Crouch: Embrace uniqueness, work together



JASPER — Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch will always remember an important lesson her father taught her.

When kids made fun of her height, her father said it was because those kids were insecure. He suggested she turn the teasing into a joke she was in on. So, when it happened again, she responded with a “ho, ho, ho.” The teasing stopped.

“My father taught me that when I could accept myself, in spite of all of my imperfections, then I could respect and accept the differences in other people,” Crouch said Friday at a Women Empowering Women luncheon at St. Joseph Church Parish Center in Jasper. “And I soon came to realize that it’s those differences that make each of us unique in how we see the world.”

She said she shared the story to illustrate how important families are.

“My family gave me the confidence to take on the challenge,” she said, adding that her community gave her a great education and her country has given her the freedom to choose her own path.

She said that is what is so special about Indiana communities. That’s what is so special about Jasper.

“We know that through hard work, our dreams can become reality,” she said.

The mission of Women Empowering Women, Dubois County’s women’s leadership organization, is to inspire women in business to reach their highest potential by instilling confidence, building networks and promoting community.

“It’s amazing what women can achieve and have achieved in the state,” Crouch said.

She remembers a legislator’s advice from her time as a state representative: “You always want to be at the table, because if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”

She also stressed the importance of women supporting one another.

It’s a lonely journey going to the top on your own, she said, but if you can take other women with you, it’s more rewarding.

Crouch has been involved in the Indiana General Assembly for 14 years — as a state representative, auditor of state and lieutenant governor.

She said the last legislative session, more than any other, was marked by a spirit of cooperation, collaboration and stability.

She highlighted recent work on issues like education; state infrastructure, such as roads and bridges; broadband access; trail connectivity; non-stop flights to other parts of the world; the state’s opportunity zones; the impact of agriculture on the state’s economy; the 2020 Census; and career and technical education.

She encouraged the Women Empowering Women group to “imagine Indiana together,” and to “imagine Jasper and share it.”

“Many ideas that will move forward will come from groups like yours,” Crouch said.

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