POCAHONTAS — Gretchen Tiedeman has been involved in the community of Pocahontas County since a young age. In middle school through high school she served her community and classmates by being involved in various clubs and organizations. She has now graduated college and has come back to serve the Pocahontas County Economic Development Commission as their marketing coordinator. A lot of this job includes making Pocahontas County a better place to live.
Teideman was born and raised in Fonda, a town in the southwest corner of Pocahontas County. Middle school through high school, Teideman was involved in 4-H, volleyball, softball, and served as various roles in both student government and National Honor Society. Her senior year of high school, she served as the president of Newell-Fonda High School’s National Honor Society. She graduated from Newell-Fonda in 2012.
After high school, she went to Augustana in Sioux Falls for one year. She then realized she wanted to be at a bigger school and then transferred to Iowa State University in Ames to major in marketing and minor in event management.
Throughout her time in college, she was involved in the SALT company, Collegiate Women in Business, Habitat for Humanity and Student Union Board.
Her work was mainly focused in the Student Union Board, which is a club at Iowa State that puts on many events for its students. This club was the basis of her real world experience that prepared her for what she does for Pocahontas County today.
On the Student Union Board, she served on exec as their vice president of finance for one year doing budgeting. Then with one semester left, she served on their marketing committee doing Facebook advertising and anything that helped promote the club’s events.
“I also got really involved in what they call national events which are the bigger concerts or like Kevin Hart, when they brought him that’s what they would consider a national event,” Teideman said.
In 2016 she graduated from Iowa State with honors and received her bachelor’s degree in marketing with a minor in event management. She then traveled to Europe for a couple months before coming back to job hunt. While reading her local newspaper in Fonda, she saw a job posting for a Marketing Coordinator for the Pocahontas County Economic Development Commission.
“It’s kind of funny that I saw it because I wouldn’t normally see a newspaper from around here but I happened to be home and looking and it was advertised as ‘Marketing/ Events/ Recreation coordinator’ and a lot of the points were basically what I went to school for,” Teideman said.
As marketing coordinator she serves in various roles. From making flyers, to planning or helping with events, to advertising, she does it all. She is often jumping from thing to thing, which is something she finds both exciting and challenging.
“It’s interesting because I have a job description, but a lot of the time I just am helping where I’m needed,” Tiedeman said.
As for the future of Pocahontas County, she hopes to improve it and to get jobs here so that young people start coming back to stay. But a part of getting young people to stay is making is making it a better place to live. So some of the bigger goals she has includes getting investments for trails and art projects throughout the county.
“If feel like those would be greatly beneficial,” Teideman said “All of the communities would see a big impact from doing that.”
Other goals include getting people and organizations throughout the county to communicate and work together more.
“So getting all of the chambers on the same page, really promoting the idea that we’re all working together,” Teideman said “Obviously each town is functioning on their own, but we’re more successful when we’re working together so constantly working on that.”
She also wants to get people throughout the county to start going to other events or volunteer throughout the county and not just in their town.
“Some people get stuck in their in own town and they don’t want to go to another,” Teideman said. “So we really want to push those people traveling all throughout the county and supporting the bigger family.”
Over the last two years she said she has learned a lot as marketing coordinator and expects to continue to learn more but one thing she has learned and hopes others discover is how much there is to do in Pocahontas County.
“Growing up here you might think that there’s nothing to do because you just take don’t advantage of whatever’s around,” Teideman said. “But there’s quite a lot to do and I’ve learned that since working here-different events that happen that I didn’t know about and so I’ve been able to get immersed into that which has been cool too.”
Tiedeman said she cares about the community she grew up up and wants to see it grow and give back to it.
“I live here so I want it to be a nice place to live,” Teideman said. “I always wanted to improve the community, that’s kind of what I’ve been doing my whole life. You want everybody to like where they live and we want to be able to provide something for everybody who’s here.”