Columbia Welcome Has Already Won

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Columbia Missouri is indeed the best city in the world in which to be a woman in business! I have been overwhelmed with kudos, cards, LinkedIn connections, Facebook friend requests, emails and hugs since it was announced that I am nominated for the Columbia Daily Tribune’s Emerging Business Woman award. Thank you so much for your massive support!

The sold out luncheon is tomorrow. I am very much looking forward to hearing the featured speaker. Deb Snellen, Development Officer for Corporate Relations at UMC, will discuss “Shaping Future Business Success by Thinking Around the Corner”. Small world – I met Deb this past summer when she received her newcomer welcome basket!

A friend asked me recently if I think that I will win. My answer, “I have already won”. I am so fortunate to live and work in Columbia. Columbia Welcome is thriving because of the community spirit, employment opportunities, entrepreneurial ability to think outside the box, and fun, intelligent people (that’s YOU!). Newcomers move here to be closer to family, because they find good jobs, appreciate the cost of living, and enjoy the wealth of activities available in a university town. I’ve personally delivered over 800 welcome baskets to newcomer families. I’ve met newlyweds who connected on-line and moved here for love, retirees who settled here after attending an MU football game, and one particularly memorable family of Vikings who moved here because we have real steel sword battles (who knew?).

Stacey Thompson and Columbia Welcome BasketI have the best job in the world! I get to help new families discover how great it is to live in our city. A move is stressful, and sometimes those newcomers have gotten so deep in unpacking boxes that they are questioning their decision to live here. With the help of 75 wonderful sponsors, I am able to swoop in with a huge basket of goodies and rev up their enthusiasm about their new hometown.

A lot of those sponsors will be in the audience tomorrow. I owe them a huge debt of gratitude. They took a chance on me and this welcoming service. Some of them have been with Columbia Welcome since it launched in January 2009. Others have joined recently. We are so fortunate to have a thriving local business climate, and I very much appreciate their support.

I want to thank one sponsor in particular, the Bank of Missouri. Specifically, I would like to say thank you to Mary Ropp and Lorry Myers. Mary surprised me when she said that she wanted to nominate me for this award. Lorry’s exceptional writing skills made me sound great on the application. At one point, the two of them caused my head to swell so much I feared it would fall off.

Will I win the award later today for Emerging Business Woman of the Year – Absolutely NOT! Have you seen the list of ladies in that category? Jenna Higgins-Rose dominates in the male-driven biodiesel communications field (and she’s my trail buddy neighbor); Caroline Leemis broke down the complex world of healthcare interior design for me when we met for coffee; Sidney Neate is a good friend, excellent banker and social networker extraordinaire; I’m in awe of Anne Tuckley’s taste and personal design skills. I wish I knew Sherry Hockman and Jessica Kempf after checking out their professional websites. They are all outstanding women in their fields, and in this case it is truly an honor just to be nominated.

Thank you for making Columbia Welcome a winner!

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