Palestine Magazine January 2019 - Page 49

Serving her community on and off the clock A Palestine resident for nearly five years, Jessica Jones loves serving the community – on the job or off. Jones, 35, a branch manager in Elkhart for the Commercial Bank of Texas for more than four years, detected a need for a branch office in Palestine. Jones oversaw the construction of the new branch. Never one to del- egate responsibility, she accepted a promotion to Anderson County Branch Manager and assistant vice-president. A working mother, Jones gets involved in many causes and charities benefitting area youth, such as the Rotary Club’s dictionary program, which provides dictionaries and instructions on how to use them for grammar-school children. Currently on the board of directors for both Palestine Rotary Club and Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce, Jones also has served on the board of the Palestine YMCA and the United Way. “Being named as influential in Palestine is an unexpected honor,” Jones told the Herald-Press, in a rare moment between work, home, and volun- teer responsibilities. “It truly is humbling to have been chosen.” Dr. Karen Stone Caring for critters and kids Dr. Karen Stone, veterinarian and owner of Southwest Hills Veterinary Clinic on Gillespie Street, spends as much time caring for young people as she does animals. Stone, 56, a native of Houston, moved to Palestine nearly two decades ago. A mother of two girls, Stone began volunteering with community youth at her church, Southside Baptist, and with her youngest daughter at the local Sea Scouts. “I started with my daughter at the Sea Scouts, Ship #1, about seven years ago,” Stone told the Herald-Press. “Both of my daughters are in college now, but I continue to volunteer. I’m the skipper right now – like a scout-master for the Boy Scouts.” Stone said she admires how the scouts develop confidence, experience, and leadership. She now recruits other adults to volunteer. Local animal shelters have also benefitted from Stone’s community spirit. After working at her clinic all week, tending to all kinds of animals. Stone volunteers to spay and neuter, and even do emergency surgeries. Humble by nature, Stone said her nomination as one of the city’s influ- ential residents surprised and honored her. “Any recognition I receive, I’d like to use as an example to others and to praise Jesus,” she said. JANUARY 2019 49