‘Right where I belong’

Published 9:54 am Thursday, March 29, 2018

Jennifer Kinne, of Farmville, was recently asked to describe the secret of happiness. She said she thinks everyone’s happiness is different.

“I don’t know what the secret is, but I certainly have it,” she said. “Happy girl, right here!”

Her happiness likely has much to do with making what she said was the best decision of her life — moving to Virginia with her husband, Jeff.

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“Jeff’s family is in New Hampshire, and my family is in South Carolina,” she said. “We love living in the middle and have created a very cool life for ourselves.”

For the last 15 years, that life has been in Farmville. The Kinnes initially moved from Charleston, South Carolina, to Lexington and then to northern Virginia. When Jennifer and her husband decided to move to Farmville, she was worried at first, wondering if it would be a good fit for her. Her worries quickly subsided.

“Farmville fits my personality like a glove,” she said. “It didn’t take long for me to realize this was the perfect place for me and my family. I am right where I belong.”

Jeff Kinne is a prominent figure in the area as head coach of Hampden- Sydney College’s (H-SC) baseball team. Many people in Prince Edward County are familiar with Jennifer Kinne because she works three different jobs, all of which involve communicating with others.

For Prince Edward County Public Schools (PECPS), she is the family and community engagement liaison. For the Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce she is the director of marketing; and for Letterpress Communications, she is the social media manager.

The first title she cites in relation to herself, though, is mom. Kinne is mom to two human boys, Mattison, 15, and Mason, 13, and two fur baby girls, Annabelle and Fenway.

“Teenagers don’t like to snuggle, so I had to get dogs,” she said with a laugh.

She described her boys as “super rewarding” and said they are her greatest achievement, making her proud every day.

“They are very successful, both academically and athletically, at PECPS,” she said. “Watching them grow and become young men, grow into their personalities, develop their voices and share their opinions is the coolest thing about being a parent. Mattison plays baseball, looks just like me and acts just like his dad. Mason plays soccer, and while he looks just like Jeff, he behaves just like me.”

The second title Kinne cited in relation to herself was wife.

“This is where my identity disappears,” she said. “On H-SC’s campus and on the ballfield, I am known as “Coach’s Wife.” I love every minute of it, though. I am very proud of Jeff — he is living out his dream job, and I am happy to be by his side!”

Next, Kinne listed for herself the title of communicator.

“I feel a huge sense of accomplishment when the events that I have publicized are well-attended and connections are made between friends,” she said. “There are so many amazing people in Farmville, and when we can get them all in one place and working together, big things happen.”

She also noted bearing the title of marketer.

“Being able to shout to the world how awesome Farmville is, is rewarding in itself,” she said. “Being both an employee and a volunteer that gets to market Farmville for a living is a dream come true. When people say, ‘There is nothing to do in Farmville,’ I crack up. I want to open up my laptop and give them an event tutorial. Farmville is booming, and we are a community full of things for people to participate in.”

The last title Kinne listed for herself was social media manager. She described the role as ever changing, providing constant learning opportunities. “Coolest. Job. Ever,” she said. “Social media fascinates me. I am also definitely addicted to it — eeeek!”

Kinne’s jobs and the joy she finds in all of them seems to create — at least in part — an accurate reflection of who she is. Asked to provide three words that best describe her, she said, “Loyal, casual, impatient.”