Cristie Merce named Coshocton BPW Woman of the Year

| October 17, 2017

Cristie Merce was named the Coshocton BPW Woman of the Year. Contributed | Beacon

COSHOCTON – Cristie Merce, a 14 year Coshocton Business and Professional Women (BPW) member, was surprised by members and family on Monday night, Oct. 16, at Grace UMC and honored as Woman of the Year. Tomma Bordenkircher read her write-up and presented her plaque, Doris Parkhill presented her with yellow roses, and last year’s Woman of the Year winner Carey McMasters presented her with a pin originally owned by Marilyn Lauvray, who passed away July 2016. The pin was presented to McMasters last year but she felt Lauvray was so loved by the local chapter that she wanted the tradition to continue every year.

Merce has taken BPW’s Individual Development Program (IDP) several times. After taking the 14 module class, she placed first in the local and region competitions, and second in two state competitions. The 14-hour course included modules on BPW, behavioral styles, creating and presenting presentations, networking, interviewing, negotiating, leadership skills, parliamentary procedure, business etiquette, legislation and media relations.

Merce is Coshocton BPW’s Chair for Buckeye Girls State (BGS). BGS is a week-long program designed to educate Ohio’s young women in the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of good citizenship. By getting involved in the process, delegates learn more about city, county and state government in one week than they will learn in an entire semester of high school. Buckeye Girls State, a nationally recognized program, is an American Legion Auxiliary program. They are required to interview and select the candidates. American Legion Auxiliary Post 65 and Coshocton BPW each sponsor scholarships for girls to attend BGS. Merce arranges for a recent graduate or the BGS Chair for the American Legion Auxiliary to speak once a year at the April BPW meeting.

When the Local chapter was looking for a new fundraising idea, Merce suggested doing a cake auction like the one in Zanesville. Coshocton BPW recently completed its 12th annual cake auction which raised more than $4,000 which will be used for the Joan McNeely Working Woman Scholarship, Dollars for Scholars, BGS, and First Step Family Violence.

She has helped at Meet the Candidates night which is co-sponsored by the Coshocton County Farm Bureau. She is also the historian, which fits right in with her passion of scrapbooking.

Now retired, Merce worked in home health for 28 years and was certified in Alzheimer’s care. She had a lot of patience to work with these patients but the elderly was her passion. She has enjoyed writing for years and has written over 35 books. She is currently writing a book to be published titled “The Woes and Wisdom of Eldercare.” In 2007 she completed her book of memoirs, 300 pages all handwritten and written in one month while holding down a fulltime job, for her sons and granddaughter. When people say they don’t have time to write their own memoirs, Merce doesn’t buy it.

She has been a professional storyteller for 31 years, is a member of the Ohio Storytelling Network and has served on the Board of Directors since 1999.

She is also a member of Progressive Valley Grange (since 2010), and Coshocton’s Write-On Writers Guild (since 2004). At the Coshocton’s Write-On Writers Guild’s Fourth Annual Writer’s Workshop on October 14th she provided a handout listing 32 different memoir topics for everyone who attended the workshop. She also ran a Writing Your Memoir workshop session. She gave participants an opportunity to write the first paragraph or so to start their own memoir. Merce always says, “When an old person dies you lose a library.”

Merce resides in Plainfield with her husband Rodney. They have three sons and a granddaughter.


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