Wendy Denton was named the 2015 Kiwanian of the Year Thursday night during the Statesboro Kiwanis Club's 55th anniversary celebration.
Introduced by last year's recipient of the award, J.D. Dunn, Denton listened with a smile as he teased the audience as to her identity by revealing bits and pieces of her life.
Having served on the club's board of directors and been involved in many projects, Denton "has also been one of the driving forces in the Statesboro Kiwanis Club for the Eliminate Project," one of the club's endeavors, he said.
From Michigan, Denton met her husband, Trey, while attending Emory University. She transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, earning a BS in economics with an emphasis on marketing and entrepreneurship. The couple lived in Hong Kong two years before moving to Statesboro in 1991, where she received her graduate degree at Georgia Southern University in biology, Dunn said.
Denton has worked as a horse trainer, educational coordinator and assistant director for the GSU Center for Wildlife Education, assistant and interim director of GSU's museum and director of marketing at Sea Island Bank.
Currently, Denton is the assistant director of service learning in Georgia Southern's Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement.
Dunn told the banquet guests Denton was named
"Best Downtown Supporter" by the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority in 2014. She currently serves on the Bulloch County Board of Elections and Registration, where she "has developed quite a reputation while visiting the different precincts on Election Day," he said.
Denton's duties include "making sure the precincts had things set up as required by the Secretary of State," he said. "After she would leave a precinct, (Board of Elections Supervisor) Pat Lanier Jones would get a call about ‘that lady' who had been by and made them fix the things that were wrong."
Dunn told the crowd that Denton said "one of the nicest compliments ever paid" to her was when a "dear Southern friend here in Statesboro told her that she was ‘not that much of a Yankee.'"
Denton, who joined the Statesboro Kiwanis Club in 2011, accepted her award and said, "I feel fortunate to be a part of this group. This means the world to me."
Catered by R.J.'s Steakery, the banquet featured entertainment by the Southern Gentlemen's Barbershop Ensemble, a group of Georgia Southern students.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.