Young Professional of the Month – October 2018: Dusty Krikau
Hometown: Watertown, Wisconsin
Education: University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire (B.S. Public Communication) and James Madison University (M.Ed. College Student Personnel and Administration).
Describe Yourself in Three Words: optimistic, realistic, do-er
Place of Employment and Position: Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership, Director of Communication and Special Events
What do you enjoy the most about your current position?
I love that my job makes a visible impact on my community and creates opportunities for others to impact their community, too. When I’m running downtown events, I’m highlighting local entrepreneurs who are consistently investing in making Fond du Lac the best it can be. The process of keeping a community vibrant requires many pieces and I love that I am one part of a large team all working together toward that common goal.
What is the one thing you would do if you knew you could not fail?
There are very few things that I’m not willing to try, even if there is a risk of failure. My theory is that if I want to do something (and I’m not risking death or harm to my loved ones) then now is the time to work toward that goal and implement it. I don’t really have a “bucket list” because if I add something to the list, I try to accomplish it within the next three years. So far, so good!
How has YPF contributed to your personal and/or professional development?
I joined YPF to offer assistance as a copywriter for the website, event descriptions, and print materials. I love that it has given me a small army of resources from which I can gather expertise. Recently, I was confronted with a marketing term I had never seen and I was able to get help from a YPF member within minutes. I feel like I’m back in grad school and have a cohort on which I can rely and where I feel safe exploring things I need to learn.
Who or what is your source of professional inspiration?
My professional inspiration comes from the mission statement of James Madison University, which I have co-opted as my mission statement for life as a whole: I am dedicated to being an educated and enlightened citizen who leads a productive and meaningful life. That phrase informs nearly every personal and professional decision I make and inspires me to continue learning every day and stay engaged in my community in a productive way, while also staying present for my family and ensuring that I’m raising educated and enlightened citizens in my house.
What are some of the professional and volunteer groups you participate in?
I am part of the Marketing Committee for Young Professionals of Fond du Lac and serve as the President for the Wisconsin Farmers Market Association. When I’m not running events of my own, you’ll occasionally find me volunteering at other local events.
What is your favorite thing to do in the Fond du Lac area?
I love getting nerdy in Fond du Lac. My bank account suffers the most when I walk into Atlas Gaming or Chimera Hobby Shop and I have found plenty of great tabletop gaming friends in the area because of shops like those. You can often find me at Annie’s Fountain City Cafe on Open Mic Night playing board games in the front room while we listen to music from the back.
Where do you see the Fond du Lac area in 5 years?
I see Fond du Lac continuing to grow and change over the next five years and beyond. New businesses will come and vacant properties will be filled. Young singles and families will embrace the changes and continue to move here to be part of the progress and invite their friends and families to come visit them to enjoy the restaurants, the thriving art and music scene, and try paddle boarding on the lake. Locals will see the opportunities to be tourists in their own backyard and will embrace them with open arms. I don’t have a specific end vision for five years, because the City is living and breathing and won’t sit still once five years arrives, but I see continued forward movement. Always improving and never sitting still.
In keeping with YPF’s theme for this year “Take A Chance”, how have you taken a chance in 2018?
I joined YPF! I was hesitant to join because I was concerned that I would upset my work-life balance, which is always precarious for event planners. I have found it to be a very low-pressure environment, full of opportunities for me to be involved when and where I can, but without any guilt when I can’t. It’s been a great decision!
What words of wisdom do you have for other young professionals working in Fond du Lac?
Fond du Lac has many active “scenes.” Yours is here if you take the time to find it. YPF is a great way to help you discover all the nooks and crannies that may hold the things you love. Get out there and explore!
For more information on the Young Professionals of Fond du Lac, visit www.ypfdl.org.