BY: RACHEL SMITH
Being a transplant into Clear Lake, I often times feel like the odd man out. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been a part of a conversation where I end up completely confused.
I know… me? Confused? Never!
The history of Clear Lake is something I know practically nothing about; past businesses, past events, people, places and things. One time, after discussing with a friend about how I didn’t feel like cooking that night, they said to me, “You should stop at Econofoods and grab a frozen pizza or something.” I remember staring at them. Just staring. Because I didn’t want to look stupid, but I had absolutely no clue what they were talking about.
Turns out… once upon a time the grocery store in town was an Econofoods. I then learned that it has had a number of different names over the years.
So in my attempt to rectify this situation, I enrolled in the Lake Leadership class offered by the Clear Lake Area Chamber. I mean, you can’t be the primo blogger for Clear Lake without knowing as much information and as many people as possible.
Am I right?
So Lake Leadership is a nine month class learning the ins and outs, history and business information about Clear Lake. It’s only a one day commitment each month and honestly… totally worth it.
We began our first class at Bennigans where Libbey Hohn, Director of Tourism, gave us a behind the scenes look at tourism in Clear Lake. It was interesting to hear the many statistics and details about how she gets more people to visit Clear Lake.
We then ventured into the banking sector. Using a round table discussion, we had short sessions on Ag Banking, Start-Up Business Banking, the Fed, and Internet Banking Safety. The Q&A time allowed us to candidly chat with each of the bankers and really learn the ins and outs of what they do.
Next up, Chad Schreck gave a presentation on the North Iowa Corridor and what Vision North Iowa is working on to improve our area. The most interesting aspect was the “Vote Yes!” campaign and the plans for downtown Mason City. This will be a whole different blog post later in the week, but in a nutshell, the plans for the Music Man Square complex, Hyatt Place and the ice arena are INCREDIBLE!
After lunch, it was off to the Mason City airport for a brief history lesson, followed by a tour of multiple hangars. Let me just say… I’ve probably driven by the Mason City airport thousands of times, and I never knew the kind of air traffic that goes through that place each week. It’s unreal! It really opened my eyes to the realization that our airport is an incredible asset for North Iowa.
Overall, it was a spectacular day of learning and networking. I’m excited to see what our November class will bring.