Independence is an awesome place to live and if you ask people why, you almost always get the same answer – because of the small-town feel. Whether you’re out for an evening stroll or stocking up on groceries at Kroger, it’s nearly certain that you will run into a familiar face. But, our close-knit community is anything but small potatoes. In fact, there’s some BIG business in Independence.The west side of town near the Florence border is home to many businesses with a global reach. Krauss-Maffei Corporation on Industrial Road is one of the world’s leading suppliers of machinery and systems for producing and processing plastic and rubber.Camco Chemicals on Holton Drive is a contract chemical manufacturer which produces hundreds of millions of pounds of packaged goods including hand cleaners, laundry detergents and industrial process chemicals. A. O. Smith, Camco’s neighbor on Holton Drive, is home to the company’s Protective Coatings Division, where state-of-the-art laboratories research and test protective coatings – some of which may be used in a water heater tank in your home! And nearby Balluff is a global leader in sensor manufacturing based in Germany, but with its North American headquarters right here in Independence. Independence is a cozy town, but with over 300 businesses, we certainly are on the map for industry! DECLARATIONS of Independence, Fall/Winter 2017 8 The City Building, all dressed up in lights and dazzling holiday décor, is a favorite stop at the Christmas Walk. And while whipping up a winter wonderland could take a team of folks, this outstanding ornamentation is done by just one person – Linda Fender, the City’s Deputy Clerk. Linda, a lifelong Independence resident, admits to being a little like the Griswolds when it comes to decorating for the holidays. After all, she loves all things Christmas.But this Christmas Walk is even more special for her – it’s her last before retiring at the end of the year after 20 years of public service. Linda began her career working part time for the police department before going full time on the City’s administrative side. In addition to her role as Holiday Decorator Extraordinaire, she has worn many hats: helping residents with passports, taxes, Building and Zoning permits, Parks and Recreation forms and countless other tasks. “My favorite part is the people – the people you work with who become like family, and the residents you meet every day,” Linda says. Retiring is bittersweet. She’ll miss the job, but she plans on enjoying time with her husband, her sisters, and her children and grandchildren. She’s even got a European vacation planned for next year. “I’ll be stopping back in, though.” Linda jokes. “They’re not going to get rid of me that easy.” Linda will be at the City Building during the Christmas Walk. Don’t forget to say “hi” to Linda while visiting Santa and grabbing some punch and a butter cookie (or two!). Meet theWoman Behind the City’s Sparkle RESIDENT SPOTLIGHT DID YOU KNOW... that our little city is home to some BIG business?