Jeff and Amy Parmenter have deep roots in the community, and they’re hoping those roots help reap a successful harvest for the United Way of Schuyler County.
The 2014 United Way campaign chairmen are both graduates of Odessa-Montour Central School. Their sons, Phoenix and Drew, follow in their footsteps as students in that school district.
Jeff works in his family business, Parmenter Inc., also long established in Schuyler County. Parents Ron and Donita, who are both still active in the business, started with a gas station in 1974. Today the business extends into tires, automotive repair and construction, with six locations.
Jeff carries the title of vice president. His resume also lists four years with the U.S. Air Force.
Amy teaches sixth-grade at Beecher Elementary School in Elmira. She got there by way of SUNY Cortland and Elmira College.
Ask Amy about her community activities and she’ll agree she’s a “Gaters Mom.” She’s also involved with the Parent-Faculty Organization at both Beecher, where she teaches, and in the Odessa-Montour school district, where Phoenix, 11, is in sixth grade and Drew, 7, is in second.
Both admit they’d heard of United Way, but, like many people, their knowledge was limited.
“I didn’t know that much about United Way, other than a thermometer on a building,” Jeff said. “But I’ve learned it’s a good cause, and I’m happy to be a chairman.
“What I didn’t know is that all the money stays locally. That’s important to me.”
“United Way does so much more than we knew,” Amy said.
With this lesson in mind, the Parmenters said informing their Schuyler County neighbors about the goals and successes of United Way is their mission as campaign chairmen.
“It’s an instant hit with me,” Jeff said.