West Lafayette, IN | Certificate of Distinction: 2010
Nola Gentry is Manager and Corporate Treasurer of Gentry Farms, Inc., a 950-acre grain farm in Tippecanoe County which also includes a Becks Hybrids seed dealership. She is also a Director of the Farmers State Bank in Brookston. A native of Hamilton County, Gentry graduated from Purdue University in 1974 with a B.S. in Family Economics.
Upon graduation from Purdue, Gentry became an Assistant Cashier at the Farmers State Bank in Brookston. She continued her education with graduate courses at Purdue; receiving both standard and basic certificates from the American Institute of Banking in 1979; and completing the Ag Banking School at Purdue in 1981. In 1981 she took over as manager of her family’s farming operations in Tippecanoe County. In 1986 she became a director of Farmers State Bank. From 1989 to 1990, Gentry was the District Office Manager of the U. S. Bureau of the Census, responsible for census operations in 20 Indiana counties, and completed the task substantially under budget.
From 1990 to 1996 she served on the Tippecanoe County Commission. During her service on the Commission, she held numerous leadership positions including: Chair, Wildcat Creek Solid Waste Management Board; Chair, Legislative Committee, Association of Indiana Counties (1995); and Treasurer, Indiana Association of County Commissioners (1996). She is also a past member of both the Tippecanoe Economic Development Commission and the West Lafayette Redevelopment Commission. In 2005, Gentry was appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels to the Indiana State Soil Conservation Board, and since 2008 has served as Chair of the Board.
Gentry’s community service record is extensive. She has served on the board of numerous organizations, including: YWCA, YWCA Foundation, Harrison Kiwanis Club, United Way of Greater Lafayette, Meals on Wheels, and the American Cancer Society – Tippecanoe County Unit. Organizations she has served as both board member and president include: The Museums at Prophetstown (Historic Prophetstown); Indiana 4-H Foundation; and Shared Enterprise Management, Inc., the non-profit owner of the Howarth Center which houses seven non-profit agencies and an office of the Indiana Vocational Rehab Department. She is a member and past treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Greater Lafayette, and is a member of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce where she serves on both the Third House and Federal Government Committees. Gentry is a passionate supporter of Purdue University, especially women’s athletics. She is a member and past president of the Boilermaker Network (women’s basketball booster club) and a past board member of the Gold Block Volleyball Booster Club. She also served on the Purdue Alumni Association Board as the Region One representative. Her leadership roles at First United Methodist Church of West Lafayette have included: Lay Leader; Trustee; Chair, Education Committee; and Chair, Relocation and Building Project ($5 million) from 2001-04.
In 2001, in conjunction with its 75th anniversary, Purdue’s College of Consumer and Family Sciences honored Gentry as one of 75 recipients of its Hidden Diamond Award, designed to recognize “unsung heroes” who had not previously been honored by the college but who have been “instrumental in inspiring families and building communities."