Fairmont Chamber Annual Banquet, Black Tie Optional

Fairmont Area Chamber Annual Banquet will take place February 23, 2017 at the Holiday Inn beginning with a 5:30 social, followed by dinner and a short program, featured speaker, Deadra Stanton and Business of the Year Awards.

Featured Speaker – Deadra Stanton
You loved her at Mayo’s Laides First event in Fairmont in December, so we’re bringing her back to Fairmont!!Deadra Stanton, owner and presenter for her company Creative Communications, has been a teacher of English, Speech and Theatre for 40 years. She is an honor graduate of Mankato State University in Mankato, Minn. and earned her master’s degree in Education from St. Mary’s University. With majors in Speech Communications, Theatre Arts and Business Administration, she brings a diverse background to the podium.
When not in the classroom, Deadra is a frequent presenter and motivational speaker for numerous audiences across the nation. This summer she went coast to coast with speaking engagements! Her humorous style and upbeat presentations make her a versatile and sought after speaker. Deadra’s husband, Mark, is a business
owner and she has two children and six grandchildren under the age of 10.

Community Calendar’s New Look

ABOVE: An example of the updated look and features of the web interface developed by rSchoolToday which powers the Fairmont Area Calendar website.

The Fairmont Area Community Calendar website will be getting a facelift in the coming months! rSchoolToday is preparing to roll out their updated interface allowing for a more customized and intuitive browsing experience.

Upgrades will include formatting to improve legibility and organization of content. Customized tabs will also be integrated, granting greater flexibility in adapting the calendar to fit the needs of the local community.

Check out the calendar online at www.fairmontareacalendar.com or download the Activity Scheduler app “AS Mobile” for Apple or Android to access the calendar on your mobile device.

Small Business Success

Small Business Passport Event On the morning of Saturday, November 26, as we sought to recover from the anxiety and exhaustion that gripped us in the aftermath of our frantic excursions into the chaos of the modern phenomenon known as “Black Friday,” many of us were unaware that a lesser known, but perhaps friendlier version of this notorious shopping holiday was going on right outside our doorsteps.

Awareness and participation in the event, known as Small Business Saturday, has grown in recent years, with many local businesses offering their own special promotions and discounts. This year, ten local businesses collaborated in a cross-promotional initiative led by the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce to encourage community engagement and to raise awareness of the benefits of shopping small.

Customers came out to show their support and local small businesses rewarded them by stamping their passports and offering a free gift, exclusive discount or gift certificate in exchange for their completed passport. Small businesses are an essential part of a vibrant local economy and we extend our thanks to everyone who has supported our local small business sector throughout the years.

Newcomers to Rural America – Brain Gain


The population of rural America has changed significantly during the past 40 years. Counter to popular narrative, since 1970 there have been newcomers aged 30-49 moving into small towns, which positively impacts our social and economic structures. At the same time, there is a new urbanity found across the rural landscape that changes how we look at urban-rural interactions. The next 15-20 years appears to be a great opportunity for American small towns, as a once tight housing supply begins to open up through the changing residential preferences of the retiring baby boomer generation. Overall, as we look to the future,the implications of these changes are positive ones for all of our small towns and open country places. Rural communities in Martin County embrace the trend known as “Brain Gain.”

ben_winchester_profile Brain Gain ResearcherSenior Research Fellow at the University of Minnesota Extension, Center for Community Vitality, Benjamin Winchester conducts research on topics surrounding the theme of “rewriting the rural narrative” that are vital to rural America. This includes research on the “brain gain” into rural America as well as research on rural community leadership, specifically the community-wide requirements to “keep the town running” through the public and non-profit sector.

It seems the rural story has already been told. small towns keep getting smaller. Churches, clinics, businesses, and now post offices have closed their doors as the lucky few migrate out to the big cities. The deficit framework dominates how we discuss and envision our rural communities. However, the real story of rural America since 1970 is rich and diverse, with positive trends occurring under the radar.

Fairmont Area Life  Brain Gain LogoThe local “Brain Gain” project now known as Fairmont Area Life, based all of its efforts on Winchester’s research. In 2015, funding through a grant from Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation fueled an online and social media campaign, welcoming new residents and visitors and alumni outreach.

Mr. Winchester presented to the community in October of 2016. CLICK HERE to view presentation slides.