Exciting times ahead for Vision 2020

Published 9:43 am Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Greg Siems

Vision 2020 director

Hello, Austin! It’s been an exciting first few weeks on the job at Vision 2020, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the support and words of encouragement I’ve received from everyone so far.

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There are so many great projects in the works that it can be hard to keep track of them all, but my goal is to continue Laura Helle’s tradition of using this space to inform you about the most recent developments and celebrate the accomplishments of all our volunteers.

Speaking of Laura, I would like to extend a huge thank you on behalf of the Austin community for the immense amount of hard work that went into leading Vision 2020 over the past few years. Her efforts were instrumental in the planning and implementation of virtually every project, so it is no exaggeration to say that we couldn’t have done it without her. She has moved on to greener pastures at Riverland, but her legacy won’t soon be forgotten.

Thanks are also due to Quin Brunner, who seized the challenge of leading Vision 2020 with energy and passion. For someone who was only supposed to “keep the lights on,” he showed a remarkable ability to learn fast and invested far more of his time and effort in the organization than anyone expected of him. Kudos, Quin.

So, what’s next for Vision 2020? The most visible progress went up with the inflation of the dome over Wescott’s Art Hass Stadium. Vision 2020 and Austin Public Schools will be co-hosting an “Open Dome” event from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday. People and families of all ages are invited to come check out what this amazing space has to offer.

And that’s only the beginning. The Community Rec Center committee is currently in negotiations for the site of the new center. Community Wide Technology is pursuing funding for its “Gig Austin” fiber optic network. Austin Aspires recently revealed its goals for education and launched action teams to fulfill them. Business Friendly Environment is supporting a regular lunchtime business forum and free consulting services through the SE Minnesota Small Business Development Center.

I could go on and on, but there’s not much space and so little time! If you are interested in getting involved, our committees would greatly appreciate your input and expertise as the projects develop. All community members are welcome to attend committee meetings, so you can pick one that seems interesting and attend, if only just to see what is going on and talk with like-minded folks. Once you’re in-the-know, I think you’ll find that helping to create something for our community is an exhilarating experience. And even if you can’t commit right now, at least you’ll have met some new friends in the process.

The full list of committee meetings and contact information can be found at our website: www.vision2020austin.com/committees/, or you can call me at 507-437-3448 to find out more.

If we haven’t met yet, I hope to have the chance soon! Our town has so many great people and I feel truly privileged to be a part of this community. And I’m confident that all of us, together, can make it an even better place to live.