Nort Note: Do Well, Do Better, and Do More
The Faribault Chamber is pretty excited that our Main Street program gets to host our legendary Faribault Flannel Formal again this year! This popular fund-raiser has been going since 2016 (with a break in 2021 due to COVID 19 protocols) and attendance increases every year. The Main Street Board came up with the idea while brainstorming about raising awareness as well as cash for our program.
The event came into focus as then board-member Paul Swenson described an event at his son’s college where Minnesota students got together for a Minnesota style reunion. Apparently the Notre Dame party was pretty popular as non-Minnesota students scrambled to get a date with a Minnesota kid so they could attend! With the input of Todd Markman and other seasoned Faribaultians our event came into focus. Early volunteers included Samantha Dopp, Royal Ross, Kymn Anderson, Janna Viscomi, Bri Nygaard, Shelly Bakeberg and others who helped hone the night into what it is today. Music, beer, hotdish and any other lumberjack sort of activities that would add to the fun. As the event has grown, we now occupy most of the real estate inside, around and between 10,000 Drops and Corks & Pints at the old Peterson Furniture complex.
From my perspective this event is symbolic of other initiatives in Faribault that have been moving our community forward. The process of doing something well, work at making better and then seeing if more can be done is something I have subscribed to for many years. I’ve been blessed to have different leadership positions in my career that all included opportunities for success. So, the mantra was adopted probably 25 years ago…. Do well, do better and do more. The process of combining strategic planning and continuous improvement is certainly not new and I clearly hadn’t invented it but something about working together with goals and measurements to achieve improved outcomes really hit home for me. I’m not alone - I see it happening all around here in town with our most critical institutions.
Allina Health has made SIGNIFICANT investments at our local medical center improving facilities and enhancing the connections to an amazing network of Allina affiliates right here in Faribault. Without elaborating too much I’ll just say that my Allina provider and their network absolutely saved my bacon a couple of years ago and I will be forever grateful. A prime example of doing well, better and more.
South Central College, under the leadership of Dr. Annette Parker, along with Faribault Public Schools and High School, under Superintendent Todd Sesker and Principal Jaimie Bente, are another example. Their teams have provided new pathways for students in Healthcare and Industrial Trades which are available starting in the ninth grade. College and industry-recognized credits and credentials saving parents and students over $140,000 in tuition this year alone. Definitely a great example of focused, mission-centric planning and improvement that is making a big difference in Faribault.
The Chamber is doing our best to keep up not just with our Main Street programs but with some new efforts which are in the process of strategically planning for their respective improvements both separately and through Chamber led partnerships! The Chamber Trust is a 501c3 organization working toward education and workforce development improvements for Faribault. The Trust is sharing leadership with Faribault Public Schools on some exciting initiatives and is also applying for funding to help with other projects to improve outcomes for students and support workforce needs for our employers.
The Faribault Industrial Corporation is also busy having finished up a strategic planning initiative in 2021 that is leading them toward new partnerships that will invest in Faribault to improve our most important assets and provide new housing options for our valuable workforce.
To be perfectly clear – there is lots of great work being done in this town is through partnerships and with the idea that we can do well, do better and do more. The Chamber and our growing partnerships look forward to sharing in our successes and continuing to improve our town together.