"Biggest Small Town in America", GI Honors Young Professionals
By Steve White, Grand Island Bureau Chief - bio | email
He's the face of Grand Island, along with 34 other young professionals.
Andrew Fausett is a humble leader who was surprised to learn he was on the list, the Top 35 Under 35 in the community.
"Wasn't something I even considered myself qualified for," he said.
He's filled Easter baskets to raise money to feed the hungry, and coached kids. Plus he's active in church, and helps with Danger Football.
That's all in addition to his day job, in the IT department at Central Community College.
Fausett says it's what he learned growing up in a small town, and Grand Island's not so different.
He said, "Grand Island really is the biggest small town in America I think."
Ord native Tim Hruza shares that spirit of giving back.
The attorney said, "People there just get involved, it's what you do in small town Nebraska."
Without a four year college, Grand Island doesn't have the traditional pipeline talent.
So the Chamber of Commerce has made it a priority to connect young leaders.
Hruza said, "In Grand Island, you have to take a little bit of initiative to get involved. I've done what I can and continue to do so but if the Chamber can help facilitate that, young professionals is definitely something that's helped me make friends and get to know people."
He has taken his involvement a step further, joining the Chamber's Young Professionals group.
Since its inception in 2009, the Top 35 honor has highlighted teachers, entrepreneurs, doctors, and others for their contributions.
"Particularly in the professional and business community, we've got a lot of young people with a lot to offer, and if this is a way for the Chamber to reach out and get them involved, it's a great way to do that," Hruza said.
And as they pose for photos, they're now model citizens to inspire others.
"Young people are obviously the future of any community," Hruza said.
Fausett said, "Community investment is important to me. If you're going to live in a community, you might as well live there, not reside there."
Top 35 Under 35 Honorees:
Adam Bierhaus, Chief Carriers, Inc.
Andrew Fausett, Central Community College
Angela Reynolds, Central Community College
Ashlee Schneider, Snap Fitness
Ashley Rogers, Credit Management Services, Inc.
Ashley Wissing, St. Francis Medical Center, Cancer Treatment Center
Barrett Hahn, Almquist Maltzahn Galloway & Luth PC
Brittany Skeen, Hornady Manufacturing Company
Haley Lenz, Northwest Public Schools
Jack Sheard, Grand Island Public Schools
Jason Zelasney, GIPS, Central Catholic
Jenn Roth, Heartland CASA
Jennifer Cramer, Associated Staffing, Inc.
Jennifer Stelk, General Collection
Jim Hull, Home Federal Bank
Jordan Allen, Family Resources of Greater Nebraska
Josh Rookstool, SUNHEAT International
Kate Stump, CNH
Kelsey O'Dea, Ryder Rosacker McCue & Huston
LaTonna Brand, Five Points Bank
Lisa Avila O'Connor, Doane College
Marcus Doughty, Grand Island Physical Therapy
Maren Lakers YMCA and Conditioned Air Mechanical
Mary Berlie, Grand Island Economic Development
Matt Green, Primark Insurance Agency
Micki Ward, CareerBum.com
Nicholas Staab, Rich & Sons Camper Sales, Inc.
Ryan Hansen, Ryder Rosacker McCue & Huston
Ryan Heavican, Bosselman Administrative Services
Shane Wissmann, Five Points Bank
Stephanie Grabowski, Family Eyecare Center
Timothy Hruza, Leininger, Smith, Johnson, Baack, Placzek & Allen Law Firm