Foundation Created in the Honor of Conklin Company President and Chief Operating Officer Judith A. Herbster

“Life is filled with people and experiences that mold us into the individuals God wants us to become. Through the years, many people have left their mark on our hearts and lives, and taught, inspired, and impacted our lives. We hope, in a small way, we can leave a mark on your life.”

Judith A. Herbster used these words to describe the importance of supporting the youth of America and our nation’s future leaders. The opportunity to provide financial support for students was “a blessing and a dream come true” for Judy. To continue her legacy, the Judith A Herbster Foundation was created to offer scholarships for students in her honor.

Judy believed the only way to pay back those who have been a blessing in her own life’s journey was to pass it on by helping, supporting, and encouraging others. One of her last remarks to those on the receiving end of her kindness: “You will never know the difference a few kind words, a loving touch, or just making time to listen will mean to so many.”

The Judith A. Herbster Foundation Scholarship is accepting donations, which will determine the financial award given to scholarship recipients. High school seniors or college students, who are children of active Conklin Independent Distributors in good standing, are eligible to apply to obtain this financial aid for those in pursuit of a two- or four-year college degree or trade show certification. If you would like to invest in their future, donations can be made to:

Judith A. Herbster Foundation, P.O. Box 549, Falls City, NE 68355

Judith A. Herbster Foundation Scholarship Information

Judy Herbster’s Lasting Legacy

From a fresh-faced Conklin Distributor in 1979 to a determined company president who worked tirelessly for nearly four decades working to promote the American Dream to countless across the country, Judith A. Herbster dedicated her life helping others reach their life’s goals.  Judy passed away on May 2, 2017, leaving behind her a legacy of hard work, desire to serve, and devotion to excellence.  A tribute to Judy’s lasting legacy was featured in Vision Magazine, Vol. 3 (2017).  Conklin would like to thank those who contributed to this tribute.  Below are additional comments shared by these Conklin Distributors whose thoughts could not all be featured in the magazine.

Director Carol Thiesen – Clovis, Calif.
The first time Gerry and I really had personal contact with Charles and Judy was when they came out to California to do a Successful Sales Manager workshop for us shortly after they purchased the Conklin Company. When we picked them up from the airport, they were both in jeans and Charles hadn’t shaved—he had been up all night with a cow birthing a calf. We had not seen them like that before! They were so real, so down to earth. We headed up to California Hot Springs, a private retreat center in the mountains, where we were doing the workshop. The night we were all going to go to the hot springs after dinner, Judy said, “Okay girls, when we come back, no makeup, we’re having a meeting, everyone comes as they are!” She abode by that, too! She seemed so confident and relaxed. Here she is, co-owner of the company and not concerned about image, not afraid to be vulnerable, and just be real. I was impressed!

The Herbsters pose with company founder, Bob Conklin, and his daughter, Ellen.

Regional Director Dennis (Denny) Dammen – Prior Lake, Minn.

We first met when Judy was appointed as a Director.  The thing that was probably most striking about Judy was her enthusiasm and the fact that she was setting records, blowing the guys away!  Her outgoing friendliness was a great memory.  We watched Judy’s achievements over the years when the Herbsters eventually purchased the company.  Bob Conklin said that Charles and Judy were really great running mates and they were well-matched, well-suited for building the business and also, I think Bob felt really comfortable letting them have the reigns.  I heard those comments personally from Bob.  He trusted the transfer of ownership or he would have never have done it.  Judy was a big part of that, because Bob knew Charles was a great salesman and Judy was good at keeping things heading in the right direction.

Director Francis Taphorn – Marysville, Kan.
I’ve known Charles since we were both Conklin Distributors.  I was already in the business, but when Judy and Charles got together, I used to stop up in Lincoln at their apartment, and if Charles wasn’t home, I would notice her cutting out all different pattern colors for different types of dresses and sit at the kitchen table and watch her turn around and sew all these patterns together to make her own clothes.  She was always nice and knew who I was.  She always gave me hugs at all the meetings.  She was a great friend.

Director Karen Livesay – Mount Sterling, Iowa

Judy holding then baby Karen Livesay, who is now a Conklin Director.

My family talks about life B.C. (Before Conklin).  I am truly a blessed person.  I was born into the Conklin family; therefore, I have had the privilege of being “in” Conklin and knowing Judy Herbster my entire life!  Judy was one of the first people to hold me that I wasn’t related to.  I went to my first Conklin Business Seminar when I was 2 weeks old. I attended twelve Conklin Business Seminars before I was 1 year of age and traveled to 24 states with Conklin before I was 2.  Judy was at every Conklin Business Seminar and company meeting, as well as several of our Field Day events.  So, literally, I can’t remember life without Judy! 

When I was about 3 years old, I was at a Conklin Business Seminar and went up to the room with dad, who was placing a fertilizer order with Barb Kroyer in Conklin’s Sales Center.  Well, that was boring! And Judy was in the meeting room and Judy wasn’t boring, so I headed out the door and down the hall to the meeting room.  One elevator and 12 floors later, I found Judy. A few minutes later, a very frantic Dad found me smiling and sitting on Judy’s lap while she did her paper work.  And how could Dad be mad at me for wanting to be with Judy!

Future Distributor Kayla Livesay – Mount Sterling, Iowa

I have been very blessed to be born into the Conklin Company and grow up looking up to Judy. The first time I rolled over was at the Herbster’s farm in Falls City, Neb., during an Angus bull sale.  Judy was at my first Conklin Business Seminar and Destinations Trip.  When I was small, I remember admiring her sparkly dresses. However, as I got older, I learned to admire her for the kind of person she was on the inside.

Judy Herbster alongside Kayla Livesay during a Conklin Destinations trip.

One of my favorite memories with Judy was at the farm. One afternoon, it was just the two of us in the house after lunch. We were still cleaning up, and I was too young to go drive a tractor or help set up for the Pro Grower event, but I wasn’t too young to hang out with Judy. After we had finished working, she told me if I could keep a secret, she had a surprise. That was the day I learned how to mattress slide. Judy helped me drag the mattress up the stairs and sat behind me as I slid down for the first time, because I was too scared to do it alone. Beside teaching me how to mattress slide that day, she taught me how to work until a job was done correctly, to never give less than my best, to do as much as I could for others, to always be kinder than necessary, and how to get the most fun out of every moment. Whether we were washing dishes, pulling weeds, clearing tables, or serving food, you always had a good time, because Judy had a way of making everything better. A few years later, when I started Kindergarten, Judy took the time to email me weekly, asking how I was doing and what I was learning. Her emails were always the highlight of my week. I am grateful she took the time to care about my life and make an ordinary thing special.

District Manager Katie Hedrick – Mount Sterling, Iowa

Charles and Judy Herbster with Katie and Chad Hedrick at the 2010 Conklin National Convention after the Hedricks received the President’s Award.

Judy was a very special lady in my life, as well as my family’s. Being raised a “Conklin Kid,” I honestly don’t remember life before Judy. My earliest memories with Judy include Field Days throughout the Midwest. The most special ones were those on my Grandparents’ farm, as well as Charles and Judy’s farm. Every summer, my family and the Herbsters would spend time together prepping test plots and food for Field Days. Judy always had a can-do attitude, and she made every moment and every chore a fun one. When I was in high school, I remember a very special evening meal of Judy’s homemade meatloaf, served in their garage at the farm, at 9 p.m., after we’d all put in a long day’s work of pulling weeds in the cornfield. That’s one of my very favorite “Judy memories.”

When I was a freshman in college, Judy was part of something that would change the course of my life. We were on the Conklin Destinations trip, a Mexican Riviera cruise. It was on that trip that I met Chad. Judy was there, on the “Chad and Katie Cruise,” and 1 1/2 years later, when Chad and I got married, Judy was there again.

Another special moment with Judy was the year that Chad and I became Directors, achieved the President’s Club, and received the President’s Award. I remember celebrating in Charles and Judy’s suite after the Gala Banquet. Judy and I were both there in our evening gowns… and both of us were barefoot… farm girls at heart!!

National Directors Leonard & Lori Hostetler – Hotchkiss, Colo.

In 1983, we went to our first Conklin Business Seminar and Judy took care of our 6-month-old daughter. Judy always had a heart for children and children always loved her. She always took time for others, speaking many kind words. We remember her infectious laughter…it made you want to laugh right along with her.

Judy had a love for children, who in turn, embraced her open heart just the same.

Judy was a very caring person. She always had a kind word for everyone. It made you want to strive to become a person like her. She was the type of person that when you were around her you were like, “When I grow up, I want to be like Judy.” Her Christian testimony was an inspiration to us and to many others as well. We shared our favorite personal development books with her, and she did the same with us.

Leonard and Judy also shared the same passion for a healthy lifestyle. Leonard often shared his California oranges and other fruit with Judy when he had the opportunity.

We have lots of fond memories of Judy in Cancun at the Preferred Contractor Destinations trip.  She was there to serve others, always making sure everyone was well accommodated.

Her personality was such that it made you want to work harder on yourself and aspire to live life the way she did. She was always a very positive person, always upbeat. She worked tirelessly behind the scenes at National Convention and many other times as well. On the evening of the banquet at National Convention, she always came out on stage with Charles looking like a beautiful rose. 

Senior Directors Rod & Sheila Livesay – Mount Sterling, Iowa

Charles and Judy Herbster with Rod and Sheila Livesay at the November 1992 Success Seminar (now known as Conklin Business Seminar).

Honestly, every memory of Judy is fond.  That’s just who she was as a person.  She wanted to make others feel valuable and special.  My first memory of Judy was at the November 1992 Success Seminar (now known as Conklin Business Seminar) in Murphysboro, Tenn.  She was sitting at the registration table and we were a couple hours early, just checking out where the meeting room was, etc.  Judy was getting name tags in order and Charles was setting up the room with empty can displays.  Judy met with Rod and I after the three-day program ended and had supper with us.  She became our mentor and friend over burgers, and it was the first of many such meetings.  At that first supper, she gave us the most important piece of advice in our business career; it became the cornerstone of our business.  She advised us to live our life and run our business according to the Law of Reciprocity: Always do what is right for the other person, and in the long run it will work out for you, too. She said it wouldn’t necessarily be the fastest way to build the business, but that it was the best way to build a lasting business.  Be kind, be helpful, and be honest, add value to other people’s life, and keep their best interests at heart—these were important traits that Judy instilled at that very first meeting.  

And this was just the beginning.  Every time we got together there were more lessons and more fun.  The first year we traveled across the country to nearly every Conklin Business Seminar.  We helped with setup and teardown.  We worked side by side and all the time Judy was teaching—iron the banners, bring your own vacuum if you had to (but make sure the floor was clean), save the rubber bands and paper clips (they cost money), and don’t set up too many chairs…better to need to set up more than have too many.  We had jokes about Crystal Clear Tape and Pocket Protectors and everything in between, because when you were around Judy, you were going to laugh and joke and have fun.

Judy Herbster on with Conklin Senior Director Curt Livesay.

One time, when we were at the farm, she got our son, Curt, to help her pull a joke on Charles.  She baked a chocolate cake and wanted to fix a nice dinner for everyone to enjoy after we were done working outside.  She cut the cake and put it on a beautiful serving tray.  She left all the crusty edge pieces in pan and hid the full tray. When Charles came inside to eat, she had Curtis, who was a growing 12-year-old boy, offer him the cake pan with the edge pieces to make him think Curtis had eaten all the good parts and all that was left was crumbs. The look on Charles’ face was priceless and Judy belly laughed for a long time. But again, she was always teaching: Make things nice, don’t save your good dishes—use them, serve others.   It could be 10 o’clock at night, and she would still take time to teach Katie how to set the good china and crystal and where to put the forks on the freshly pressed linen table cloth before we could eat a superbly prepared home-cooked supper in our dirty, old work clothes. These are treasured memories.

I also remember the year Judy put up an old Christmas tree she had in the basement.  National Convention was in January back then, and Judy got busy and didn’t get the tree taken down.  She told me that if it was still up in July, she would just leave it up for the next year, and she did!  She added baby’s breath and dried roses from flowers Charles had given her for Valentine’s Day and left the white lights on and then added some more.  It was so bright you could read by it!  It was striking and so “Judy,” that it made sense.  Functional, yet beautiful.  Practical, yet fun.  It was simply totally “Judy.” 

Yet, another fond memory with the kids was the “country pool.”  We were out to the farm for the week. Kayla was about 5 and Karen still in grade school.  Judy and the Herbster’s farm managers’ daughter, Miranda, had set up an old fashioned claw foot bathtub that they had found around the farm and placed it in the backyard (on the grass that normally no one was allowed to walk on).  The girls played and splashed for hours!  The next time we came back, the tub was on patio pavers and was soon filled up to become an instant pool again.  However, seeing Judy climb onto a baby bed mattress and surf down the farm house stairs was truly an unforgettable lifetime memory. Judy definitely knew how to get an ooohhhhh and an ahhhhh, and a WOW from the kids!

We also made great memories traveling with Judy.  We all survived the fish market in Portugal (phewey), haggled with merchants in Mexico, did the luau in Hawaii, covered our eyes on the ship with David statues, sang Kareoke together on the cruises, and generally had a ball together. Whether it was work or play, if you were with Judy, you went wide open and laughed a lot. 

Director Carol Thiesen – Clovis, Calif.

Judy giving a Conklin Cleaning Products demonstration during Conklin Business Seminar.

When LIFETRACK® was first introduced, about 10 years after the introduction of Fastrack®, Judy said she had been wanting a nutritional product line for quite a while. She knew they couldn’t put it off any longer– they had to develop a probiotic for people! Judy was a walking testimony of Probiotic Support™ with her acid reflux story, which enhanced our belief in the product. She walked closely with Dr. Doug Gabbert, who led the division in the early days, in the developing of new products. 

Before all Conklin Business Seminars were conducted in Kansas City, Mo., they were put on in different cities all over the country. Charles and Judy came to Fresno, Calif., a couple times to put it on. Judy would have me do cleaning demonstrations for products found in the Home Division. Before I did it the first time, Judy gave me not only a video of her doing a cleaning product demonstration, but also her personal notes. It was so helpful and it did much to boost my confidence!

Regional Director Dennis (Denny) Dammen – Prior Lake, Minn.

You could find Judy at numerous Conklin training events.  From Conklin Business Seminar to Conklin AgroVantage Regional Field Days to Conklin Pro Ag Training Programs, she provided her expertise and attention to detail.  (Pictured below: Jerry Cox, Judy Herbster, Charles W. Herbster, and Kip Cullers)

Over the last two years, the Pro Ag training programs, because Judy attended a large number of these trainings and assumed a more active role in the planning and administration of these programs, grew exponentially.  Our goal was to raise the bar by providing higher-quality meeting facilities, better meals, more friendliness, and streamlined registration.  Judy would always give personal remarks to the group.  I think the first thing that people saw when attending a Pro Ag training was Judy at the registration table and she would stand up as people approached, not remain seated, and say, “Hello, my name is Judy Herbster and welcome to Pro Ag I.”  That was a great first impression!  Every single time, attendees felt like “bang!”  Later on, a lot of them would find out she was the president of the company when she spoke in front of the room (not announcing this when she first introduced herself at the registration desk).  She maintained consistency in the program; they were way better than they had been in previous years.  She made me look good!  Her work with the training program helped us out a lot, even though the farm economy has been dragging a bit. 

When she would speak to a group of farmers, she would talk to them not as a corporate executive, but as a farmer and a farmer’s wife.  Her remarks emphasized that Conklin, through its training programs, was here to keep farmers profitable and in business.  She always said, “We don’t do average.”  She talked about how she and Charles ran their farming operation and the role Conklin played in that for them personally.  She personalized the who thing so people felt like, “Wow, this is one of the last of the farmer-owned ag supply companies in the United States.”  There aren’t very many left that are farmer-owned on the ag supply side.

Judy had a very consistent message and she was always about consistency.  I respected her as a leader, as a trainer, as a teacher, and as a friend.  She was a friend first and then all of those other things second.  She probably changed several thousand lives.  She not only did this for ag, but she did this throughout all the other divisions.  We got a chance to experience her knowledge firsthand in the Ag Division.  We’re grateful, thankful to have known and worked with Judy Herbster.

Director Karen Livesay – Mount Sterling, Iowa

Judy worked hard and knew how to have fun, even volunteering for a dunk tank at a Field Day event.

One of the most exciting phrases when I was younger was, “We are going to the farm.”  I knew that meant heading to Nebraska!  Judy cooked the best meals and served them in the garage.  I got to help put on the table cloths—just because you were eating in the garage, didn’t mean you didn’t do your best to make it nice.  I got to help her in the kitchen, but mostly I worked outside, sometimes, I even got to help plant plots or do foliar work.  Judy made everything fun.  She showed me how to wash pumpkins, without getting too wet, and we watered hundreds of mums in the milk house. We sat up chairs in the tents, one hand width between each one. Every activity had a lesson. One hand width meant the guests would be more comfortable. One year she made a huge sand pile for the kids to play in. She wanted all the kids to love Conklin events, too!  Judy was always thinking how to make an event bigger and better, and how to do any activity to the best of her ability.  From the National Field Day preparations, to Herbster Angus Sales, to cleanup at my Grandparents’ Field Day, Judy was always there teaching me lessons without me knowing it, and that was a lesson in and of itself—to live your life in a way that when it is done, others will know how to live from the memories you shared.

Senior Directors Rod & Sheila Livesay – Mount Sterling, Iowa
Judy was a friend to everyone she met.  She was a combination of your mom (she could guide and direct and even get after you, all while loving you unconditionally), your sister (she could give you advice as your peer, keep your secrets, and joke around), your favorite aunt (she always knew when you needed a break and had tons of ideas of how to make work fun and would totally let the kids do things a parent couldn’t, but an aunt should), and still be a best friends.  Over the years, the relationship had two components: 1.) It was like time stood still and it could be months, but when you saw each other again, it was like it was yesterday and you picked right up where you last let off; and 2.)  The friendship grew and matured and got better over time. We could laugh and cry together, and did both.  She could ask the hard questions in a loving way. She was with us on a cruise when we got word my brother passed away and she was there with a kind word and practical advice. She spoke at my Dad’s funeral, even though she was very nervous about it.  Also, she had just called when Rod’s Dad passed away in April.  She wasn’t afraid to ask if he knew Jesus and again offered advice, telling us not to rush things, to take our time, and do it exactly as we wanted, having no regrets.

The Herbsters with then Distributor Stuart Kerr and current Director Charlotte Kerr during the President’s Club Award Ceremony.

Our relationship was special for several reasons. First, we became Conklin Distributors about the same time the Herbsters purchased the company. We were all learning together as we went. Charles and Judy were working tirelessly, 100+ hours a week, and so were we. Secondly, we spent time together and built the relationship. They would come and stay at our house during Field Day season and we would go and stay at the farm when they needed our help. Thirdly, we knew their parents and siblings, and because our family was all in Conklin, they knew ours, too. My folks, Stuart and Charlotte Kerr, drove from their farm to Lincoln to pick up the Herbsters so they could attend our Field Day. My mom, Charlotte, and Judy’s mom, Doris, cooked together at the huge company Field Days where we would feed 600 people, twice a day, and wash the dishes in the bath tub on hands and knees between meals. Rod worked side by side with Judy and her dad in the field, not just for Field Days, but with harvest and choring the cows. The kids helped bottle feed baby calves at Judy’s side. You really get to know someone when you wash 200 pumpkins, rake acres of gravel, or spray paint cow chips together. Our relationship with Judy was special because we encouraged her, and she encouraged us to dream big and think big.

Mostly, however, our relationship with Judy was special because Judy was special. For example, when our youngest daughter, Kayla, first went to Kindergarten, Judy emailed her every week. She would ask what the letter of the week was and send back an email with lots of words with those letters. When we were talking about how Kayla wanted to save all her school papers, because they were so special, Judy had the answer. “Help her learn now how to prioritize,” she said. “Let her save two each day, with one bonus paper per week. Then, at the end of the week, you pick four or five out of the stack to save away. When the month is done, you reduce to four or five again, and then repeat at the end of the quarter.” Each time we would come to Kansas City for a training, Kayla would bring her box of school papers and she and Judy would go through them together. Judy would comment on each one and applaud Kayla’s efforts like she had just come up with a new mathematical equation. Judy always had the gift of encouragement. When our middle daughter, Karen, missed a whole year of school due to health issues, it was Judy who made the doctor’s appointment that got her back on her feet and back in school. Judy and Charles flew in for Karen’s graduation from high school. They were even there for Katie, our oldest daughter, when they attended Katie and Chad’s wedding. She invested in others!

Director Carol Thiesen – Clovis, Calif.

Carol Thiesen and Judy Herbster on a Conklin Preferred Contractor Destinations trip.

I think the thing that stands out to me the most about Judy is the example of a servant that she was. She so frequently put others’ needs above her own. We had quite a few late night sessions with Charles and Judy, after a meeting, particularly when they would come out to California, even when I know they were beyond exhausted. On what are now Preferred Contractor Destinations trips, Judy was always so intent on creating a place where everyone could come and relax, visit, and eat (in the Herbster’s suite).  I have never known anyone who worked harder; but she also knew how to play (like at California Hot Springs).

Director Francis Taphorn – Marysville, Kan.
Her enthusiasm was contagious.  One of the reasons I have stayed with the Conklin Company is because Judy was religious and always had something good to say, that was always a big plus with me.  I like the model for the company that Judy and Charles came up with: God first, family second, business third.  Judy lived this.

For those who never personally met Judy, they really missed out on a wonderful person.  If you needed something, she would get it for you or see that you got it.  Even if it was a day late, she never forgot it.  That’s the kind of person she was, I think she just aimed to please, period, to do things for other people.  A lot of the times, you just don’t see that.

Charles and Judy Herbster with Karen Livesay at her high school graduation.

Director Karen Livesay – Mount Sterling, Iowa

Not only did Judy make the everyday moments better, she made special days fantastic.  Sometimes she would send a Christmas card or a special note. However, for my high school graduation, Charles and Judy came and sat with my parents in the parent section.  It was such an honor to have them there.  They came to my reception and stayed until the last person left.  It was a special moment.  This spring, Judy and I spent several hours at Pro Ag training programs talking about my wedding.  She was helping me with ideas and listening to my plans.  We were texting back and forth a short time before her passing and the last text she sent me was, “Can’t wait to see you again.”  Little did I know that this text would become my sentiment when thinking of her.  Judy was impressive, because she was equally humble, compassionate, loving, and grounded. She impacted thousands and I am so glad to be one of the many she reached out to along the way.

Future Distributor Kayla Livesay – Mount Sterling, Iowa

“That’s how I will always remember Judy—caring, compassionate, thoughtful and selfless, and a great leader.  It was an honor to have Judy has a great role model and friend.” – Kayla Livesay

Seeing Judy at a Conklin event was always a special treat. At one convention, I saw Judy and after giving me a big hug she complimented what I was wearing. I said thank you, but then told her how it was a dress I had already worn. She immediately explained to me how there was nothing wrong with that. It was simply a “re-tread,” and that she understood why I had worn it again because it was absolutely gorgeous.  A smile instantly lit up my face and my day had been made. That became my favorite dress, and from then on we made sure to tell each other anytime we were “re-treading.”

At the last National Convention, I burned myself a few hours before the Gala Banquet. As my hand started to blister, my mom told me to text Judy, because Judy had shared that she had a great burn cream with her. In the middle of her incredibly busy day, she took the time to text me back and had me come up to her room to get it. That’s how I will always remember Judy—caring, compassionate, thoughtful, selfless, and a great leader. It was an honor to have Judy as a great role model and friend. If I strive to be a little more like her every day, I have no doubt I will be a better person.

District Manager Katie Hedrick – Mount Sterling, Iowa

Judy believed in the American Dream and generations of Conklin Distributors will carry on her legacy to share this dream with others.

I have always admired many things about Judy Herbster, from her servant leadership and her generosity to her beautiful, gentle spirit and her determination. However, the thing I always admired the most was the way she was so brave, breaking out of her comfort zone all the time. Judy was always nervous about public speaking, although you’d never know it. She’d put a smile on her face and give her all every time she was at the front of the room or up on a stage. I relate to that so much. Public speaking has always made me very uncomfortable, but Judy knew and I know, that LIFE lives OUTSIDE of our comfort zone.

Every time I’m asked to present or share the Conklin story, Judy’s courage will ring in my heart and I will give it my all, in honor of her. She left a beautiful mark on this world and moving forward, I hope to honor Judy’s legacy by living, loving, and leading well, and continuing the American Dream… the Conklin Dream.

Senior Directors Rod & Sheila Livesay – Mount Sterling, Iowa

Judy set the bar high for herself and for others. After you spent time with her, you wanted to reflect on what she said, or even more importantly, on what you did together, and then you wanted to live whatever you learned from her out to the fullest.  I never wanted to disappoint Judy.  Whether it was setting up a meeting room, arranging a product display, writing an article, running registration for an event, talking with a farmer, or handling a problem with a caterer, you would think, “What would Judy do?  What would Judy say?” You wanted to do your best to live up to the high standards she taught and lived.  She really did inspire excellence.  She role modeled servant leadership each and every day. 

“She said, ‘If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.  Let’s make it grand!'” – Rod & Sheila Livesay

She was never too good for any job.  She gave everything a personal touch.  One of the many impactful things she taught me had to do with the word “grand.” She wanted everyone to be grand, to choose to do things in a grand way, to not be average, to not do ordinary, and to not ever be satisfied with a “good-enough” approach to any project.  She said, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.  Let’s make it grand!”  We might send a Vision article back and forth 10 times to get the wording just right; no detail was too small.   And again, Rod and I set out to follow her lead and live and lead and build an organization in a grand way.  Every Field Day, meeting, training, call, we were aiming for grand. The last text she sent, a few days before she passed away, simply said, “That’s grand!  Thanks for sharing!”  Judy definitely lived up to her own standards!  She was one of a kind, irreplaceable, and totally a GRAND person!  

Tribute to Judith A. Herbster
Conklin’s President’s Club Tribute to Judith A. Herbster