S.H.E.: Local lady leaders share their new year resolutions

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 2:28 pm on Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A new year often brings intentions for a better quality of life. Some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions include losing weight, quitting smoking or drinking, and managing debt. Here at S.H.E, we were curious about what the local female leaders in our community have planned for 2012. So we asked!


Suzanne Hoseth Kreeger

Suzanne Hoseth Kreeger is the chief judge for the 8th Judicial Circuit Court in Ionia and Montcalm counties. Her goals range from the physical to the spiritual.

Kreeger wants to clean out the clutter in her home, noting how she tends to be a “pack-rat.” She also wants to learn how to knit, make better use of the crockpot for family meals and update family electronics and photo albums.

“I am the family historian and life is whizzing by so I want to be sure I memorialize all of my kids’ pictures, accomplishments and funny expressions with particular emphasis on completing my senior’s albums before the graduation open house,” she said.

Kreeger aims to “be more intentional” by staying firmly focused on faith, family and friends. “I want to seek out and act on opportunities to inspire positive change,” she said. “I am extremely blessed to work for the many people of Montcalm and Ionia counties. While a large part of what I do is hold people accountable, it is satisfying to encourage conflict resolution within families and relationships and to see people break free from addictions and overcome self-defeating behaviors.”
Kreeger also hopes to be more appreciative and less wasteful next year.

“I want to spend more time at the end of the day in prayer and reflection to regroup, renew, restore and fully experience the inner peace, strength and balance that comes with it,” she said. “Keep the spirit and wonder of Christmas alive throughout the year, savoring the magic and beauty of the moment because in the end, as one of my favorite groups, Point of Grace, sings: ‘It’s not so much what you did, but how you lived.’”


As the clerk of Montcalm County, Kristen Millard’s job is extremely detail-oriented and she struggles against carrying that need for detail into her personal life. Her resolution is “not to sweat the small stuff”, both in her professional and physical life.

Kristen Millard

“As a woman, it’s so easy to globalize, meaning that if one or two things in your life are less than unsatisfactory, then everything is unsatisfactory,” she said. “It’s important to break things down and deal with them individually instead of globalizing. By doing this we can concentrate on the good things in our life instead of dwelling on things that are not so good.”

This will be a busy year for Millard, professionally. A presidential primary election in February and the main election in November are looming. Millard is up for re-election herself.

“My resolution is to break each piece of my responsibilities down and deal with them individually instead of looking at the whole year and feeling overwhelmed,” she said.
Millard is anticipating an active personal life next year as well. She is looking forward to the birth of her first grandchild and wants to enjoy every moment she can with her daughter, son-in-law and new baby.

“I will need to let go of some of my everyday worries in order to do so,” she said. “My resolution is to be the grandmother that my grandmother was to me, therefore I will let go of the small stuff so that I can give more of myself to my family.


Candy Kerschen

Candy Kerschen is co-executive director of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce. She plans to focus on finding personal balance and doing more for others next year.

Kerschen recently began sharing job duties in order to spend more time with friends and family, but she is having a difficult time tearing herself away from emails, phone calls and trips to the office.

“My goal is to run my personal errands, do my chores, get some exercise, etc., so that when my husband and daughter are home I can actually engage in a conversation with them,” she said. “Maybe eventually I could spend my off days meeting old friends for coffee, going to a matinee or treating my daughter to lunch.”

Kerschen knows her own life is full of blessings and she wants to spread the love. Before her grandmother died of Alzheimer’s disease, Kerschen would visit her, painting her grandmother’s fingernails or bringing along her dog, Dixie.

“When I visited my grandma she didn’t know who I was, but petting my dog, Dixie, made her smile and she liked it when I painted her fingernails,” she said. “I’ll pray on these ideas, and see where God leads me. I don’t have grandiose dreams of changing the world – just hope to make my little corner of it a little brighter.”


Marcia Sawdy retired as treasurer of Montcalm County last month after 15 years on the job. She worked in Montcalm County for 24 years­ and in government for 30 years.

Marcia Sawdy

Her plan for next year is to lose weight and stay healthy by walking more.

“I think it is really hard to keep resolutions because life is so busy, but we need to remember why we made this resolution and how it is going to affect how we feel in the end,” she said. “In my case, I know I will feel much better and probably sleep better too as a result of exercising. Don’t procrastinate – just do it!”


Andrea Krause

Montcalm County Prosecutor Andrea Krause is a realist. She’s heard people make – and break – all sorts of promises in the courtroom.
Krause has a different approach to the New Year.
“I don’t like to make New Year’s resolutions because I don’t like to break them,” she summarized. “If there is something that I think is important enough to do, I try and do it right away instead of waiting for the New Year.”

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