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Prairie Profiles: ‘Continue to grow’

Albert Lea native encourages shopping local, volunteering

An Albert Lea woman is using her skill set and passion for the community to encourage growth and connectedness.

Kristin Bergdale, 32, grew up in Albert Lea and graduated from Albert Lea High School in 2005. She attended Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications in 2009.

She said she returned to Albert Lea after graduation and started working at Bergdale Harley-Davidson in sales, finance and marketing, where she met her now husband, Bryan, whom she married in 2011.

She said after working there for 10 years, she wanted to use her passion for connectedness and being involved in the community, and combine that with her skillset she learned at Harley Davidson to help others achieve those same goals.

She now works in freelance, completing marketing and communications projects for businesses and nonprofit organizations, in addition to helping at The Color Wheel, which is owned by her parents, Rick and Judy Mummert.

She recently volunteered with media and publicity efforts for the Governor’s Fishing Opener and helped last year with the downtown Halloween Spooktacular event and the downtown holiday bazaar.

She was also one of the three leaders behind the Shop Local initiative last fall, which encouraged people to check out and support local businesses on Small Business Saturday and during the Christmas shopping season.

“I wish people would understand that there really is power in a dollar and where you choose to spend it,” Bergdale said. “… It makes a huge difference in what Albert Lea can do and support.”

She said being a part of a small business, she has learned what supporting local businesses means for the community.

“It really goes deeper than just a transaction,” she said.

Shopping at local businesses supports not only the business but their employees, goes toward paying taxes and ultimately supports the community.

In addition to these efforts, she said she was recently asked to be a part of the Making it Home program, which is offered through the University of Minnesota Extension, and will soon be starting in Albert Lea. The program uses local events and discussions to create a community-wide vision and action plan for attracting and retaining residents. She will be one of about a dozen study circle facilitators. She encouraged people to look for ways they can get involved in volunteering in the community.

“There’s so many wonderful organizations, groups and programs,” Bergdale said. “Any hour we can contribute helps our community grow.”

She said she loves Abert Lea because of the roots her family has here.

“I can run into people who knew my grandparents and who understand our family in a way you couldn’t get anywhere else.”

She also loves that the community is big enough to provide opportunities but has a “quaint, small town” feel at the same time.

“I would like to see Albert lea continue to grow and thrive,” she said.

 

Kristin Bergdale

Age: 32

Address: Albert Lea

Family: Husband, Mike; daughter, Lindy; father and mother, Rick and Judy Mummert; father- and mother-in-law Duane and Marlene Bergdale; sister Shawna Soper and her husband, Bryan, and sons Brenden and Levi

Livelihood: works freelance in marketing and communications for various profit and nonprofit organizations; helps out at The Color Wheel when needed

Interesting fact: Her favorite author is Bob Goff, and her favorite book is “Love Does.”