BELOIT—Local resident and small business mentor Genia Stevens has been chosen to serve as the District 17 supervisor on the Rock County Board.

Stevens will fill the seat vacated by former county board chair Kara Purviance, who resigned in December.

“I’m extremely excited to be appointed and honored to join the board,” Stevens said. “There are amazing people sitting on the board right now.”

Rock County Administrator Josh Smith said County Board Chairman Rich Bostwick had chosen Stevens, and her confirmation is on the agenda of the March 11 county board meeting.

Stevens, 48, of Beloit, is the founder and executive director of Rock County Jumpstart, an organization which mentors and supports Black small business owners in the area.

She will serve on the county’s Land Conservation Committee, Agriculture & Extension Education Committee, and the Rock County COVID 19 Emergency Small Business Loan Fund Committee.

Stevens said her immediate goals as a new board member are to learn more about how county government functions and how economic development is handled.

“It all works together,” Stevens said. “The more I can learn about county government and how all these committees work together, the better. You can always have those ‘a-ha!’ moments. I want to know a little bit about everything.”

She added that she aims to share her lessons with others and also hopes to motivate more Black community members to become involved in local or county government.

On a personal and professional level, Stevens said she cares deeply about Black economic empowerment.

“I would really like to see the entire community benefiting from my work,” Stevens said. “Getting onto the board to learn how county government works can only help my mission as a whole to empower others and help the community as a whole.”

Stevens said she appreciates the encouragement of community activists and local public officials who have voiced their support for her as a public servant.

She had considered running for the county board at some point, but Stevens said she is ready and excited to begin this new endeavor.

“I really appreciate their encouragement and support,” Stevens said.

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