HOMETOWN HEROES – Rose Novotny is motivated by community

Rose Novotny walking in McCabe Forest in Antrim.

Rose Novotny walking in McCabe Forest in Antrim. COURTESY PHOTO

By BILL FONDA

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 04-22-2024 8:46 AM

Modified: 05-03-2024 1:26 PM


Dottie Bauer remembers when she first met Rose Novotny.

After moving to the area in 2018, Bauer had gone to observe an event at The Grapevine Family & Community Resource Center in Antrim. Not long after, she went to the Bank of New Hampshire’s Antrim branch, where Novotny is office manager, and Novotny recognized her from The Grapevine.

“She was one of the first people I met,” Bauer said. “I was impressed with her from the beginning, and I didn’t even know all the stuff she does.”

For “all the stuff” Novotny does, including serving as board chair for The Grapevine, Bauer nominated Novotny as a Monadnock Ledger-Transcript’s Hometown Hero. 

“Rose is an exemplar of what makes Antrim a really special small town,” said Bauer, who now serves alongside Novotny on The Grapevine’s board.

Novotny attended ConVal High School and lived in Massachusetts before moving to Antrim full-time in 1988. She has been with Bank of New Hampshire for 30 years.

“Obviously, that lends itself to meeting lots of people and getting involved with lots of things,” she said.

And being involved is something she’s teaching to her 7-year-old son Fletcher, who finished in a tie for second at the James A. Tuttle Library’s chili cook-off in February.

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“It’s always been important to be ensconced in the community,” she said.

Novotny took Fletcher to The Grapevine for programs from the time he was five weeks old through preschool, and after she joined the board, she served as treasurer before taking on her current role as chair.

“I found the work that they do to be meaningful to all areas of the community,” she said. “There’s something that touches every single aspect and every single age group in the community.”

Through mutual acquaintances at The Grapevine, Novotny became involved with the Antrim Community Board, where she is a board member. Formed in 2021 after former state Rep. Gordon Allen wrote a warrant article proposing its creation, the community board’s charge is to “to improve our community” and “enhance the public health, prosperity, quality of life, safety and general welfare of all citizens.”

Its activities have included reopening the swap shop at the Recycling Center, creating welcome bags for new residents and assisting in the relaunch of the Antrim Players. It also maintains the Antrim Community Asset Bank -- residents with skills, interests and ideas to help others in the community.

Novotny said she was drawn to the group because she remembers when people all knew each other, helped each other and became friends.

“It sounded really interesting – the different ways of connecting people with like interests or trading services,” she said. “It was something I found missing in modern-day Antrim.”

Novotny also serves as a member of the Antrim Trustees of Trust Funds, and was co-chair of Monadnock United Way’s 2023 fundraising campaign. She also is involved with Fletcher’s school and Antrim Recreation activities. It’s a lot of meetings, she said, but “I have a passion for people and relationships. These kind of connections and people and relationships is just who I am.”

Novotny, 47, doesn’t plan on curtailing her involvement any time soon, but as Fletcher gets older and develops his interests, she may follow his lead.

“Who knows? Maybe I’ll be a Boy Scout leader,” she said.

For more Hometown Heroes, go to the Hometown Heroes page at ledgertranscript.com.