As a 10-year veteran of JK-Light – a Division of JK-Products & Services, Inc., Lynetta Pilkinton is known as the go-to gal for all things sunlamps. Whether she’s educating new tanning salon owners on the best sunlamp choices for their equipment mix or following up with existing ones, she’s well known – and well liked – by hundreds of hardworking tanning professionals across the country. Why? Because Lynetta is not only friendly, she also has a way of inspiring people. This is no surprise, considering how inspirational her life’s story is. With someone with such an interesting background right here in our industry, ist Magazine had to know more…
For some people, responsibility is a word; but for Lynetta Pilkinton, it continues to be a lifestyle.
At 14 letters, the word “responsibility” is a big one… and it means different things to different people. For Lynetta, it’s all about stepping up and succeeding in spite of what obstacles may come, rather than lowering one’s expectations or goals because of them. And she should know, too. As a single mother and professional woman, Lynetta is intimately aware of what it means to get the job done… after all, she’s been doing it for nearly 30 years! Along the way, she’s found happiness, made many friends and, most importantly, inspired others to be their best.
Lynetta Marie Romine was born to Ed and Glenda Romine on September 23, 1961 in Newport, AR. She and her brothers – Terry and Nathan – learned to be responsible by working on the family farm. “During the Great Depression, my father was forced to quit school and go to work to help support his family,” said Lynetta. “Because of this, our parents believed it was very important for us to be hard workers and learn the value of a dollar.” In addition to working on the family’s farm, the Romine children also did odd jobs on other people’s farms so that the lessons their parents wished to impart would be fully understood. For Lynetta, this all came together when she was in the third grade. “My mom took us to pick cotton on a nearby farm and it took us all day just to get one bag filled and make a few dollars,” she said. “If we didn’t know what a hard day’s work was before, we definitely learned the lesson that day!”
As a teenager, Lynetta was active in athletics – cheerleading, basketball and track – but her real passion was drama and oral interpretation. “My high school speech teacher, Francis Green, was a big influence on me because she encouraged me to get involved with drama and oral interpretation,” she said. “I discovered that I had a knack for talking to people and really enjoyed it. My high school coach, Bobby Watson, was also a big influence – he taught us that life goes on after we graduate, so he stressed the importance of being successful. That really made a difference for me.” While in high school, Lynetta exercised her love for talking to people as a weekend DJ at a local radio station – a hobby she took with her to Arkansas State University, where she majored in Agricultural Business. Since graduating from ASU in 1984, she continues to be a loyal Red Wolves supporter.
While responsibility had always been a strong concept in Lynetta’s life, it truly came to the forefront while she was in her twenties. She admits that, as a young woman, she often lived for the moment and enjoyed the lighter side of life. This resulted in her being twice married and divorced. “I understand that it takes two people to make or break a marriage, so I don’t blame anyone or have any bitter feelings about my past,” she said. “I will say that my life changed after my daughter, AaLesha Pilkinton, was born. She has been both my rock and my reason for moving forward in life. I made the decision that it was time to grow up and get it together, and I told myself that I was going to do whatever it took to make her life the best it could be.” As a determined single mom, Lynetta put her parents’ lessons of hard work and perseverance to good use – she often worked two and sometimes three jobs to provide for her child.
During her years as a hardworking single parent, Lynetta learned a lot about herself. It all started with a visit to Weight Watchers. “I had lost over 65 pounds with the program and developed more self-confidence,” she said. “Because of my experience in speaking and motivating people, they asked me to be a Leader and I was happy to accept the position. It felt good to help others learn to believe in themselves and I made a lot of friends during that time in my life.” With her newfound sense of self, Lynetta discovered something else. “A friend told me about a job opportunity at JK-Light and I decided to go for it because I was looking for something new and challenging,” she said. “After having a few different positions there, they asked me to give sales a try,” she said. “I’m so glad they encouraged me to do this because while I thought I couldn’t do it, it ended up being something that I love.”
Now that Lynetta’s trials and tribulations are behind her, she’s enjoying a happy, fulfilled life. “Ten years ago, a mutual friend introduced me to a man named Al Heimsoth and we hit it off right away because we have so much in common,” she said. “He’s also an Arkansas State University graduate and a huge Red Wolves supporter, and we go to as many football and basketball games as we can.” During home games, the two are popular “tailgaters”, but they also like attending away games – they recently travelled to the Ladd Peebles Stadium in Mobile, AL to see their team play in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. When it comes to her professional life, Lynetta will be happy to celebrate her tenth year at JK-Light this August, and looks forward to many more with the sunlamp supplier. “I am so glad that I took a chance to work there, and I’m especially pleased that everyone believed in me and encouraged me to go into sales,” she said. “My job allows me to do something that I truly enjoy – helping salon owners save money and earn more revenue. There is an immense amount of satisfaction that comes with that.”
Some people speak wistfully about wanting to change their lives while other people buckle down and do it. Lynetta Pilkinton is definitely in the latter category. While she always was a hard worker, the birth of her daughter caused her to become more focused on success, thus improving the quality of both their lives. And she didn’t need meditation, crystals or any new-age self-help books to do it – instead, she turned her life around with just a pinch of good, old-fashioned gumption. We could all learn a lesson from her.
A 14-year industry veteran, John "Ribby" Ribner has written hundreds of
articles for IST Magazine and, as Director of Editorial Content, has also
helped guide the publication's evolution. Ribby is a graduate of Central
Michigan University's journalism program and has brought many years of newspaper reporting experience to his position of Head Writer. He is also the author of three novels, "Legacy of the Bear," "Prophecy of the Bear" and "World So Dark."
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