Judy Buettner is described by her husband, Jim, as a "dynamo."
But that may be an understatement. Although Judy has been a Rim country resident for just five years, she has made a greater impact than most lifetime residents.
Prior to her arrival in Payson, Judy worked as a business administrator for a dental office in Rochester, Minn., where she lived for 30 years. But then she retired and, in January 1997, headed west.
As soon as she landed in town, Judy started working toward a better Payson. Both she and Jim got involved in the Main Street redevelopment project; joined an ad-hoc group formed to assist the Green Valley Park Redevelopment Committee; and hooked up with the Library Friends, the Payson Public Library's volunteer fund-raising organization.
Just a year later, in September 1998, Judy was elected the Library Friends' president, and proceeded to lead the charge toward construction of a new 15,765 square foot facility twice the size of the old and dilapidated Main Street library.
But Buettner's leadership and promotional skills along with wildly popular, money-raising events like the five-year-old Mayor's Cup Chefs Competition didn't just bring Payson a library building. They also stocked the place with its computers, furnishings, shelving, and other amenities.
Although the fruit of her efforts finally opened its doors in January, and although she left the Library Friends' presidency to pursue a seat on the Payson Town Council, Judy hasn't stopped working toward a bigger, better, expanded Payson Public Library.
Director, Payson Public Library
"Judy was an anchor for the Library Friends. She gave them the focus they needed to go out and raise the money that they did. She is very politically astute as far as knowing how to work with people. She's a very, very hard worker. I think that she, in the leadership role, created the glue for it all to work."
President, Library Friends
"Judy Buettner is a grand choice for Woman of the Year. While many people in the past have taken up the (Library Friends') cause, she brought such an energy to it. She was really the catalyst for what became major fund-raising. She has lots of skills and gifts, which she is fortunately willing to share with the community. People listen to her and feel comfortable bringing their ideas to her."
"Judy is quite a dynamo, and I'm a little shy, so we both even each other out, I think. What drives her is that she truly wants to contribute to her community. That's been her life."
Payson Town Councilmember
"Since Judy and her husband Jim came to Payson six years ago, she has been deeply involved with volunteering to build our library as president of the Library Friends; gives tours of the Rim Country Museum; and always gives of herself tirelessly."