People of Etowah – Shelby Windham


Name: Shelby Windham

Where were you born and raised?

“I was born in Montgomery on Maxwell Air Force Base. As an Air Force brat, I was raised all over the place. We lived in New Jersey, Delaware, Germany, New Mexico and all over Alabama. I settled in Dothan at 14 and I’ve been here in north Alabama for two years.”

What is your occupation?

“I’m the marketing director here at The Messenger newspaper.”

What made you decide to work in your field?

“I actually got thrown into this line of work a while back, having never done it. I embraced it right away and I make it my business to get my clients the best results possible.”

Tell us about your family and pets.

“I live with my boyfriend and my son. My boyfriend’s name is Dennis and he’s my very best friend. Aidan is my son. He’s 15 and brilliant. I have four dogs,   Polly, Tinkerbell, Little Bit and Keiko. We also have 38 chickens and 24 ducks. Oh, and we also have 40,000 bees. Does that count?”

Describe an average day in your life.

“I get up at 5 a.m. (ha ha –  okay, 5:39 a.m.). I drink my coffee and eat my usual breakfast of eggs. I take care of the ducks, shower, get dressed and get on the road.  I work from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. After work, I head home to do some more duck work, get a quick second shower (ducks are dirty!) and after a quick supper, get ready for bed.”

What school or schools have you attended?

“I graduated from Northview High School in Dothan and attended Kaplan online to prepare for my property/casualty, commercial and life and health insurance licenses. I still hold those licenses active in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, even though I don’t use them anymore.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“I love to go fishing.  We have two boats.  The “little’’ boat scares the heck out of me, but the pontoon boat is a dream!”

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?

“My greatest accomplishment is rising up from a traumatic childhood and growing into a woman who fights every day to do the right thing for my own child.”

Name the one person that has been the most influential in your life. Why?

“Probably my mother.  She showed me how not to act.”

To what do you credit your success?

“Drive, motivation and scar tissue.”

Are you involved in any service organizations?

“No, I really don’t have time for anything other than what I do. Working full time and running a small farm is very time consuming!”

What is your favorite thing about this community?

“I absolutely love Etowah County. It is beautiful up here. I love looking at the mountains and the river, and the people here are just wonderful.”

What would you like to see change in the community?

“I’d like to see more people being kind to strangers…let someone out in traffic, smile at someone you don’t know, pay for the coffee of the person behind you in line, etc. I’m looking forward to helping our seniors’ community very soon.  We are going to be publishing our new magazine, Etowah Seniors!, in October, and I think it will interest and excite them. It’s going to feel really good to make sure our seniors are bodily, mentally, socially and financially healthy. It’s going to be great fun!”

What are three words that describe you?

Strong, motivated and compassionate.

What is something surprising that many do not know about you?

“I enjoy disco.”

What is your favorite quote?

“Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”

What is on your bucket list?

“Well, in the past few years I have emptied it a little. I stepped out of my box and flew on an airplane, went on a cruise and handled the bee hives at my house. I really want to travel to Europe.”

What is your hidden talent?

“I can blow spit bubbles off of my tongue. I think it’s an Irish thing. It’s not as gross as it sounds. Really!”

If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you?

“Yikes. I think as an older woman, Sally Field would do a great job.  As a younger me I would probably choose Emily Blunt.”

What advice would you give yourself as a child?

“Don’t listen to negativity. Let it roll off. Take the positive to heart. That’s the truth.”

If you would like to nominate someone for the People of Etowah column, email or call 256-547-1049.

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