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What better place? (05/16/2007)
First in a series of articles promoting Winona to individuals and businesses looking for relocation.

By Mark Metzler

During my first trip between La Crosse and Winona I drove off the road four times. Seriously. It was so stunning. But there's more to the Winona area. Still, many miss what we have to offer when looking at it for personal or business relocation. Sometimes, we miss it too.

In some ways the Winona area is undiscovered. That can be appealing, but it doesn't promote growth. To make the area more visible we need to tell our story better. We need to let people know about all we offer. They need to make the area their own, just as we have done, so when they are deciding between Winona and other locations, they choose the Winona area.

Over the past year I've joined a number of people on a workforce initiative group that has been looking into ways to highlight the area for people and businesses considering a move. Our group includes Judy Bodway, Harland Knight, Jerry Papenfuss, Rich Mikrut, Genelle Groh, Gabriel Manrique, Ann MacDonald, Lisa Swanson, Della Schmidt and Mike Haney. We've created a list of topics to highlight specific areas, including manufacturing, education, way of life, tourism, agriculture, economic development, and more. We've asked a number of people to address areas where they are experts, and will be asking more people to share their knowledge as the project progresses.

But for a message to be heard, someone needs to recognize that it's important. My thanks to the Winona Post and the Winona Daily News for agreeing to run the pieces on Wednesdays in their papers. The pieces will be available on the Post's web site at HYPERLINK "http://www.winonapost.com" www.winonapost.com and Daily News' web site at HYPERLINK "http://www.winonadailynews.com" www.winonadailynews.com. The pieces will also be available on the Port Authority web site: HYPERLINK "http://www.portofwinona.com" www.portofwinona.com. We also plan to add radio interviews on KWNO's Good Morning Show at 8:15 Friday mornings following the written piece.

From 2002 until the early fall of 2004 I worked in Colorado at the base of the Rockies and in Washington State right off Puget Sound with views of the Sound and Mount Rainier. Incredible stuff, but when I would come home to Winona for long weekends, nothing was as beautiful as flying in over the bluffs and Mississippi River. Nothing. Still, the Rockies and Puget Sound are world-renowned places to relocate. In part, it's because of scenery, but it has a lot to do with the other opportunities they offer. They have done a good job telling their stories. That's what we hope to do.

When people ask you about the area, I encourage you to share the good news by pointing them to the Post, the Daily News, the Port Authority or Winona Radio. I hope you enjoy learning or becoming reacquainted with what the Winona area has to offer.

Mark Metzler is Vice President of Marketing at Vision Design. He can be reached at mmetzler@visiondesign.com. 


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