Penny (Henrietta M.) Jarecki, Past President and Board member of GPCF since 2008, was born in Big Sandy and was raised on her family’s grain farm west of town. She graduated Big Sandy High School and the University of Montana with a B.A. degree in history and education.
She lived in California for 10 years where she taught social studies in a junior high school in Woodland Hills. Following marriage to Charles Jarecki in 1970, she moved to his commercial cattle ranch in Irvine Flats.
She became involved with beef industry organizations and served as secretary of the Western Montana Stockmen’s Assoc. for 10 years, director and president of the Montana CattleWomen, and director and president of the Montana Beef Council. She served on the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Council and as a director of the Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp. She was named “Key Woman of the Year” by the Polson Chamber of Commerce in 1978-79.
As a volunteer for the American Cancer Society, she served as president of the ACS Lake County Unit and was named Volunteer of the Year 1994-1995 by the Montana Division. The Polson Chamber of Commerce named her “Citizen of the Year” in 2011, and the Mission Valley Elks Lodge No. 1695 presented her the “Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award” in 2012.