Newburgh, Indiana, is a deep part of Ashley Nanninga’s history. A native of the Warrick County town, her family has lived in Newburgh for the last six generations.
“Newburgh is just home. It’s definitely home, and I have a lot of roots here,” she says.
A graduate of Purdue University with a degree in atmospheric sciences and meteorology, Nanninga and her husband Nick, along with their children Nathan (9), Charlotte (7), and Jonah (4), moved back to Newburgh in 2012. A want to give back to the community found her connecting with Historic Newburgh Inc. as a volunteer. Soon after, she was placed on the board of directors. Now, she is the executive director of the organization (starting in April after the birth of her fourth child, Thatcher).
“It’s just unbelievable how at home I feel here,” she says. “I’m overwhelmed by the positive responses.”
What are you looking forward to the most in your new position?
Representing Newburgh — making sure we have a face, continuing the tradition of historic preservation and events, and getting the community involved. I really look forward to opening up more opportunities for the general community to know how they can get plugged in.
What does HNI mean to Newburgh?
I think HNI is the body that can provide the means for future growth. It kind of hits that spot where we are bringing people in and we’re promoting each other. I like to see it as that glue that holds the town together.
I don’t know if it is seen like that yet. I don’t think it is, but I have witnessed it in other communities; (main street organizations) are the hub for change to happen and to occur. I think that’s the role we can play, and that’s where we are going to go.
What is your favorite thing about Newburgh?
The first thing is that you can’t bottle it up — it’s just home. This place is magnetic. Maybe it’s because I have roots here, but really I think it’s the potential in the community. It is thriving right now, and I think it will continue to.