My first 90+ days

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My first 90+ days in the Quad Cities and serving as the new President/CEO of the Community Foundation flew by!  Thank you so so so much to all the Board, Staff, Donors, Business, Community and Non-Profit Leaders – who made my first 90 days awesome! The following highlights of my first 90+ days are in no particular order:

1.  PEOPLE.  At every turn of my first 90+ days I have been overwhelmed by the incredible people throughout the Quad Cities Regional Community - their sincerity, caring, generosity, interest, commitment and desire for a bright future.  Starting with the awesome Board and staff of the Community Foundation.

2.  Mississippi River and the bridges.  I really love these assets of the Quad Cities Regional Community and what they mean for our future.  I know this is hard for some to believe, but I really love the bridges!

3.  Culture.   My husband and I attended three Quad City Symphony Orchestra concerts in my first 90 days and it was truly a gift to us to be able to go to wonderfully professional first class level concerts and drive home in 15 minutes!  We are looking forward to discovering many more local events and programs in our new community.

4.  Being recruited to be a clown in the Festival of Trees Parade.  Becoming Snowflake the Clown was truly a transformational experience and FUN!  I loved interacting with the children along the parade route!!  (Photo reprinted by permission of the Dispatch/Argus)

5.  Family Resources “Rising UP”event’s luncheon/speaker (Erin Merryn) and the premiere of Braking Traffik’s “Any Kid, Anywhere: sex trafficking survivor stories” documentary; both events putting into clear view the realities of challenges people and our children face that are simply wrong.  The Quad Cities is no exception - we have real people, both children and adults, with heart breaking stories that have compelling needs we cannot ignore.

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6.  Airport!  What a gift to have access to an International Airport within15 minutes!  Based on my economic and community development experience, the airport is a HUGE asset and one we cannot take for granted!

7.  Community Foundation Donors are incredible both in terms of their generosity, but especially for their love and commitment to our regional community, the arts, schools/education, parks, and non-profits who serve a wide array of needs including children, elderly, the homeless and those who suffer from mental and physical illness.  The “numbers” of donors and dollars they are giving are impressive but their hearts are extraordinary.

8.  The Community Foundation’s teen philanthropy program, Teens for Tomorrow is 2nd to none! I recently met with a business  leader whose children were in Teens for Tomorrow several years ago. He said the program contributed to their career success, understanding their community and how to give back.  

9.  Quad City Regional Businesses.  Based on the Regional Business Leaders I’ve met in my first 90 days, we have an excellent, robust and diverse business climate in the Quad Cities region.  There is a strong entrepreneurial climate here which means future success for our community.

10. The REGIONAL Vision of the Quad Cities is catching on thanks to the work of many and the leadership of the Quad Cities Chamber.  The Vision:  “The Quad Cities region is recognized globally in 2030 for growing and attracting talent and businesses, is energized by a culturally rich community, inspires innovation, and embraces lifelong learning.

Let me end by thanking everyone, again.  Bruce (my husband) and I recently returned from Christmas travel in Minnesota and South Dakota and we were both anxious and happy to come “home” to the Quad Cities and bring in the New Year here.  It would not feel like home in such a short time unless all of you made us feel so welcome.

I look forward to building “home” here in the Quad Cities and work with all of you to build an incredible “home” for all who choose to love our community as they live, work, play and give back.  I stand ready to serve our community. 

I hope you will track this blog to learn more about your Community Foundation and how it is growing, changing and making a true difference in the Quad Cities Regional Community.