posted on October 25, 2010 17:34
Editor's Note: This week, we are lucky to have Jonathan Ringle as our guest blogger. Jonathan is the Main Street Manager for the Iron Mountain Main Street program. Enjoy his post!
By Jonathan Ringel
Main Street Manager
Iron Mountain Main Street
Ask any Main Street Manager about their day and it will likely be filled with activities ranging from grant writing and promotion activities to mediator between two arguing downtown merchants. While all of these activities add excitement and variety to the day, it is important to know that many of these situations cannot by learned from reading a textbook. Each day brings a new challenge with mounting government cutbacks, struggling businesses, and a society with increasingly less time to volunteer.
I bring these difficulties up because I am committed to my community and am dedicated to making a difference by working through the hard times. My job is NOT 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. There are a full 24 hours in each day when a Main Street Manager can be making a difference. I am not just a Main Street Manager but a community member. As Main Street Managers, we should be leaders in the efforts to make not just our downtown but our overall community and region better places for people to live, work and play.
Growing up, my parents taught me the importance of giving back to the community. I have fond memories of playing soccer, singing in the choir, serving as youth group leader, participating in drama, educating others in 4-H, and working two jobs in high school. College was no different with geography club, honor societies, student government, work, internships and volunteer coordinator for my residence hall all while attending school full time.
I am not just serving as the Main Street Manager of Iron Mountain and attending a plethora of extracurricular activities because it is my job. I participate because Iron Mountain is my home! I want the best for my community and the best for my family’s future. Too many people take the opportunity to let others get involved while they take a back seat. I volunteer and get involved because it strengthens my community and I enjoy doing it.
I am not just a Main Street Manager but a community member. When the local Dickinson County Community Chorus called and asked if I would sing tenor with them for the Christmas concert, I accepted. When the local theater organization asked me to audition for a local play, I was more than happy too. When a downtown restaurant asked for some help on busy days during the summer, I jumped right in and hosted. When the local Building Healthy Communities Coalition asked for assistance with the community garden and bike path surveys, my wife and I pitched in. When asked to join the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Kiwanis Club, I was thrilled to have another networking opportunity and pool of volunteers to assist with Main Street events and accepted their offer. When a downtown business needed help moving, my wife and I jumped right in to assist. When the Iron Mountain Woman’s Club asked if I could serve hors d’oeuvres for their upcoming Gal-O-Rama, I was more than willing to assist with this great organization.
When businesses or organizations outside the Main Street area ask for my support and assistance I accept because by working together, we can make a difference. I am not just a Main Street Manager but a community member. Positive energy builds community spirit and brings people together. I have been strengthened by the hard work and dedicated efforts of the Iron Mountain Main Street, and the Iron Mountain Main Street has been strengthened by my commitment to the community. I am not just the Iron Mountain Main Street Manager, but an active member of our fabulous Upper Peninsula gateway city!
I encourage all of us to remember that we are not just working a job, but serving as active community members helping to create stronger and more vibrant communities.