Havlick adds another title to her full résuméThe only time Jennifer Havlick takes a breather is when a snowstorm barricades her in her home in Silver Creek.
By: LaReesa Sandretsky, Lake County News Chronicle
The only time Jennifer Havlick takes a breather is when a snowstorm barricades her in her home in Silver Creek.
“I am moving all the time,” she said.
Havlick, 46, was recently elected to the office of secretary for the 6th Judicial District Republican Committee, a title she adds to a very full résumé.
She moved to the area 12 years ago with her husband Scott, where she quickly became a well-known face thanks to her involvement in…well, everything. Aside from her affinity for politics (she is also the vice chair for the 3A Lake County Republican Party and the second vice chairwoman of the 8th Congressional District Republican Party), she is a volunteer at least six area nonprofits and holds two part-time jobs that generate income, one with the City of Two Harbors and another at the Northern Rail Traincar Inn.
“Those are the only things I get paid for,” she said with a laugh.
Havlick wasn’t always so involved. She said her first volunteer gig was spurred by the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York.
“It seemed to become more imperative,” she said, so she joined His Glory Search, Rescue and Aid Team, a nonprofit Christian organization that responds to disasters around the world. She is now the International Emergency Coordinator for the organization. In that same vein, she’s also a member of the Minnesota Responds Medical Reserve Corps, which provides assistance during local and state disasters.
Havlick is an active member of the Living Waters Fellowship Church, where she plays a big part in the day-to-day operation of Elijah’s Pantry, a food shelf located in the basement of the church.
“If you need her, she’ll be there,” Pastor Jim Joseph said. He works closely with her at the church, where she has been a member for nine years.
“She’s one of the kindest, most open-hearted people I know,” Joseph said.
Her faith-based service doesn’t end at her own church’s doors. She’s also on the board of the Good Samaritan Relief Fund, which provides small grants to folks who need a helping hand. The fund is managed by three pastors of different denominations and three community members, including Havlick.
While her involvement benefits many community members, she also does it for herself as a way to stay healthy. She’s a recovering alcoholic and prescription drug addict, and though she’s been sober for 17 years, she said keeping busy is a vital part of staying on the straight and narrow.
“I think an important part of my recovery is getting involved. It’s good for me,” she said.
Because she wears so many hats, she said she color-codes her calendar to help her decide which persona she must adopt each day. While her bold, opinionated rhetoric is perfect for her political involvements, she said she tones it down for her nonprofit involvements and her job with the city.
Still, her nonprofit work often reflects her personal beliefs, such as her involvement with the American Legion Auxiliary. She said she has special respect for veterans.
“So many people have died for our freedom,” she said. The Auxiliary offers support to veterans, current service members and their families.
“She’s just very, very helpful,” said Nancy Hopper, the president of the Auxiliary. “She will stand up for what she believes in.”
She believes strongly in the Republican Party, which is a large part of her volunteer work. A self-described political junkie, her work with the party involves setting up meet-and-greets with candidates, educating voters and handling the day-to-day operations of the party at the local level.
Lake County has voted for the DFL-backed presidential candidate since 1932, and Havlick acknowledges that her political leanings do not reflect the majority here.
“It’s kind of like a gazelle tromping through a lion’s den,” she joked.
The strong DFL presence in the region has contributed to Havlick’s three unsuccessful attempts to unseat Minnesota Sen. Tom Bakk. Her most recent bid was just last year. Despite her unapologetic leanings, she said she has friends of all political persuasions.
“I have plenty of friends who are liberals and we agree on plenty of things. We are adults and we can respectfully disagree with each other,” she said.
Although her efforts to secure political office haven’t resulted in a win to date, she remains involved in government through her job as the public access coordinator for the City of Two Harbors. She assigns a videographer to cover public events, like Lake County Board of Commissioners meetings and Heritage Days and she records Two Harbors City Council meetings, which are broadcast live on cable channel 13.
“It gives me a really good opportunity to see how local government works,” she said, and it’s a service that allows the community to stay informed, too.
Havlick has worked for many years in search and rescue, so she takes inclement weather seriously, so the spring, with its rain and snow made for a slow season. But with summer here, she’s back to full speed.
“It was difficult for me to move to a slower, more laid-back community,” said Havlick, who grew up in New York where the pace of life is faster. The more relaxed atmosphere notwithstanding, Havlick continues to find plenty of things to keep her busy.