Your Chamber Team
Candy Hente has been part of the Farmington community since 2007. Even before joining the Farmington Regional Chamber team, she was an active part of the Chamber community.
She has worked for, volunteered and networked with many of the local non-profit agencies including the Public Relations Director for the Parkland Pregnancy Resource Center, worked with Young Faith in Christ, St. Francois County Mental Health Board, Hope 4 Autism and St. Francois County Community Partnership, and was a member of the St Francois County Rotary Club. In 2015 the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce recognized Candy’s contributions with the KFMO/B104 Super Service Award.
Prior to becoming the Farmington Regional Chamber Executive Director, Candy was a Certified Work Incentive Counselor at LIFE Center for Independent Living where she analyzed the impact of work income for individuals receiving disability benefits.
Candy was also a leader for 14 years on the regional and national level for Protestant Women of the Chapel, an Armed Forces chaplain sponsored ministry to military wives. She is a graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center and King’s Way Missionary Institute. Candy and her husband, Stephen, live in Farmington and in her spare time enjoys hiking, reading and attending art related events.
Email Candy Hente
Small Business Specialist
Julie Estes, a devoted lifelong resident of St. Francois and Washington Counties, brings a wealth of community engagement and professional expertise to her role as Small Business Specialist at the Farmington Regional Chamber.
Julie holds an Associate of Arts Degree from Mineral Area College and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Administration and Business Management from Central Methodist University. Her commitment to continuous learning is evident through certificates in Digital Marketing, Project Management Risk, Cross-Channel Content for Digital Marketing, and Workplace Culture, earned from Oregon State University College of Business.
With a diverse professional background, Julie spent 12 years in the Real Estate Title Industry and where she was recognized as an expert in title research. Prior to working in the title industry, she was employed at Mineral Area College in Student Services and Financial Aid. She utilized her multifaceted skill set to create media guides and other programs for the Athletic Department, showcasing her dynamic approach to tasks.
Julie’s professional experience, education, and community involvement are tremendous assets in serving the business community. Her present role at the SBDC allows her to channel her rich experience into supporting and empowering local small businesses in St. Francois County, Washington, Iron, Madison and Ste. Genevieve counties.
Outside of her professional pursuits, Julie is an active member of Parkland Chapel and has coached girls’ volleyball for 11 years. Her greatest joy comes from spending quality time with her husband, Gary, and their two children, Lily and Wyatt. As a family, they cherish exploring hiking trails and uncovering the historical richness of St. Francois and surrounding counties.
Director of Events
Deena Ward has been a lifelong resident of Madison County, serving as an Alderman for the City of Fredericktown off and on over a seventeen-year period. She has experience working with many civic organizations in Madison and St. Francois Counties including the Chamber. She volunteered as an Assistant Scout Master for ten years for Troop 0027 in Fredericktown, while also serving at the district level as a committee member for Ozark Trailblazers District. During which time she earned the District Award of Merit, the highest award a district committee can bestow on a volunteer. She was also awarded the W. D. Boyce award for her work establishing a new pack, troop and crew in the same year. While serving as the Resource Director for Southeast Missouri Family Violence Council, she planned and organized all fund-raising efforts to support the many programs the shelter offered. Learning how to utilize volunteers to their full potential to make every event a success.
Prior to joining the Farmington Regional Chamber, she served as a Customer Service Representative for New Era Bank at the Main Branch in Fredericktown assisting customers in all aspects of banking and bookkeeping. Deena also served at St. Francois Baptist Association Youth Services Director for 13 years. She currently is a member of Calvary Church in Fredericktown. In her spare time Deena enjoys spending time with her four children hiking, camping and traveling.