At the 2018 Rural Policy Forum in Wickenburg, Arizona I was offered the chance to speak at one of the Vision Sessions. The Vision Sessions were all about inspiring work that folks are doing in rural communities in Arizona. My presentation was a little different. I was able to share three people’s stories in their own voices. The voices were those of Rebekah Kaufman, Dan Maurer, and Kenny Greene. All three are guests on Season Three of the Do Good, Be Good podcast.

Rebekah opened the first Barre3 fitness studio in Flagstaff. She moved from the San Francisco Bay area to do it. She was attracted to Flagstaff, Arizona for the slower pace and more balanced life that Flagstaffians enjoy.

Dan and his best friend, Anthony Mancini, are returning guests to the podcast. We have followed their journey during their first year of creating a nonprofit, Elevate Nepal, that aims to rebuild homes and schools in rural Nepalese villages. Their latest challenge is rebuilding the local farming economy so that the villagers will be able to stay, instead of leaving the region for work in other countries.

Kenny is also a founder. He founded Warrior To Inspector (War2In) to connect military veterans with a well-paid career as a non-destructive testing engineer. To do this, he has built a trade school at the NACET facility in Flagstaff. Veterans now come to Flagstaff from all over the country to be trained.

It was a honor to share these stories with an audience of like-minded, rural Arizonans trying to strengthen their own communities. The presentation was well received, and I hope to use this format again to be able to share the stage with the people back home who are doing great work in my community.