June 29, 2016 by Ashley Schable
Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds asked Lauren Hansen, a summer intern with Dina Christensen at D.Vision in Guthrie Center what will bring her back to the community.
“What do we need to do to keep you here?” Reynolds said.
Hansen, who will attend Iowa State University in the fall to study graphic design, listened to Reynolds talk about leadership initiatives, workforce needs and the importance of hands-on experience during the Lt. Governor’s visit to Guthrie Center last week.
The tour began at the Guthrie Communication Center, followed by stops along State Street at the new Guthrie County State Bank location, Cut Loose Salon, Art on State and D.Vision.
Reynolds said she believes the best way to connect with the people of Iowa is to visit them each year. “By far it is the favorite thing that I get to do as Lieutenant Governor,” she said. “I think it’s really important to get into the communities and visit with the businesses, the school districts and really get feedback on what’s working, and what’s not working. Plus, it gives us an opportunity to talk about policies and programs that we’ll be working on next year with the legislature.”
Julie Bailey updated Reynolds on Main Street Guthrie Center, a Million Dollar Benchmark Achiever in just two years.
“It’s a wonderful program and it keeps you looking for improvement,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds toured the new Guthrie County State Bank, which opened it’s doors at a new location, at the corner of Highways 44 and 25, in May.
Reynolds checked out the new safety deposit boxes that allow customers access with an electronic fingerprint reading rather than a key.
“That’s really neat,” Reynolds said as she placed her hand in the device.
At Cut Loose Salon, Reynolds applauded the building restoration and diverse selection for customers, which she said will keep bringing them in to find something.
“Just look at these boots,” Reynolds exclaimed, while standing in ‘The Vault’ of Michelle Laughery’s business.
At Art on State, Sheri Heiland explained the different types of pottery she works with, including the use of horse hair in her work. She shared how the Guthrie County Arts Council recently held their annual Art in the Village.
“The arts are so important,” Reynolds said.
Art on State, which now shares a building with Seven J’s Custom Creations, has doubled their business since the move.
Dina Christensen gave a tour of her business and explained the services D.Vision Inc. offers in graphic communications. She also introduced Hansen, her summer intern, which impressed Reynolds.
“We need to get our junior high and high schools more connected in our communities,” Reynolds said. “We’re making progress and are talking to educators about what the workforce needs. I grew up in a town of 500 and never thought I could do some of these things. I encourage you to just be aware of the opportunities.”
Dennis Flanery, People’s Trust & Savings Bank, and president of the Guthrie Center Economic Development Corporation, said it does take a lot of people to support things.
“Every smalltown has someone who can come back and do things,” he said.
Reynolds said she was impressed with how all the businesses in Guthrie Center are looking for ways to continuously expand and grow.
“There’s just so much vibrancy and many stories happening in rural Iowa,” she said. “I love to get out and see how hard people in these communities are working every day to really have this kind of stuff happening. When you see the size of this community and how much is going on, it’s really a testament to the people in this community. If Iowa is to be truly successful, we need to see growth in every corner.”
Courtesy of Ashley Schable, Guthrie Center Times 6/29/16.