A very popular quote states, “Good things come in small packages”. Such is the case for Mrs. Jo Ann Bushner. Though small in stature, she is large in character and gifts. Mrs. Bushner moved to Huntsville, AL in 2006 were she served as the Executive Assistant for the Bradford, Cleveland, Brooks Leadership Center under the direction of Elder Harold Lee. This position then evolved into an Administrative Assistant position for the Office of Regional Conference Ministry (ORCM) and the Regional Conference Plan (RCP).
A typical day for Mrs. Bushner begins early in the morning around 5:00. After a period of devotions to start her day, she heads to the gym to work out. Part of her work out routine is the hot and cold shower therapy. Mrs. Bushner feels that this daily practice revitalizes her both mentally and physically. She then heads to the office to address the necessary demands of the day. She sees an important part of her responsibilities as being a servant leader, meaning, “I don’t mind getting in the trenches to do whatever it means to get the job done. Doesn’t mean being a yes person, but understanding what needs to happen.” At the end of the day, she and her husband, Dr. Rupert Bushner, will unwind with a walk to close the day.
We began our interview asking Mrs. Bushner to name someone she admired the most and why. Without hesitation she replied, “My mother”. She went on to describe her mother as the matriarch of the family. Her mother was a woman of strength and wisdom. She was also a witty person. Jo Ann feels that this particular attribute, wit, calms you and makes you better able to think on your feet! Much of what she saw in her mother she has emulated in her own life and serves as the foundation for who she has become.
Mrs. Bushner has a heart and desire for genuinenss. Being real and not phony is important to her and is something she lives to accomplish daily. This was a thread that seemed to run throughout the interview. She wants to create an environment where all people feel free to accept themselves and not feel judged. This desire of hers is echoed in her personal motto which is, “Believe in God and believe in yourself.”
Another great mission for Mrs. Bushner is to help our young adults, youth and children have a greater appreciation for their history. She desires to keep the story of the sacrifices of our ancestors in the forefront of the minds of this generation to assist in developing stronger character and values and not a sense of entitlement.
Though many have been blessed by the beautiful vocals from Mrs. Bushner, what you may not know is that she also plays the piano. Playing the piano for her is therapeutic. During opportunities of quiet moments, she has found that playing hymns brings her into a special oneness with God. These are cherished times.
When the piano doesn’t do the job, Mrs. Bushner can always count on her family. She states that her happiest times are when she is around her family. The Bushner’s have two adult daughters, Celeste and Desiree and Hunter and three adult sons, Rupert III, Ronald, and Reginald. All together they have eight grand-children.
Mrs. Bushner has been such an asset at the ORCM/RCP. Her mark has been made and her presence will be missed. So what’s next? Mrs. Bushner is going to “sit in the backseat for a while, but not a long while! I’m going to exhale and observe”.
Dr. and Mrs. Bushner will be leaving for Orlando, Florida where he will assume the responsibility of the Associate Pastor for Patmos Chapel.
Thank you Mrs. Bushner for your service. We will miss you. We wish for them God’s direction, God’s guidance and God’s blessings.
By Jill Edmond