Downtown Superstar – August
Downtown Superstar is BACK, baby!
We took a short break but we are thrilled to be recognizing a new Downtown Superstar each month. A Downtown Superstar is someone who goes above and beyond to help in the forward progress of downtown, making it feel welcoming to all and bringing a positive light to our community. A Downtown Superstar can be a business owner/staff, volunteer, or group. You can send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelle Vandenberg: Marketing Mastermind / Economic Recovery Committee
Kelle is the owner of One Crow Consulting that focuses on marketing and business development and is housed in the Historic Elmira Building upstairs. Because of her expansive background in marketing, she is also the perfect fit for the Economic Vitality Committee. Kelle has helped the committee brainstorm and plan out a number of projects, most recently re-working the NxLevel Entrepreneur Course. Historically, the ten week course focused on how to start a business. In 2020, Kelle is helping the committee put together a shorter course focusing on marking for small businesses during these trying and ever changing times. We greatly appreciate everything Kelle has done for downtown and we know she is only getting started! Learn more about Kelle below:
What is your “Ellensburg story”?
My story is like many other Eburg transplants. I came to school here first in 1986 and then again in 1997 to finish my degree. I fell in love with the town and the people. I met my husband here, he was at Central as well, and we grew our family here. We left in 2003 when my son’s education program was struggling with funding and we needed to make sure his was in a program that would grow with his needs. We had always planned on coming back “home” when the kids finished school. We did just that, our youngest graduated in June 2019 and we moved home in July that same year.
Why did you choose to get involved with the Ellensburg Downtown Association?
I took the NxtLevel Class to strengthen my business and in researching the class, came to really appreciate what the [Ellensburg Downtown Association] had done for Ellensburg overall. When we left in 2003, shop owners were struggling and the downtown businesses didn’t have as many resources. The EDA has been a fantastic partner for downtown companies and I loved all the events and programs created to help small businesses.
What has your experience been volunteering during a pandemic?
We volunteer because we want to help and we have something to contribute to the whole, but during the pandemic, people are tired, taxed, and scared. It is harder to remember being a part of something—and that is when we have to dig deeper and push ourselves, push each other and find creative ways to solve more challenging problems than before because the need is greater than before.
Top three places you recommend to friends when they want a fun time downtown?
- The Pearl
- The Mule
- The Farmers Market
What are you most looking forward to attending downtown when events are up and running again?
PK at Gallery One
Anything else you want people to know about you, about volunteering, or about downtown Ellensburg?
Downtown catches you and gives you a soft place to build a community, giving back and volunteering for Eburg,
makes it a home for all of us.