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Grell named Community Builder

Kathy Grell, right, receives a necklace from Park Rapids mayor Nancy Carroll in commemoration of receiving the Northwest Minnesota Women's Fund Community Builder award. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Local businesswoman Kathy Grell has received the Community Builder award from the Northwest Minnesota Women's Fund.

Each year, the Northwest Minnesota Women's Fund recognizes women who have demonstrated leadership for improving the quality of their own life or those around them.

The Women's Fund seeks to applaud the efforts of the women who have made northwest Minnesota a better place to live, work, raise families and have fun.

Park Rapids mayor Nancy Carroll nominated Grell for the award. She spoke briefly about Grell's background at a reception Friday evening.

She was born and raised in Park Rapids and received a teaching degree from Moorhead State University. After teaching in Park Rapids for several years she decided to go back to school for business.

She started LarMac LLC, a development company that works to make green, energy efficient, affordable housing in the Park Rapids area. Grell also serves as chairwoman of the Hubbard County Regional Economic Development Commission.

Grell said she learned work ethic from her mother and hopes she is passing on good things to her daughters, Maggie and Molly.

"I'm blessed that I've had so many opportunities to do so many things," she said.

Maggie said, "our mother was an exceptional mentor to us."

She and her sister Molly now own and operate The Good Life Café in downtown Park Rapids. They thanked their mother for helping them achieve their goals.

"Whenever we're stuck, we ask 'what would mom do?'" Molly said.

Community Builder award awards are given based on the following criteria:

n Leadership: A woman who through leadership roles has made significant contributions to her community; and through volunteerism, citizenship or community service has significantly improved the lives of women and girls.

n Outstanding mentor: A woman who has demonstrated wisdom and devotion to helping others; a role model and mentor who has supported and encouraged positive development in young women, and who also shows the characteristics necessary for success while actively sharing her skills.

n Professional excellence: A woman who has demonstrated leadership and excellence in her work, and whose leadership has benefited her community and/or her company; an extraordinary entrepreneur; a role model for other women in achieving success in traditional or non-traditional positions.

Since the 1997 establishment of the Women's Fund, many successful events and activities have taken place. The Women's Fund has facilitated informative, purposeful meetings, initiated outstanding Community Builder recognition awards, co-sponsored Women's History Month activities and succeeded in raising over $260,000 towards endowment and project goals.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561