BELLEVUE — I heard an exciting speech this week. No, it wasn’t Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream,” speech, but something a little closer to home - my new home of Bellevue.
On Tuesday, Jan. 21 - the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - I attended the weekly Rotary luncheon as the guest of Dennis Sabo, marketing director for Bellevue Hospital. There I heard a young Bellevue mover and shaker share his vision for his home town.
Jeremy Pifer is the founder of a new group of emerging leaders, called Bellevue Emerging Leaders. Pifer, like many in the group, had fond memories of growing up in Bellevue. After moving away more than a decade ago for college and other opportunities, the 32-year-old found himself with a desire to return to the slower pace his hometown had to offer to raise his young family.
When he came back, he discovered others, like Dane Fox, of Fox Cycle Works, who had also moved away, but returned to their hometown as their priorities in life had changed. Most, if not all, said one of the things they loved most about growing up in Bellevue, was the people.
Having lived a lot of places, there is one thing I have learned - you can live in the most exciting city in the world, but if you aren’t surrounded by great people, you probably won’t enjoy it. And even though I have only been in Bellevue a very short time, I am beginning to see exactly what Jeremy, Dane, and others mean. Bellevue has some great people.
Bricks and mortar can be changed. People, not so much.
Jeremy said when doing research on the best small towns in America and what made those towns so great, he never heard anyone say “it has a strong local government.” They talk about the restaurants, things to do - and the people. The people are what make a community great.
These young leaders have a vision and are putting it into action fast. They are about doing, not talking about doing. And if this is the future of Bellevue, I think the future looks pretty bright.
Christine Steele can be reached at 419-483-4190 ext. 213. Follow us @BellevueGazette.