Helen Dean recently began her new job with Columbiana. (Contributed)
Helen Dean recently began her new job with Columbiana. (Contributed)

Archived Story

Helen Dean is Columbiana’s new marketing coordinator

Published 11:51am Tuesday, February 19, 2013

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist

Helen Phillips Dean has a new office and title at Columbiana City Hall – Columbiana’s marketing coordinator. Dean has a great challenge ahead – to improve communication between city hall and its citizens and to help bring more people and businesses to Columbiana.

Dean plans to use many tools to accomplish this goal: expanding social media through Facebook; create a Columbiana newsletter; expand Columbiana’s website – Cityofcolumbiana.com; work closely with schools; expand and develop more community events like Liberty Day to draw people to Columbiana; create a “Look Book” to list available properties, square feet, photo, and leasing opportunities; work closely with the South Shelby Chamber and Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerces and Columbiana Merchants and Professionals Association; and more.

Dean is the daughter of Helen Harrison Phillips (Columbiana) and Tom Phillips (Birmingham) and granddaughter of Karl C. and Mildred Bennett Harrison (Columbiana). Karl Harrison was an attorney, president of First National Bank of Shelby County and founder of the Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington in Columbiana, the largest collection of Washington’s memorabilia outside of Mt. Vernon.

Mildred Harrison was Columbiana’s first librarian, charter member of the Columbiana Culture Club, Regent of the DAR David Lindsay Chapter and founded Shelby County’s library system for which the Mildred B. Harrison Regional Library is named.

Dean’s paternal grandparents are Fred and Frances Walker Phillips, and paternal great-grandparents are Sen. James Thomas and Nellie Phillips, owners of Buck Creek Cotton Mills in Siluria before it was sold.

Her paternal great-grandfather was Shelby County’s Probate Judge Leon Columbus Walker whose glasses and gavel are in the Shelby County Museum.

“I have deep roots in Columbiana and Shelby County,” said Dean. “My earliest recollection was spending summers with my grandparents and walking to town. Columbiana is a walkable, caring city with a sense of community. Mayor Handley loves Columbiana, as I do, and has the drive, passion, and plan to lead this city. He sets the bar high and has high expectations which push me beyond what I thought I could ever do. I am so blessed to work for this city that I love.”

Phoebe Donald Robinson can be reached by email at phoeberobinson@bellsouth.net.

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