Economic Development Week: The Importance of Celebrating the Community You Call home.

posted on Friday, May 10, 2019 in Economic Development

Written by Aaron Jarnagin, Digital Marketing Specialist

What are your top three favorite things about the community you live in? Is it the short commute, the good schools or the great people that also call your community home? Whatever those reasons may be, it’s important that those strengths are shared and celebrated.


Celebrating and promoting the community that you call home is an important piece of economic development. When talking about why this concept is so important, we asked those who are working for their communities every day; sharing and celebrating their communities, and who understand why it is so important, Cedar Valley city's officials and staff.

“I think it is very important that people celebrate the city they live and work in. Who else knows the community better and can speak about what it has to offer? If you truly want to attract people to live there or visit there, you need to believe in it and support it both in your words and actions…If you can't get excited about all the great things that your City has to offer, how can you expect someone else who has never been there to do that?  I think true economic development starts at home and sometimes starts very small,” shared James W. Bronner, city administrator for the city of Waverly, IA.

“We must be intentional in our celebration of all the good happening in our communities. We must point out achievement and success, draw attention to growth and investment, and raise up those who champion prosperity for all. We must beat the steady cadence of progress leading our communities forward,” shares Wendy Bowman, communications director for the city of Waterloo.

When community members stand behind the place in which they live, the message can be very powerful. We believe that this piece of economic development is one of the most important and plays into the larger picture of economic development, summed up well by Cedar Falls Mayor, Jim Brown,

“Aside from a faith-focused community, economic development is the cornerstone of where everyone lives. It's one of the most dynamic aspects of life in our communities that involves so many stakeholders. This includes those with capital to invest in infrastructure and employment opportunities and reaches far and wide to “funding” organizations, churches, education, quality of life, and all of the partnerships within the four walls of Cedar Falls… that spills out to the entire Cedar Valley.”

So, what does it look like to celebrate your community?

Hudson Mayor George M. Wessel is passionate about his community, and some of the great things that Hudson can offer. He provided a great message that serves as a great example as to how to support your community,

“Some people who choose to come to the Cedar Valley like our close-knit community of Hudson. We enjoy our proximity to the amenities that the rest of the Cedar Valley has to offer.  We bring another aspect of Iowa life to the Cedar Valley with our variety of housing options, and small-town services that help make the Cedar Valley a completely great place to live, work, and play,” shared Mayor Wessel.

At Grow Cedar Valley, we are very fortunate to be the regional economic development representatives for our Cedar Valley community, the opportunities we have and the great people that we are lucky to call our neighbors.

“The priorities of Grow Cedar Valley are to help businesses and communities grow by removing barriers, and to celebrate the Cedar Valley region as a place to grow your business and enhance your workforce.  Celebrating the Cedar Valley is something everyone can do by supporting and investing in the many initiatives that make our communities uniquely different and appealing,” shares Cary Darrah, CEO of Grow Cedar Valley.

We would love to see what you enjoy about living here. If you share something about our community use #CelebratingMyCommunity on social media.

Aaron Jarnagin

If you want to learn more about how you can get involved and celebrate the Cedar Valley community contact Aaron Jarnagin, Digital Marketing Specialist or call 319-232-1156.