Business leader now welcomes visitors to FD

Connie Lind-Fraher, Fort Dodge

-Messenger photo by Hannah Wadle
Connie Lind-Fraher assists in the ribbon cutting of The Big Picture, a consignment store that opened in downtown Fort Dodge recently.

Helping to let visitors know about the interesting and fun things to do in Fort Dodge keeps Connie Lind-Fraher on the go.

Since last year, she has been the visitor services director at the Fort Dodge Convention & Visitors Bureau. When a group is planning a trip to Fort Dodge and when it arrives in town, Lind-Fraher is the key contact person.

When a group tour arrives in a bus, she climbs on board, stands near the front and uses a PA system to point out interesting sites around town as the bus moves along.

“She’s also building out itineraries for the group tours,” said Kerrie Kuiper, the bureau’s executive director. “That’s really important.”

According to Kuiper, Lind-Fraher is also busy behind the scenes, doing bookkeeping, writing the newsletter and preparing welcome bags for visitors.

”Connie is instrumental in the CVB providing services to other organizations,” Kuiper said. “She’s really the person that’s out there interacting with other groups to provide resources for our visitors.”

In addition to her busy days promoting tourist attractions around the city, she served as president of the former Fort Dodge Area Chamber of Commerce board, is a Western Iowa Tourism Region representative, is part of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, Market on Central, is on the Webster County Board of Health along with the Trinity Hospice Board of Directors, and the Hospice House Capital Campaign.

“My favorite part of my job is being out in the community and interacting with people. I am excited for Fort Dodge’s future,” said Lind-Fraher said.

She was born in Iowa City to Jim and Rose Lind. Her childhood and adolescent years were spent in Cedar Rapids and Mason City until she attended Iowa State University in Ames in 1973. She studied journalism at first, then switched to business and graduated with a business major and minors in psychology and sociology. She then attended Buena Vista University in Storm Lake to finish out her bachelor’s degree.

After her college, she moved to Fort Dodge in 1976 and began her business career as director of Health Manpower, a physician recruitment organization. Lind-Fraher then moved up the ladder to be both the vice president and owner of A-1 Home Healthcare until 2007. She was then announced as the chief executive officer, president and owner of A-1 in 2008.

In 1979, her mother, Rose Lind, saw a need in the community for a provider of medical supplies and equipment that specialized in quality customer service, and provided supplies and specialty services for patients living in their homes or residing in care facilities.

The family-owned company, A-1 Home Healthcare Medical Equipment & Supplies, opened in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and in two locations in Fort Dodge. The company was an independent medical equipment supplier for 37 years until it merged with UnityPoint — Health in 2015.

In the past, she was part of a legislative committee that flew to Washington, D.C., to lobby on Medicare changes and health legislation. She has also attended state legislative sessions on Medicaid issues and cuts.

“Intricately becoming involved in the community develops an understanding of its character, its challenges and, ultimately, its opportunities,” she said. “Fort Dodge has evolved into an remarkable experience.”