Today’s post is very bittersweet for me (more bitter than sweet). Friday will be my last day at the Corridor.
I am moving back to Des Moines this weekend to be closer to my family…which means this is my very last blog post as a member of the Corridor (yes, I’ll be crying throughout the entire writing process).
On a happier note, Libby Glaser has joined our staff as the new “me.” Libby started last Tuesday as the new Communications & Events Coordinator and has been thrown right into all the madness of events season. She is a recent graduate of the University of Iowa, originally from the Des Moines area.
“I received my BA in Communication Studies and also studied Entrepreneurial Management. I graduated last Saturday, moved to Spirit Lake on Sunday and started at the Corridor on the 20th.”
Libby has been one busy cookie these last few days, moving and probably having information overload from me trying to cram everything into her brain. Luckily for both of us, she’s very familiar with how economic development organizations operate and has caught on very quickly.
“I’ve worked in economic development before and love the type of impact these organizations have on communities. I’m so excited to work for the Corridor and can’t wait to plan and promote fun events in the area.”
Throughout her time at Iowa, Libby was able to complete 3 internships – two in the financial industry and one as the Marketing and Events Intern at the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) at the university during her junior and senior years.
“I loved the challenges and creativity in both the event planning and marketing fields. Event planning is definitely hard work; however, seeing how people benefit from the events we coordinate is extremely gratifying. Seeing the end result is why I do what I do.”
Throughout our training these last few days, Libby and I have been able to chat about various topics. With OEI just around the corner, we can’t seem to think about anything else. Libby is a former OEI student, so being able to return to the region that taught her so much as an entrepreneurial student was very important.
“Last summer, I attended the Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute as a senior, and it was such an amazing experience. I had the opportunity to meet Kathy and really started to see all the opportunities there are for young people here.”
Libby also has personal ties to the area.
“All of my life I have been fortunate enough to vacation in Okoboji, so I hold many childhood memories here. I’ve always thought of the Iowa Lakes as a very special place, so moving up here seemed like a good option. When this job became available, it was a no-brainer to apply; it’s exactly the type of work I want to be doing and seemed like the perfect fit. I really feel at home here.”
It’s been an important goal of Libby’s to allow young people the chance to make a difference and have opportunities for success.
“Something that is so unique about the Lakes Corridor is that young people have the opportunity to make an immediate impact. I love that people are relying on the work I do right away as a recent grad, and feel that I’m not necessarily having to wait until my thirties to make an impact.”
Currently, Libby is living in her parents’ condo on West Lake Okoboji but has begun the search for her own place. So far, she has been pleasantly surprised by how many affordable living options there are.
Since Libby has enjoyed many summers in the area, she has a few favorite things on her list of “must-dos.”
“I could go on and on, but some of my favorites are little treasures like the turtle coffee atHey Good Cookies or the creme brule at Kazarelli’s (I have a sweet tooth, can’t you tell?). I also love knowing someone wherever I go; it’s refreshing to know that there are so many caring people willing to help if needed. I love being able to enjoy the lakes and the amenities that surround them.”
We both come from and have lived in larger cities, like Des Moines and Iowa City, and are used to all that comes with that. I was shocked when she didn’t mention traffic at all!
“I really have nothing against larger cities; they definitely have their perks. However, I chose to live up here because of the opportunities for young people. It’s such a welcoming community for young professionals to really get their foot in the door and make an impact. There’s no other place where you can work a full day, drive home and enjoy a boat ride or watch the sunset. It’s absolutely gorgeous here!”
Libby has her own style and lifestyle blog called Stylin’ Iowan. She started the blog during college as a way to document her outfits and keep in touch with family and friends. It has grown into a passion of hers over the years and has allowed her the opportunity to work with local and nationally-known brands.
“I love helping women style themselves and better their self-esteem. I live by the motto: ‘look good, feel good’ and want to help empower women to always put their best foot forward.”
In addition to her blog, what does Libby do in her spare time?
“I like putting outfits together, taking and editing photos, writing my blog posts and responding to reader emails. When I’m not blogging, I love hanging out with friends on the lake and checking out as many coffee shops in the area as possible. I also signed up for theOkoboji Marathon 10K, so training has officially begun. Wish me luck!”
Libby has been given the YP “low-down” so she’s ready to gear up and plan some fun events for the group.
“I’m excited to start planning events with Elissa and, of course, meet all the YP members!”
I hope you all get the chance to meet Libby here in the near future. She is great at what she does and has so many ideas to bring to the table. Feel free to stop in and say ‘hi’ whenever you’re in the area!
I have enjoyed my time at the Corridor so, so much and feel so thankful for all the opportunities I have been given. I couldn’t imagine working for anyone else other than Kathy or with any other staff members. I truly lucked out. I’ll miss my weekly posts, corresponding with everyone in the region and seeing our impact on the community (and the chocolate dish). I promise to stay in touch and visit often. Behave, Corridor region. I’ll miss you!
Surprisingly, I kept my composure throughout that..
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All the best,
- Alexa Guessford