Expanding the vocabulary horizons of foreign nations and welcoming people from the other side of the globe are just part of Ginny Husen's typical day.
Ginny Husen, a long-time resident of Columbia County will soon be moving to California. She helped establish the sister city program of Columbia County with Nowy Sacz City, Poland and has housed several exchange students in her home.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
For more than two decades, Husen has been a travel agent and for the last 10 years, she has spearheaded Columbia County's relation ship with its Polish sister city. Now, Husen and and her husband Bernie are moving to Indio, California.
"I am going to miss the people here in Columbia County," Husen said. "But I will stay in touch."
In the 1980's, Husen was very active with Ronald Reagan's campaign for president. She served as a delegate to the national Republican convention in 1980 and was a Georgia media liaison for delegates in 1984. She was also a 1982 candidate for the Columbia County Board of Commissioners and ran several other campaigns.
But it is her help in establishing Columbia County's Sister City program with Nowy Sacz City, Poland, that could be her legacy. She currently serves as one of two ambassadors of goodwill for the county.
"One of Ronald Reagan's favorite sayings was 'grassroots politics.' One of the things I was responsible for introducing to the Polish government was the mechanisms that were put into place to do this kind of thing, particularly in a campaign," Husen said. "And now they actually have the English phase 'grassroots politics' in their local election laws."
She worked in Warsaw in the newly-established voting precincts. She then traveled to Nowy Sacz City, the first Polish city to have a chamber of commerce.
Husen knew about hosting exchange students having invited seven different exchange students from Germany, Spain, Poland and the former Yugoslavia. One night while in Nowy Sacz City, she met with members of Parliament and members of the chamber of commerce.
She proposed her idea to Columbia County commission and they accepted the proposal.
"They wanted for people in our community and their community to continue to benefit from this program for years to come, so they introduced it into county code."
Originally from the Fort Lauderdale, Fla. area, Husen and her husband Bernie moved to Columbia County 23 years ago.
Their daughter, Laura, now lives in Holland on their son, Brian, joined the Peace Corps four years ago and is now in Honduras.
"Having all of these foreign exchange students influenced our kids dramatically," she said. "We had a good overall experience with (the exchange students). With my husband working for Delta, it afforded us the opportunity to go early in the year and visit the parents of a child that we were hosting and go meet them so they could feel more comfortable about who their child was staying with."
Mr. Husen recently took a job with the U.S. Department of Transportation and is part of the team that is converting airport security from contractors to government committees.
"He is on the initial team to help convert 429 airports in the United States to these new security systems," she said. "Columbia County is really a nice place to live and a great place to raise our family."
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