By Sonja Gidlow

Sonja Gidlow is the Investor Relations and Communications Director at the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation.

Those of us who live here already know about our region’s high quality of life – for individuals, families, businesses – for all. Historically, we may have let our Midwest humility get in the way of sharing our area’s beauty and strengths with the world, but not anymore! In 2019, we, at the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation (GSDC), have set out on a collective mission (of which you’re invited to participate!) to illuminate the fantastic quality of life we enjoy.

With this objective in mind, the timing was serendipitous when the Twin Cities Business (TCB) magazine contacted the GSDC about featuring our region in their January 2019 publication. We began by hosting a meeting of GSDC investors and the editor and publisher of TCB. Our meeting objective was to develop a list of highlights and successes in our community that TCB could include in their feature. That’s when we realized the problem: our list was too long to be practical.

Technology, health care, craft breweries, business start-ups, historic downtown revitalization, non-profits, recreation, career opportunities, education, arts and entertainment, entrepreneurship ecosystem… an entire feature could be written about each one of these!

Ultimately, we landed on simply sharing the list and letting the TCB folks choose their own way.

What resulted is a story we are incredibly proud of. While you may recognize some of the places and faces featured in the article, the hundreds of stories within our community that didn’t make the cut are equally as important to us.

As we thought more about how these stories shape our region’s narrative, a new vision began to take form: One that shines a light on our identity as a collection of independent, forward-thinking communities that unite to make a powerful Central Minnesota hub.

As an organization,  we’ve decided to bring this vision to life on the Greater St. Cloud community blog, Facebook and Instagram channels. It is our intent to share all the meaningful—and sometimes overlooked— stories that make our region shine. We’ll be telling stories of entrepreneurship, volunteering and weekends spent outside. Stories of career development, downtown revitalization and exciting cultural initiatives.

Life is good here in Central Minnesota, so let’s make 2019 the year we collectively begin to share with the world all the greatness we’ve quietly been keeping to ourselves. By using the hashtag #StCloudShines  whenever you post about Greater St. Cloud on social media, you can help carry this message forward.

Thank you for being a part of our community!