Distinctly different and proud of it!

As we embarked upon developing our “brand” for the Marshalltown Regional Partnership last year we found ourselves talking about a number of things that make Marshalltown a special place. And in our discussions we realized that what makes Marshalltown special are our differences with other communities.

Now, it’s not always popular to be different; and sometimes it can be uncomfortable to be different. But, it’s our differences that will help us stand out among the crowd. Lo and behold, the tagline that rose to the top from our branding work was “Distinctly Different!”

So what is it that makes Marshalltown “Distinctly Different?” Understand that sometimes, these differences are not always easy to detect for us here in the community, because we live them every day. But, believe me, these positive differences make a significant impact when working to retain and attract an educated workforce and quality job opportunities.

Here are a smattering of distinct differences:

• Collabo-munity – There’s absolutely no community that comes together to get things done for the betterment of all quite like Marshalltown.

• Diverse Population – much like ethnic diversity makes for a Strong America, our ethnic diversity makes for a Strong Marshalltown.

• Appreciate/Celebrate the Arts – The arts are a big deal here in Marshalltown and we are blessed to have many organizations that help to lead and celebrate our art interests, such as the Marshalltown Arts and Culture Alliance, Central Iowa Arts Alliance, the Marshalltown Public Art Committee, etc. Just look around…art is everywhere!

• Trail Huggers – We are trail huggers in Marshalltown and are darn proud of it! With the development of the Iowa River Trail, Marshalltown will have the most significant recreation trail in the Midwest run through the heart of our community! Again, we are blessed to have an organization such as TRAILS, Inc. to help lead the way in developing this significant asset.

• Culture of Innovation – History shows that Marshalltown boasts innovation in its’ DNA. Emerson Fisher, Lennox, Mechdyne, Marshalltown Company (Trowels), RACOM … enough said!

• STEM Capitol of The World – Yes, Marshalltown is the STEM Capitol of the World! STEM has taken Iowa by storm, and Marshalltown has been proud to lead the way in STEM programming and opportunities throughout the Midwest. This summer Marshalltown has the opportunity to host more than 800 students in its’ summer STEM Camps … and we’re just getting started!

The great poet Robert Frost puts it this way:

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

— from “The Road Not Taken”

Yes, we are distinctly different Marshalltown, and proud of it!

#MarshalltownVibe #MarshalltownPride

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David Barajas is the CEO of the Marshalltown Regional Partnership.