost everyday with great kids in a career I enjoy. I come home to my wife and kids and I wake up every morning knowing I have a Savior in Jesus. That pretty much sums up my best day.”