Decision 2020/Luray Council: Q&A with Judy Peabody

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Judy Peabody

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Page Valley News will be publishing profiles of local candidates in contested races for this fall’s elections over the next few weeks. PVN will begin with the Luray Council race, where five candidates will compete for three seats; and then the race for Mayor of Luray, with two candidates. All profiles will be published in alphabetical order at 9 a.m. Mondays and 3 p.m. Thursdays, beginning Thursday, June 25.

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Judy Kay Peabody

• Age: 52

• Education: B.G.S., Counseling, Samford University, 2004; A.A.S., Executive Secretary, State University of New York College of Technology at Canton, 1993.

• Work: Owner, Peabody’s LLC, 2015-2020; Virginia Civil Celebrant, 2018-2020; Paralegal, Reed & Reed, P.C., 2017-2019; Employee Services Coordinator/Compliance Coordinator, Bright Horizons, 2016-2018; Lead Benefit Coordinator/Employer Advocate, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc., 2012-2015; New Business Analyst, NFP Potomac Basin Group, 2009-2012; Service Supervisor, The Richardson Agency, 2005-2007; various legal positions.

• Community Service: Hospice Patient Volunteer, Capital Hospice, 2003-2009; various volunteer positions.

• Family: Two sons, Andrew and Tyler.

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• Why are you running for public office?

In whatever situation I am placed, I want to do my best to serve others and make every effort to have a positive impact on their lives. If I can do, I will do and I love Luray — so I’m doing!

• What makes you the best candidate?  

Fearless commitment to outstanding service, a willingness to get uncomfortable to help others, infectious energy and a first-hand perspective as a former tourist turned Luray resident and business owner will make this hard worker your best candidate.  

• What is Luray’s most pressing issue?

Energy in the leadership. Without energetic leaders connected to their citizens, citizens remain disconnected, businesses feel unsupported and the total community is silently frustrated. We need people excited and connected to bring about the best for Luray!

• What is one thing that you would like to change or improve about Luray?

There is no visible strategy to bring in new businesses, no easy guidance on how to open a new business and no fee-free support for businesses outside the historic district once established. A system in place to improve our economy by supporting business is imperative.

• Briefly describe a decision you have made in a leadership role and tell why you made that decision.

Most recently, balancing reason with emotion, on March 17, 2020, I made the firm, yet incredibly difficult decision, to close my business and cancel officiant services due to the current pandemic. As my only personal sources of income, facing a high percentage of refunds for prepaid services (with future income unknown), and knowing I needed to ensure every partner, guest and couple received sensitive and professional service, there was a lot to consider. Conscientious of the personal health of my guests, the community, and my household, I made the responsible decision to close prior to Governor Northam’s Executive Order. To date, we continue to be closed out of an abundance of caution for long-term success.

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