- MELISSA FLYNN
I grew up in Sioux City and went to Heelan High School and then on to the University of Northern Iowa where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design with an emphasis in General Business. I have always been enthralled with California since I was young and decided to apply for internships there. I was lucky enough to be hired in San Diego so I packed up my car and my cat just weeks after my last college course and moved. Living there was a huge culture shock in every way imaginable- the weather, people, the traffic, the city life, fashion, everything. I loved it so much, but soon the bad came with the good. I was having to work three jobs just to stay afloat, unemployment rates were up to 25% and I couldn't find my dream job and I began to miss my old friends and family back home.
Every time I traveled home I questioned why I was so far from the people I loved most. I began to miss what makes the Midwest so special. We are courteous, hardworking, polite people. As I mentioned, I worked many jobs in San Diego and nearly immediately would be hired at all of them because I was from Iowa. No joke! The Midwest work ethic is something that we are known for, and I'm sure employers all over the country are aware of that. Living in California for nearly three years was amazing and a huge learning experience and it's always so bittersweet for me to reflect on. Glitz and glamour of a big city fade and I wanted to be back where people are courteous, my best friends live down the street and my mom is 15 miles away instead of 1800.
What I like about Sioux City is that everyone looks out for each other. Businesses thrive because there is a mutual respect and admiration for how hard we work and what good hearted people we are. I was hired, finally, at my dream job at FEH Associates when I was waiting tables and making small talk with one of the patrons about my design background. That would never happen in a big city where everyone is looking out for themselves! Think of the people you know who are working hard. How many times have you suggested someone as a repair man, a photographer, a designer, a speech pathologist, a personal trainer, a baker, a store owner, and so on and so forth? We look out for each other and we want to help each other succeed. Here we roll up our sleeves when things need to be done and yet stay humble. Now I just wish we could take all of this greatness and move it near the ocean!
- ERIKA NEWTIN
I've left Sioux City three different times, and moved back all three times! I love Sioux City, it's so easy to live here. The people are friendly, and something truly is ALWAYS going on. It's a great place to raise my son, and there is a significant amount of investment and positive leadership in our community, moving it in a new direction.
- ERIN DUNN
I grew up in Sioux City and left to get my degree in Interior Design from Iowa State. I returned to Sioux City to stay close to family and friends, which turned out to be a very beneficial decision. Now I work with PLaN Architecture on the newly developed Pearl Street downtown. I feel lucky to live in Sioux City at this age because it is big enough to have access to everything and small enough to actually be able to get involved in everything! I am very happy I decided to begin a career in downtown Sioux City.
- MATT RICKE
My wife and I grew up in rural northwest and north central Iowa. We then moved away to college, took transfers with work and had an opportunity to move back in 1999. We have lived in Minnesota and Texas, and are very glad to call Sioux City home. There have been other chances to move away, but cannot imagine another community could offer us the quality of life like Sioux City does. We enjoy a great neighborhood, great friends, an outstanding parochial school system, and the chance to make a difference in our community. It was one of the best decisions we made - moving to Sioux City.
- JACKI KELLY
After graduating from Morningside College, I moved to Connecticut to pursue a Masters in Forensic Science, thinking that I would be a big city girl the rest of my life. When my father became ill, I put my career goals on hold for a short time to come back and be with him. I had worked for Security National Bank in the past and, with my homecoming, they were glad to hire me back. Shortly after I moved back to Sioux City, I met my cousin's fiance Virginia, and she insisted I go out with her to a Young Professional event. She promised I would meet ambitious, career-oriented individuals living in Sioux City that night and she was right! It was that evening I was introduced to the Sioux City Growth Organization and my future husband. He had moved to Sioux City from the farm to become a commercial real estate agent and now manages several real estate development projects and together we own CENTURY 21 ProLink. We each independently made the decision to move to Sioux City less than 10 years ago, and now are the Kelly family of four calling Siouxland home.
- BETH TREJO
When I graduated from Hinton High School in 2001, my plans were to go to college and move to a large metropolitan area. After living in Eastern Iowa for 6 years, those plans changed. My husband and I seriously contemplated moving to a big city after college but we couldn't help but stare wide-eyed at the cost of housing, transportation and entertainment. Finding employment was another challenge. We would be competing against hundreds of other applicants for most of the jobs we were looking to apply for. In 2007 we came to the conclusion to move back to Sioux City after visiting a friend in Phoenix, AZ. Even though our friend lived in a huge city, most of the places they frequented were within a small radius of where they lived or worked, similar to the size of Sioux City. We both made the commitment to move back where we would be closer to family, didn't have to sit through hours of traffic, could afford to buy a home and really get involved in the community. My husband and I picked up our entire lives to move back home to Sioux City. We both dropped great jobs and moved back with our parents (in the middle of a snow storm to top things off). After only two months we were able to buy a house, find employment and joined several volunteering groups. Three years later and I'm so glad that we made that decision. It's always fun to visit places around the country but in the end, I'm always happy to come home.
- MIKE BRADBURY
I'll admit, I was eager to get out of Sioux City after graduating from East High in 2002. I went to college at Washburn University in Topeka, KS where I obtained a BBA in management and marketing. Upon graduation I was married, owned a home and worked at a Hallmark Cards, Inc. manufacturing facility in Topeka. I worked there for 3 years before being laid-off due to staff reductions. At this time I was the father of a two and a half year old son and my wife was seven months pregnant with our soon to be second child. We had been looking at getting closer to Sioux City. Both sets of our parents lived in town and we missed those nostalgic things like Jerry's Pizza, Tastees In and Out, and Miles Inn. Through networking with Sioux City GO and YP Iowa I was directed to a recruiter at the Iowa Workforce Development in Sioux City. Through this networking I was able to obtain an interview with a company that I had my eyes set on since being laid-off. I was offered a position and now I am a full time employee doing internal project management. This move not only brought us closer to our families, but also to the city we were both born and raised in. After living seven years in Topeka I was ready to come back home.
- ANNE WESTRA
I moved back to Sioux City after attending college in Colorado and working in New York to be closer to my family. Sioux City has seen amazing progress in the last 10 years and we really enjoy raising our children here. Community events, concerts, cultural opportunities and shopping are all available without a long commute. We vacation in other parts of the country and are always happy to come home to Sioux City!