The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Owner/Publisher

Meet your neighbor Samantha (Sam) Harnack who lives in Carthage. She is the Executive Director of the Hancock County Economic Development.

She was born and raised in Urbana but for the last 11 years she and her family have lived in Pinedale, Wyoming.

Sam's parents still live in Urbana and are both retired.

Her husband, Jay, is the new Superintendent of Illini West High School.

They have one daughter, Grace, who is a recent graduate (from Pinedale) and is now attending SCC in Keokuk, Iowa.

Their son, Thomas, is a Wyoming National Guardsman and an electrical apprentice, still living in Pinedale.

In June, Sam took over as the Hancock County Economic Development Executive Director.

"It's been just over 3 months now," she said, "and I'm really enjoying the opportunity to get to know each of the communities, the people, and the businesses throughout the county."

Sam has held many jobs which include her own small business as a professional photographer. The most recent job was in Wyoming as the director of Travel & Tourism for the town of Pinedale, as well as the program manager for Main Street Pinedale. These jobs are what got her involved initially in community and economic development.

Sam and her husband love to travel but that has been difficult over the last few years. They have recently taken up golf and they love to play pickleball together, a sport that combines elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis using paddles to hit a perforated polymer ball, much like a wiffle ball over a net. 

Sam also enjoys woodworking, metalsmithing (earrings mostly), and just about any kind of art.

Pre-COVID, they would take a family vacation with the kids one year and the next year just her and her husband would go on vacation. She loves National Parks, but really just likes seeing something new and a little off the beaten path.

Samantha's favorite quote is: Be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a hard battle.-Plato

Quote of the Week

"The future of Hancock County Economic Development is simple, to help provide assistance and resources to Hancock County businesses, communities, and entrepreneurs as needed.". . . "I want to help highlight what makes each town and village unique and special, and assist business owners in meeting their goals, and support the elevation of the entire economic community."

"Sam" Harnack, Executive Director/Hancock Co. Economic Development
Contact Samantha "Sam" Harnack at: 217.440.8909 or e-mail her at: