Getting to Know Your Board Members- Executive Director, Lenize Patton

LPatton1.  Tell us a little about yourself (family, career, hobbies, etc.).  

Many years ago I swore I wouldn’t marry a Marine, but of course, I did.  Doug and I were married 18 years ago, and we were an instant family with three daughters from his previous marriage.  Since then, we have been blessed with a daughter, Samantha, who is almost ten, and a grandson who will soon be two.  As for my career, I have been teaching for eighteen years now.  I currently teach at Richlands High School.  I love to do crafts and scrapbooking, but I don’t get to do those things too often since I’m a teacher with lots of homework, a landlord, and now the Executive Director of Philippians Place.  Once my life settles down some, I will be getting back into those hobbies, plus maybe a little reading as well.

2.  Are you a native of Onslow County; if not, what brought you to Onslow County and where are you originally from?

 I am a military brat (thus the never-marry-a Marine-thing), but we were very blessed because my dad was stationed here most of his career, so I am an Onslow County native.  I actually attended Thompson Elementary, Blue Creek Elementary, and then Southwest.  I went to Southwest when it first opened, and at that time it went from sixth grade to twelfth; I was one of those at the bottom of the totem pole—a sixth grader!  I graduated from Southwest in 1982.

3.  What is one of your all-time favorite vacations that you have taken?  Why is it your favorite?

My all-time favorite vacation was when we went to Disney World for the first time with Samantha.  She was four at the time and that was the perfect age because she was into all the princesses and many of the Disney Characters, and she was very active.  I’ll never forget dancing with her in every “Celebrate Parade/Party” that went on, or watching her speechless awe every time she met a princess!  An added benefit to this trip was being able to splurge some; Doug had to go to a conference that was being held at one of the resorts, so thanks to the government, we were blessed with a few free nights and meals while we were there.

4.  What is one interesting/exciting experience you have had?  

One of the best experiences I ever had was teaching my students with moderate disabilities how to groom, saddle, and ride horses.  I worked at Brewster Middle School at that time, and every week we would go down to the stables and do lessons.  My last year there, I put together a horse show for the students.  We had various events, judges, an audience of students who walked down from the school, and even ribbons for the winners of each event.  It was wonderful to show off my students and everything that they had learned, and to see the pure joy and excitement in their faces when the audience cheered for them when they completed an event or won a ribbon. This was before rider-buddies came about, so these kids performed these events completely independent!  I was so proud of my kids that day!

5.  What else would you like people to know about you?

  I am actually an introvert, so God is really taking me out of my comfort zone with this mission.   I’m a sweatshirt, jeans, and boots kinda girl, so putting on the “business hat” for Philippians Place is another outside-the-box deal for me.  This is all good though, because God is molding and teaching me by His grace and mercy in order to do His will, not mine.

6.  How did you become involved with Philippians Place?  

God first put the idea in my heart a few years back when I heard there were 376 homeless children in Onslow County.  My dad owned rental apartments and he was looking to sell them, so my husband and I bought them with the intent to work with the Homeless Shelter and Women’s Shelter.  I thought we could assist people by assisting the programs that were out there, but come to find out, there weren’t any programs out there. Then God surrounded me with the right people to get this non-profit started and to where it is today.

7.  What do you want people to know about Philippians Place?

Philippians Place is a “God-thing”.  God put this in my heart; God put a handful of people together to bring it to life; and God is constantly putting people and things in the right places at the right times.  My plans were very small, but obviously, God has other plans.  I’m just little ole me, trying to follow a mighty, and all powerful God!  If you would like to join us in following Him in this mission, please contact us; there are many tasks that need to be done, but no task is more important than the other—it’s all part of God’s plan!

Board Chair Michael Ferraro

Board Vice Chair Monica Brady

Treasurer Phyllis Isenhart