SPOTLIGHT: Connie Dengler-Brockway

This is the next of a series of articles, the idea is to learn a bit more about the lives behind the faces we meet at our HD events, such as our support group meetings, Walks, etc.

My March interview guest is Connie Dengler-Brockway, our Ohio Valley Chapter Social Worker. Like many of us, I have had the pleasure of knowing Connie since she assumed the role of our OVC Social Worker - leading our monthly HD Support Groups, Education Events, and our recent Christmas Parties.

I recently sat down with Connie over iced tea at Whole Foods [yes, Connie is very nutrition-focused] and learned that the common denominator that has defined her many life experiences is SERVICE to OTHERS. She grew up in a large family near Punxsutawney, PA - so she is our resident expert on Phil. Her concern for others manifested itself at an early age; a high school teacher even advised her that she would make a wonderful Social Worker.

Connie continued the service theme after high school. I was humbled to learn that she has served our country for 25 years via the United States Navy – enlisted, and active reserves. In addition to various U.S based assignments, she has served in various service-related capacities in Bermuda, Italy, Iceland, Greece, Norway, and Djibouti [Africa].

In 2015, Connie received her Graduate Degree in Social Work from the University of Cincinnati. With her degree highly focused on the mental health community, she worked in various local programs, eventually meeting Mary Beth Bialick at a conference.

Today, in addition to her work as our OVC Social Worker, Connie is a faculty member at Scarlet Oaks, leading the Navy Junior ROTC program and, once again, serving young adults in learning life skills. Connie is a new grandmother via her son, who lives in Houston. She also has a daughter who lives in California.

Two things summarize my learnings about Connie: constantly learning and always giving. Connie confided that all her life, she had wanted to be a Kindergarten Teacher! While she would have been EXCELLENT in that field, fortunately for us and many people around the globe, other stuff got in the way.

Tom Long