42 episodes

The future of small towns doesn’t depend on us finding more people; we need to better engage the ones who are already there.

Each week, join Rebecca Undem, small-town champion and rural entrepreneur, as she chats with people who are doing their part to grow their community. You’ll hear ideas and learn ways to better support your business community, create a sense of belonging for all, and foster a rich arts and culture scene in your small town.

If you live in a small town, care deeply about your community, and share the belief that “if you’re not growing, you’re dying”, this is the podcast for you.

The Growing Small Towns Show Rebecca Undem

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 16 Ratings

The future of small towns doesn’t depend on us finding more people; we need to better engage the ones who are already there.

Each week, join Rebecca Undem, small-town champion and rural entrepreneur, as she chats with people who are doing their part to grow their community. You’ll hear ideas and learn ways to better support your business community, create a sense of belonging for all, and foster a rich arts and culture scene in your small town.

If you live in a small town, care deeply about your community, and share the belief that “if you’re not growing, you’re dying”, this is the podcast for you.

    Creative Placemaking in Small Towns with Judy Larson

    Creative Placemaking in Small Towns with Judy Larson

    Judy Larson, writer, musician, and artist, can remember a time when she wouldn’t have considered herself a “creative”. On today’s show, she shares her journey of embracing her own creativity, nurturing those skills and talents in others, and the impact it’s had on her own life and her community. Not sure what creative placemaking even is? You need to listen to this one! About Judy
    With a background in healthcare and economic development, JUDY LARSON has found her passion in building healthy communities. She’s a connector and communicator, a listener and lover of people. In 2018, Judy helped to establish Placemakers Co-op, a group dedicated to creating space for makers and do-ers to share ideas, collaborate, build relationships and use their talents. In addition to hosting a unique community-focused event each month, Placemakers Co-op also works with LIVE Inc., an entity that provides services for people with developmental disabilities. Judy has been instrumental in forging a relationship between the two groups by organizing events and classes, (including an artist in residence) for all to enjoy, regardless of ability. In the spirit of People First Language, she believes we are all “people needing support”--people who are happier, healthier and better able to use and expand our talents when we are in a healthy, supportive community. In this episode, we cover: The one thing each of us is compelled to give to the world The difference between Strategic Planning and Strategic Doing What “Fail with Friends” is and how to start one in your community How to use micro-commitments to build involvement The value of simply creating space for people to explore Links + Resources Mentioned
    The Placemakers Co-Op website: https://www.placemakersco-op.com/
    Artists to check out and support!
    John Lopez: http://www.johnlopezstudio.com/
    Brittany Schnell: https://brittanyography.com/
    Kathleen Norris: https://writingforyourlife.com/
    Shasta Marie Designs: https://shastamariedesigns.com/
     
    Subscribe + Review
    Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Growing Small Towns Show! If the information in our conversations and interviews has helped you in your small town, head out to Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Spotify, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver relevant, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more small-town trailblazers just like you!

    • 45 min
    Holding a Vision for Small Towns with Amy Suda of Skin Rehab Clinic

    Holding a Vision for Small Towns with Amy Suda of Skin Rehab Clinic

    From an early age, today’s guest, Amy Suda, knew that being an entrepreneur would be her future. Being born and raised in Grafton ND, and marrying her high school sweetheart, she also knew that when the time was right, she’d open her business in her hometown. In this episode, she shares the journey to starting her new skincare clinic (opened in May of 2020) and how owning a small-town business has further fueled her vision for her community.  About Amy
    Amy Suda, MSN, FNP-C,and DCNP, is the founder/owner of Skin Rehab. She has been practicing Dermatology since 2009. She attended the University of North Dakota, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After completing 2 years of rural practice in Grafton, ND at Unity Medical Center, she returned to UND to achieve a Master of Science in Nursing, specialization in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program. She also passed her specialty exam in October 2019 to be considered a Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner. Amy serves as a dermatology preceptor for students in nursing programs throughout the region. Amy enjoys practicing both medical and cosmetic dermatology with a special interest in evaluating and treating the whole person. She resides in rural Grafton with her husband and five children. Her family enjoys camping and a variety of year-round sports and can often be found on a court, field or in a rink. In this episode, we cover: How to focus on doing “the next right thing” when you’re starting something big Things to ask yourself when considering starting a new venture The value of hiring skills that complement your own Knowing where to invest your time, talents, and energy The importance of balancing a strong vision with a flexible approach to business Links + Resources Mentioned
    The Skin Rehab website: https://theskinrehab.com/
    The Skin Rehab on FB: https://www.facebook.com/skinrehabnd/
    The Skin Rehab on IG: https://www.instagram.com/skinrehabnd/
     
    Mention the podcast and get 20% off your facial booking! 
     
    Subscribe + Review
    Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Growing Small Towns Show! If the information in our conversations and interviews has helped you in your small town, head out to Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Spotify, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver relevant, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more small-town trailblazers just like you!

    • 36 min
    Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Small Towns with Jordan DeGree of The Rural Ideas Network

    Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Small Towns with Jordan DeGree of The Rural Ideas Network

    Are rural communities the future hotspot for entrepreneurship? Today’s guest, Jordan DeGree, founder of the Rural Ideas Network, sits down with us to share why he believes they are, and what it means for those of us living and working in rural America. We talk about how the network helps small towns to encourage entrepreneurship, foster creativity, and drive innovation. Whether you’re an entrepreneur in a rural community or a person who cares about supporting small businesses in your town, this episode is for you! Be sure to catch Jordan’s Fast Five (we love a solid soapbox!) to hear his answer to the question posed above. It’s such an exciting time to be in a small town! About Jordan
    Jordan founded the Rural Ideas Network in 2018 as a way to support entrepreneurs in rural communities. In his role at the Rural Ideas Network, Jordan oversees network efficacy and provides coaching to entrepreneurs. Jordan is a social enterprise entrepreneur, focused on starting both for-profit and nonprofit initiatives that have a positive impact on communities. In 2020, he was selected by the governor to serve on the Empower Rural Iowa Taskforce, with a specific focus on supporting entrepreneurial development. In 2018, Jordan received a Governor’s volunteer award for his various community service efforts in Iowa. In 2008, Jordan launched Creative Adventure Lab, a nonprofit organization on a mission to foster creativity and innovation. Over the past 11 years, Creative Adventure Lab has grown to provide innovative learning experiences to people of all ages, through a variety of programs, and serves more than 20,000 people every year. Jordan also helped launch The Innovation Lab, a coworking space and innovation services provider with multiple locations throughout the midwest. The Innovation Lab provides office space, entrepreneurial support programs, and innovation services to existing businesses (like John Deere and Alliant Energy).  DeGree has successfully launched and sold a residential property company and is currently majority owner of the Dubuque Idea Campus, a 42,000 ft2 commercial real-estate development in downtown Dubuque.  To complement his 12+ years of entrepreneurial & management experience, DeGree has a master’s degree in educational leadership and professional experience designing curriculum, developing effective educational models, and providing instructional and advisory services to individuals. In this episode, we cover: The meaning of creativity and innovation and how they work together  The value of co-working in a small town How The Rural Ideas Network can support you and your community What all businesses can focus on while still dealing with the pandemic When your idea takes longer to implement than you planned... Links + Resources Mentioned
    Molly Knuth Media (Thanks for connecting us, Molly!!) https://www.mollyknuthmedia.com The Rural Ideas Network—Community Tools page: https://www.ruralideas.net/community-tools The Rural Ideas Network—Entrepreneur Tools page (classes & coaching): https://www.ruralideas.net/entrepreneur-tools  (Use Coupon Code GST20 to get 20% off your registration!)
     
    Subscribe + Review
    Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Growing Small Towns Show! If the information in our conversations and interviews has helped you in your small town, head out to Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Spotify, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver relevant, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more small-town trailblazers just like you!

    • 51 min
    How to Grow a Small Town

    How to Grow a Small Town

    Welcome to the brand new Growing Small Towns Show! We are so stinking excited to roll out our first episode of this new season and in today's episode, you get a guest host! Nicole Pond, founder of The Yellow Bird, an online skincare company that makes exceptional and affordable skincare for your whole family, takes over the mic to interview Rebecca Undem, your usual podcast host about the journey of Growing Small Towns, the North Dakota-based 501(c)(3) she founded in 2019.
    About Rebecca
    Rebecca Undem has always been passionate about at least two things: people and talking to people. As an inspirational speaker, community advocate, and host of the podcast The Growing Small Towns Show, she’s put her gift of gab to good use. Rebecca spent over a decade in the organizational development industry, helping companies of all sizes, types, and industries make good on their commitment to make their people their top priority. She’s most passionate about encouraging people to steward their gifts well and she strongly believes this is how we create meaningful change and a lasting impact. As Founder and Executive Director of Growing Small Towns, a regional non-profit organization, Rebecca helps the communities in southeast North Dakota be places people love to call home through programs that grow their human, social, and cultural capital. Not one to let people down, Rebecca still lives up to her childhood label of drama queen. She binges on Netflix shows, coffee, and anything that leaves her verklempt—her self-acclaimed favorite feeling. Rebecca went against her youthful declarations and married a farmer, Jeremiah, and together, they have three amazing kids named Andrew, Carter, and Brynlee. They love their small town and the crazy-good life they get to live there. In this episode, we cover: 4:46 - How small towns offer possibilities most don't see 7:25 - An updated definition of growth for small towns
    13:14 - How clearly defined values shape behavior
    24:07 - What to focus on when pursuing a big goal
    26:12 - The value people can expect from our organization
    Links + Resources Mentioned
    Growing Small Towns website: www.growingsmalltowns.org Growing Small Towns Facebook: www.facebook.com/growingsmalltowns Growing Small Towns Instagram: www.instagram.com/growingsmalltowns Join the community on FB! www.growingsmalltowns.group Yellow Bird website: www.yellowbird.co (use coupon code REBECCAUNDEM at checkout to get 10% off!) Subscribe + Review
    Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Growing Small Towns Show! If the information in our conversations and interviews has helped you in your small town, head out to Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Spotify, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver relevant, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more small-town trailblazers just like you!

    • 48 min
    Introducing The Growing Small Towns Show!

    Introducing The Growing Small Towns Show!

    In this teaser episode, we are excited to introduce The Growing Small Towns Show! Your host, Rebecca Undem, shares all the things you need to know about why we’re rebranding the show, the reasons for these changes, and what to look forward to in the coming months.

    • 10 min
    Confronting Racism in Small Towns with Amber Adrian

    Confronting Racism in Small Towns with Amber Adrian

    On today’s show, we’re joined by Amber Adrian, former Teach For America teacher, to talk about what racism means, how it shows up in our world, and what we, even in our small towns, can do about it.
    Confronting Racism Episode Summary:
    Amber Adrian, former Teach For America teacher, shares a few of her personal stories and offers some practical ideas for how we, even in the smallest of towns across America, can begin to open our minds and hearts to what systemic racism is, how it affects us as a society, and what our individual and collective roles are in changing it.
    About Amber Adrian:
    Amber Adrian is a former middle school English teacher who worked in Los Angeles through Teach For America and was a founding staff member at a unique charter school in St. Paul, MN. She was raised in the Mitchell, SD, area and recently relocated back there alongside her husband Ryan, a native of the Twin Cities. 
    Amber is a freelance writer and an at-home parent to her daughters, Alice (4) and Clare (2). When she isn't cooking or tending to toddler emotions, she writes materials for businesses, maintains a blog and monthly(ish) newsletter, and writes occasionally for the local paper. Amber has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Education, and she's passionate about conversation, community, and personal growth.
    In this episode, we tackle…
    What is systemic racism and why is it so important that we understand the difference between that and overt acts of racism?
    For many of us, when we hear the word “racist” we take personal offense to the suggestion that we play a role because frankly, most of us are not bad people that truly hate people of color. But Amber shares a lot of information about the nature of systemic racism and how it’s not about individual acts, but it’s about an entire system designed originally to keep POC from advancing. There are remnants of that original system left today, which makes access difficult for some and not for others. 
    What’s the reason that we don’t engage in discussions about race more in small towns/rural America?
    In this time of heightened politicizing, it’s because the language around racial equality and justice for all typically belongs to the liberal side of the aisle. With small towns and much of rural America being more conservative politically, we hesitate to have these conversations because we don’t want to align with the “other side”.
    As Amber shares, you’ll hear that race isn’t about sides. This is about humanity and how we each have a role to play in ensuring that everyone is seen, valued, and welcomed in our society.
    Listen to this episode to hear more about:
    Why listening is the key to unlocking more understanding What it means that racism is “the water we swim in” How to start the work of learning and growing our own understanding about racism What our role is and why it matters, even in small towns When good intentions matter and when they don’t Why “call-out culture” is unproductive to the actual cause we’re claiming to care about How to approach this topic with love, grace and calming energy Links Mentioned
    Teach For America
    The Banker: Movie Rebecca mentioned about redlining
    Systemic Racism Explained: “Now This” video Rebecca mentioned seeing on Facebook
    Article: Blackface: The Birth of an America Stereotype
    Emmett Till post written by Amber’s friend:  https://amybosthenegar.com/blog/emmett-till
    Amber’s blog post about Philando Castile:  https://alternativegrace.com/philando-castile-and-shalom/  
    The book Amber is reading right now: White Fragility
    The poetry book mentioned in the episode: Bronx Masquerade 
    One of the most helpful books for Amber when she was teaching: Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real About Race in School 
    Family movie to encourage inclusion: Zootopia
     
    Connect with Amber
    Blog: http://alterna

    • 1 hr 24 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

OARFan5 ,

Big Fan

Such a gracious host!
Such great info for small towns!

Perry Hurth ,

Rebecca rocks!

What a refreshing podcast! Growing up in small town North Dakota- I can totally relate. She is well spoken, informative, inspiring, challenging and reflective. Tons of value provided through Rebecca’s insight and experience. Subscribe today!

This Farm Girl Cooks ,

The Real Deal!

Rebecca is warm, relatable and is genuine in her pursuit of all things small town! The ideas she has, the guests that she interviews - they are pure gold for those of us living in small communities! Give it a listen - you’ll be glad you did! Keep up the good work :)

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