Gwen Ikenberry of Fincastle announced last week she is running for the Republican Party nomination for the Board of Supervisors’ seat in the Fincastle District.
The Botetourt Republican Party will meet Thursday to determine if a caucus or firehouse primary will be used to select a nominee.
Ikenberry has been a resident of Botetourt County since 1986, but has roots in the county that go back to the 1700s. She is married to Ben Ikenberry and she manages the family store, Ikenberry Orchards, located on US 220 in Daleville.
She has 28 years of experience in business management, including management of nine stores on the East Coast as a former district manager of Kirkland’s, and oversight of almost 100 employees as a former supervisor at HSN in Bonsack, she said in a news release.
Ikenberry has been involved in the Valley Conservation Council, where she served on the board of directors. She also served on the Botetourt County Planning Commission for two years in the late 1990s. She is a member of the Botetourt County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee and a member of the Fincastle Presbyterian Church.
Ikenberry said she is a fiscal conservative who believes in promoting and encouraging private businesses, especially small businesses. She is also eager to support the arts and would like to see private initiatives that will encourage such activities. Additionally, she would like to see more retail shopping areas in the county.
She said she is a strong supporter of emergency services, schools, and parks and recreation. She volunteered to coach girls softball in the recreation leagues for three years and likes to encourage volunteerism in programs for children.
“People would volunteer their time and resources if asked and given the opportunity to use their skills,” she said.
She is a proponent of wise land use policies and revitalization of communities and historic assets. She hopes to encourage farmers to maintain their private enterprises to the best advantage of the farmer and the community.
She said she is a strong supporter of local farmers markets and helped create the first Botetourt Farmer’s Market two years ago at Ikenberry Orchards. This farmer’s market continues today.
She also supports the Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign and she said she firmly believes in supporting local businesses.
“I want to do this because of my love for Botetourt County,” Ikenberry said of her desire to run. “This is home and I want to keep our county strong.”