Guest Column: Why I love Albert Lea

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, February 27, 2018

By Tony Segura

Tony Segura is an Albert Lea native who moved away for four years and then moved back home in October 2017. He leads the three Albert Lea McDonald’s locations.

When I was asked to share my love for Albert Lea, I thought — absolutely!

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I was born in Albert Lea in 1988 and lived the first 25 years of my life here. In 2013, I relocated to Wisconsin Dells to help advance my career.

Although I was grateful to have experienced and lived in a different community, I was longing for the feeling I had of home. I made many lifelong friends and developed my career in Wisconsin Dells, but I knew it was time to come home.

Albert Lea has many unique and diverse things to offer the community, such as lakes, recreation, beautiful parks, walking trails, revitalized downtown, live theater, restaurants and entertainment.

Growing up here, I have fantastic memories of the city pool, neighborhood friends, sledding on Academy Park hill, Rock on Ice at City Arena, Third of July Parade, Fourth of July fireworks, the “Six Best Days of Summer” at the Freeborn County Fair, movies at Cinema 7, hanging out with friends at Northbridge Mall, going to McDonald’s after school, cruising around Fountain Lake as friends would get their licenses, Edgewater Park and camping at Myre-Big Island State Park with my family.

Something that has been important to me is Albert Lea Community Theatre. ACT has provided me an outlet for creativity with a talented group of individuals since I was 12 years old. Numerous productions both on and off the stage have given me lifelong friendships and experiences I will always cherish. I have been able to help guide ACT by sitting on the board of directors and held officer positions over the years, and I will continue to help ACT contribute to the quality of life in Albert Lea for years to come.

I’m fortunate that the McDonald’s franchisee I work for, Courtesy Corporation, has trusted me to lead their three Albert Lea locations as an area supervisor. I got my start at McDonald’s in Albert Lea when I was 15. It was a Tuesday, and I was on fries. Little did I know, that almost 15 years later, I would be back welcoming guests to our locations and building strong teams with a passion for quality, service and cleanliness right here in Albert Lea!

Hometown pride, sense of community, passion, positive, caring, dedicated, strong, supportive — these are words that accurately describe people in Albert Lea to me. These, along with family and friends, are why I chose to come back to Albert Lea. I want to live here and make positive contributions to better the community and carry on the feeling of hometown pride.