Akron Iowa onsite visit update

Akron Iowa onsite visit

Several years ago, I was in Akron, Iowa, population 1,558, for an onsite Idea Friendly visit for one week. They’ve been gathering their crowd, building connections, and taking small steps. Their former mayor, Sharon, sends updates periodically. The following is from her latest email update. We now have seven businesses serving food: Casey’s. Chubs is…

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What if you held your meetings outside?

meeting outside

You’ve sat through plenty of board meetings and a few city council meetings. They are held in the ‘official’ locations, with assigned seating (real or imagined) and there’s a course of action you must follow.  What if you moved your meeting outside?  Send the previous minutes and financials out by email ahead of time and…

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Be an Idea Friendly board member

Idea Friendly Method

Most of us who actively volunteer and work in a small town will more than likely be a board member of some organization eventually. The first role of any board is the fiscal wellness of the organization. Knowing the mission statement and being familiar with the bylaws, will help guide your decisions. Your job from…

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Creating A Food Cultural Event

cooking class

On our Arts Video I talked about different cultures participating in a food event. Lisa wrote in and asked how to take the first steps in her community to bring different cultures together. Webster City has an organization called All Cultures Equal (ACE). They have a physical location with ESL classes, food bank, homemade kind…

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Does your town stay open late?


What if you told the story that your town is one that stays open late?  You’d probably be telling the truth, even though many of your downtown stores close at 5. Make a list of all the businesses that stay open late. Restaurants Convenience Store Gas Station Salons Gyms Pharmacies Big Boxes (ones still open…

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Where are they now?

Embedded Community Experience in Columbiana, Ohio Visit by Deb in February 2019. Columbiana, Ohio is a small town Deb visited in February 2019 for an Embedded Community Experience. 6,400 people live in the town Harvey Firestone called home oh so many years ago. One focus was on the downtown area because there quite a few…

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Shop Indie Local

WHAT IS THIS SHOP INDIE ALL ABOUT? It’s called the Shop Indie Local campaign and it encourages you to take a step toward strengthening your own local economy. We shoppers collectively spend a large part of our annual shopping budget between November 1 and December 31. What if you shifted your shopping dollars to your…

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Let go of those whose mind you cannot change

Some people default to the negative. You know them.  They say things like “that will never work here”and “we tried that before and it didn’t work.” It can be difficult to reason with that group of people, referred to as ‘the committee of negativity’.  Nothing you say will be taken seriously.  There’s an argument for every…

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We eat in small towns

We do eat in small towns. We don’t meet if we don’t eat! Church potlucks, fundraisers of all sorts, events downtown – you’ll often find food on the menu of activities. Many communities have unique kinds of food that you can find in their areas.   Chislic is a traditional dish of cubed meat commonly…

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