A First Lady’s Reflections

Carol McClintock on 12 years of public service alongside her husband, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke

Carol McClintock sounds almost giddy with excitement. “I’m going to be a Girl Scout leader,” she says. The sheer joy in her voice clearly communicates her heartfelt anticipation to lead her 6-year-old great niece’s troop.

McClintock is embracing the end of 12 years as first lady of Evansville. “There’s going to be a self-imposed moratorium,” she firmly states. “After election night, I’m backing away from the flame.” That doesn’t mean she is slowing down, but rather viewing the end of an era as an opportunity to spend more time focused on family — including two grandsons — self-care, and carefully hand-picked community passion projects.

As Mayor Lloyd Winnecke’s spouse and a top-producing Realtor with Team McClintock at F.C. Tucker Emge, she has been instrumental in community fundraising and capital. “No one ever asked me to do the decorations for an event, but I’m always the one who gets to raise money,” McClintock laughs. She’s contributed to fundraising efforts for Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden’s carousel and Penguins of Patagonia exhibit, Wesselman Woods’s Nature Playscape, and the list goes on. “I am not saying I would not have done those things if Lloyd hadn’t been mayor, but that was a driving force,” she says.

“It’s amazing what she’s capable of doing in one day,” says Team McClintock Executive Vice President Susan Haynie, who has known McClintock for 44 years. “She’s also a goal setter — no matter how big or small — and works very hard to accomplish them in all aspects of her life.”

McClintock and Winnecke are a tight team. He often shares with her; their best talks are early morning conversations while getting ready for their day.

“I am outspoken and certainly will provide an opinion. He is measured and thinks things through very carefully,” Carol says.

A native of Indianapolis, McClintock moved to Evansville 44 years ago after graduating from Indiana University and began work at Wesselman Woods. Her mother suggested she volunteer at a local political party headquarters to meet people. So began her involvement in the community, meeting folks as director of the city’s parks and recreation department, a Vanderburgh County Commissioner, WNIN’s vice president of marketing, and in real estate.

“She has always had an interest in making the Evansville community, as a whole, better — from Day One with Wesselman,” Haynie says. “Her perspective remained the same over the last 12 years while Lloyd has been in office: helping people who need help. That’s been one of her major focuses — pinpointing what the problems are and helping to make changes to solve those problems.”

“I think people feel generally better about Evansville,” McClintock says. “You don’t hear as much negativity. They have more pride in the community. People are relocating here with no connection to the area and see it as a safe community with opportunity.”

Winnecke’s three terms as mayor have afforded McClintock the opportunity to get to know many people in the community and serve in different ways. What has surprised her – overwhelmingly, she says — is how friendly people are.

“As Lloyd says, it is really the greatest experience of our lives,” she smiles. “Evansville is a very generous community — giving of both its time and its treasures. That is what keeps everything moving along … it comes back to the people.”

“Her vision doesn’t change; she wants to do things that make living in Evansville better for everyone,” Haynie says. “As time goes by, there will be different opportunities in different areas for her to do that. I think she’s looking forward to that.”

Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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