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Lanfor works to spread needed optimism

Jenna Lanfor and her husband Mike Lanfor. (Submitted Photo)

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Jenna Lanfor’s journey to Roswell came about in June 2015, as she followed her heart to further her future with now-husband Mike Lanfor.

But a wonderful future with the right match was not all Jenna Lanfor discovered in the community of Roswell. Her future education and career took off here, as well.

“After arriving in Roswell, I was able to achieve an academic goal I had wanted to reach and one that I’d put off for a long time in my life,” she said. “I started attending Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell to earn my degree in business, and I have successfully done that. While I was attending school, however, I was offered an opportunity to work in the aviation programs as a work study. I had already been operating a drone media company so this was right up my alley — to learn and expand my personal knowledge in the aviation arena.

“A job opportunity came up in the Technical Education Department at the college right about the time I was finishing up my degree, so I applied for it.”

Landing that position more than two years ago, Lanfor raves about the role: “This position allows me to work with commercial drivers’ licenses, automotive students, and aviation driven career students, which I really enjoy.”

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Another activity Lanfor is proud of is the Sunrise Optimist Club. Roswell was actually her second foray into this organization. “I transferred my membership from the Sunrise Breakfast Club in Warsaw, Indiana, to the Sunrise Optimist Club here in Roswell when I relocated. I have been a member since 2013 of Optimist International.”

Optimists’ mission is to provide hope and a positive vision to people, bringing out the best in youth, their community and themselves. More about the group can be found at www.optimist.org.

Lanfor is one of many diligent and determined people who wish to spread optimism — during a time when people truly need it. “I am currently serving on the Board of Directors,” Lanfor explains. “I have chaired a membership committee and I love to volunteer for all of our service projects. Some of those highlights are the Poe Corn Basketball Tournament, baseball tourney, Outdoor Adventure Day and, the beloved Krispy Kreme Donut Run.”

Lanfor spoke of the move to virtual meetings due to the pandemic, which was a must. “The virtual meetings have impacted us with our limited community service project interactions. I’m actually on an ad hoc committee right now to think of creative ways for our fundraising efforts with the pandemic and the health practice restrictions,” she said. “We are meeting twice a month …”

“Optimistic by nature,” Lanfor spoke about small businesses and the trying times they have endured.

“I always believe that there is a brighter future for anybody in any situation they have to endure, if they have the positive outlook to seek solutions and accept changes,” she said. “Roswell is currently experiencing growth in the Air Center storage facilities and expansion for the existing maintenance repair and overhaul stations at the Air Center. I am a small business owner and I do believe we will endure and overcome the obstacles of the economic impact this pandemic and election year has caused. The toughest part about surviving times like these is planning for them.

“The most difficult time in any business is the first five years; if this pandemic hit during the first five years of a small business it will be difficult for them to survive. The best you can hope for is that you were planning strategically and were ready for tough times.”

Lanfor and her husband work hard in several areas to help give back to the community. “Our love for aviation has led us to be sponsors for the Aviation Club at NMMI (New Mexico Military Institute), and hold positions at the Boy Scouts of America Aviation Explorer post hosted by ENMU-Roswell. We are both very actively involved with Friends of Roswell Animals, as well, working hand-in-hand with them and Roswell Animal Control.

“We foster dogs, rehabilitate dogs for adoption, and work hard to promote the animals at animal control in order to find rescue or adoption situations for them.”

With activities like rock climbing, backpacking, film opportunities, and enjoying life with the dogs they love, Jenna and Mike Lanfor are definitely a couple who work to bring optimism to the town. “What I love about my life in Roswell is that my other half is really my other half. If you look at the things we’re involved in, we are usually always ‘in them together’ … if you get one of us, you get the other — we are that in sync.”

The conclusion? Two optimists are better than one.