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ICON of the Month: Tandy Shuck

ICON of the Month: Tandy Shuck

Executive Director of Leadership Johnson County helps grow leaders across the county

Through her time as executive director of Leadership Johnson County, Tandy L. Shuck has helped to lead the organization’s growth in fundraising, workshops and participants in its Signature Program, helping to create leaders throughout her Johnson County Community.

“One of the perks of this job for me is I get to meet people who are truly passionate about leadership and making a difference in the community,” she said. “It kind of reenergizes you and restores your faith that there are a lot of people out there that are really trying to make a difference.”

Tandy is originally from Tipton, Ind., receiving her undergraduate degree from Hanover College before earning her Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Connecticut College. She began working at Franklin College in the counseling Center in 1993.

In 2000, she went through the Leadership Johnson County (LJC) Program, a self-funded branch of Franklin College. LJC offers a Signature Program allowing for participants “to engage, develop, collaborate and grow into even better leaders.” Tandy graduated from the class in May.

It was at that time that the nonprofit was looking for its first full-time paid staff position. Tandy had the experience: she had done leadership training with new student programming at Franklin College, was adjunct faculty in the psychology department, and had helped start the nonprofit organization, Dress for Success, in Indianapolis by assisting its fundraising initiatives. She was hired as executive director for LJC in August 2000.

When Tandy took on the position, she wanted to expand the programming, which they have done by adding Select Workshops, half and full-day workshops on topics pertaining to leadership. LJC hosts approximately 15 of these workshops throughout the year. LJC has gone from one full-time staff person to three, and has four to five hundred people attending its workshops each year.

Next year will be LJC’s 25th anniversary, and Tandy said they are excited about planning a special celebration for that milestone. With 675 graduates from its signature program, she said the community is better off for the work of LJC.

“We have almost 700 graduates that are doing good things in the community,” she said. “I have learned that leaders come from all walks of life. All of us are works in progress and there is always something for each of us to learn or a skill for us to hone. I love watching all of us strive to be the best that they can be. That has motivated me to continue to grow as a leader as well.”

Outside of LJC, Tandy is currently board president for the Franklin Chamber of Commerce, serves on the board for Franklin United Methodist Community and is an emeritus board member for Dress for Success. She resides in the Center Grove area with her husband, Michael Waddick and three children.

Here, learn more about our December ICON of the Month, Tandy L. Shuck.

What do you consider your greatest virtue?

I asked two people who serve both as my biggest fans and my toughest critics. Both my sister and my husband agreed my greatest virtue was my integrity. I believe we should know what our moral and ethical principles are and we should structure our lives so we are always upholding those principles. 

What do you most deplore in others?

I wish more people would listen to understand instead of listening to respond. I think if we really try to listen and understand each other there would be less hate in the world.

What do you like most about living in Center Grove?

Center Grove is where I call home for many reasons. I love the school corporation in Center Grove. My children attended Maple Grove Elementary School and we have loved every year and now we are navigating both Center Grove Middle School Central and the High School.  My husband and I believe our children are each getting a quality education. I enjoy the people in Center Grove – we care about each other, look out for one another, and come together when duty calls.

If you had to live anywhere else in the Metro Indianapolis area, where would it be?

I am living in the place I want to live. Johnson County has been my home since 1993 and Center Grove is where I have lived for 12 years. My home and my heart are in Johnson County.

If you could begin life over, what would you change?

It sounds cliché, but I would not do anything differently. The things that have happened in my life have made me the person I am today. I was taught to learn from my successes as well as my failures and I believe I have used those experiences to make myself a more productive person. I think we are all a “masterpiece in progress,” but I will admit I like the way I am heading!

If money were no issue, how would you spend it?

Philanthropy has always been very important to me. I believe if money was not an issue and I knew my family was taken care of, I would find ways to help the charities I am most passionate about in Johnson and Marion Counties. My passions include Leadership Johnson County, Johnson County Community Foundation, Johnson County Public Library, and Dress for Success Indianapolis. I remember the concept of helping others was always taught and practiced in my home as a child. I hope my husband and I are teaching our children the importance of helping others along our journey as well.

What makes you happiest?

I enjoy the simple things in life: a good book, a cold soda, dancing with my husband, and creating laughter with my children. My husband and three children are the people that keep me grounded and put a smile on my face every single day.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

I know there are more exotic places but my favorite vacation spot currently is South Haven, Michigan. We love all it offers with its beaches, parks, and outdoor activities. It is only a four-hour drive from home.

What do you do with idle time?

When I do have some free time, I enjoy making memories with family and friends and then capturing those memories in scrapbooks. I also love reading and I typically have a goal of reading around 100 books per year. I am a little behind this year as I am currently only at 75 books!

What is it that makes you angry?

I really don’t like when people don’t use turn signals.

What do you do to escape from reality?

I believe there is no better way to escape from reality than with a good book!

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My husband is the greatest love of my life. I feel very blessed to have him in my life. He has an incredible work ethic, great sense of humor, is a wonderful father, and the best partner a person could ask for in life. My children are also incredibly important to me, but I try to remember the foundation of our family begins with the love my husband and I have for each other.

Which living person in Center Grove do you most admire?

There are too many people I admire in Center Grove to just pick one. I will say I admire those that strive to be life-long learners, leaders and change agents. I admire people who act and try to make a difference in their communities. 

What is the quality you like most in a man?

The quality I most like in a man or woman is a strong work ethic. My parents instilled in me a passion for doing whatever you do at 110 percent. I feel there are certain factors that come together to form a strong work ethic. I believe a person should demonstrate integrity, a sense of responsibility, emphasis on quality, discipline, and a sense of teamwork. 

What is the quality you like most in a woman?

The same quality for a woman as in a man – work ethic.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I am a frugal person but I love to travel so I would say my greatest extravagance is travel!  I love learning about cultures and seeing the world so my husband and I have made it a priority to travel domestically and internationally.

What are your fears/phobias?

I do not like mice, snakes, or spiders! One of my sons loves snakes so I might have to overcome that one but I don’t see the other two changing anytime soon.

What has been the happiest time of your life?

My happiest memories are the arrivals of my three children and celebrating my wedding anniversary with my husband. I also believe there are many “happiest moments” yet to come and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Which talent would you most like to possess?

I cannot carry a tune! I have so many friends with musical talent and beautiful voices. I have always wanted to be able to sing. Lack of talent doesn’t stop me from singing but I do try to limit my belting out of my favorite songs just to the privacy of my car. I love that my daughter is in show choir at Center Grove High School and that my sons are involved in band and orchestra. This helps my life be full of music!

What do you most value in your friends?

Unconditional love is at the center of my friendships. My friends are busy men and women who are balancing many things all at once. As friends, we may not get to see each other as often as we would like. It is important for us to be able to call on the phone or stop by for a visit and just pick our relationship up wherever we left it regardless of how much time has passed. We also stand by each other during our celebrations and in our darkest moments.

Which historical figure do you most admire?

I recently returned from a trip to Italy and was fascinated by the work of Michelangelo. I was mesmerized by some of his work and I haven’t spent a great deal of time learning about him so I know I will be researching him more in the very near future.

What is your greatest regret?

I feel regrets are a waste of time and energy. You can’t change what has happened but you can learn from the past and live your present and plan your future so it is better in line with your vision for yourself.

What tenet do you live by?

“A simple life is a good life.”  Perhaps it has taken me longer to learn than some others but I finally realized that time with loved ones and a connection to my community are the most important things. Our time together may be short so we must make the most of it by enjoying the simple things.

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