Yes, I’m that guy behind the sign

One of my favorite community endeavors is presenting to students in Marshalltown schools through the Junior Achievement program.

They love when community members visit the classrooms to break up their day, and they have all sorts of interesting questions. I introduce myself then wait for the inevitable chuckle or two when one of the students asks if I’m related to Harry Potter.

After that part is over, I then talk about what I do for a living. I get to tell them how I work with groups coming to town for conferences and meetings, how I promote community events and love to share positive messages about all the great things going on in Marshalltown.

It never fails that one of my duties always rises to the top as far as impressing the young students. They love that I’m the guy that gets to put the words on our Chamber digital sign in the Hy-Vee parking lot.

Yep, that’s me. I remember in Woodbury Elementary School last year, they were so impressed that I had to bring my computer into the classroom to show them the actual program which puts the message on the sign.

Who would have thought that was my claim to fame among youngsters?

Even in today’s world with messages flying by people at a mile a minute, something as simple as an electronic sign still gets its fair share of attention.

Occasionally, a musician coming into town will excitedly post a picture on social media of their name on that sign promoting their event. I guess everyone still likes to see their name in lights.

Not only do I get to promote community events on the sign, but I love to add kudos when Marshalltown has a major accomplishment to celebrate. For example, when the Marshalltown High School boys bowling team won the state title last year, I was able to put it up on the sign that night. I just hope one of the team members caught a glimpse of that as they headed back into town with their trophy.

So next time you are driving on Center Street and look up at that sign, you’ll know I’m the guy who typed that message, and hopefully everything is spelled right.


Andrew Potter is Tourism Director with the

Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce.


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