10 Under 40 Winner: Cynthia Nelson

Cynthia Nelson
Owner, Hawks Coffee Shop & Gypsy Soul Boutique

What are you working on now? 

I really enjoy being involved with committees that are dedicated to making the Siouxland community a better place to live/raise children. Currently, I am on the board for Lila Mae’s House, which helps survivors of sex trafficking. I am also involved with several boards in Sergeant Bluff. I want to actively help make my children’s school and community as great as possible.  I am on the Parks and Rec board, which works on creating and enhancing the sports facilities and programs in Sergeant Bluff.  I am also on the SBL School Foundation Board, which raises funds to give scholarships to students in Sergeant Bluff that may need some assistance in college.  I love making the community a better place for my children and also being able to help educate our future leaders.

What is your vision for the future? / What would you like to see happen in Siouxland? 

I would love to see Siouxland continue to grow and develop. I love seeing new businesses opening up – more events and activities being held- and more competitive sporting teams developing! I would love to see that continue.  I am not originally from here and when I moved here I noticed people would talk about having to go to Omaha and Sioux Falls for day trips, for events, or for sports tournaments.  I think our goal should be to change that – to create opportunities here in our own backyard!

What are you doing to make that happen?

I have opened two businesses in the last year and I am able to use that platform to bring people together, to hold events, and to support local teams, non-profits, and other small businesses. Connecting people and seeing them happy is one of my passions.  I love participating in committees, sitting on Boards, and being in the room where things are happening, so I can be a part of the change.

How can people help you make that happen? 

I would love to see people supporting small businesses- we have so many wonderful businesses and fabulous business owners in our community and we need to make sure we give support so they don’t close their doors!! Sergeant Bluff came out BIG TIME during COVID to help support us.  Our community rallied behind our new business and made sure that we could continue to remain open.  The support they showed for the business, for my family, and for my staff is exactly why I want to raise my children here. The continued support for all local/small businesses is so important.

What is the most important key to success?

I would say determination has been my key to success. I really love showing my daughter (and her friends and all my young female staff) that if you work hard you can achieve your dreams. Being a strong female entrepreneur and role model is a goal of mine and I have a long way to go before I figure it out, but I am determined to keep trying!

What is one challenging life experience that taught you something you’ve been able to use to your benefit or to the benefit of others? 

I worked in Child Protective Services for about 10 years and every single day I was reminded of the bad things that happen in our world, and then also all the good people and services we have in our community to help make things better. It’s very important to me to support organizations that help make Siouxland a safer place for children and those who are vulnerable.

What quote or saying inspires you? 

Pray. Wait. Trust. – Lauren Lucas

Volunteer Opportunities: 

– Lila Mae House Board Member

– Sergeant Bluff Little League – Board Member, Secretary, and Director of Fundraising

 -Sergeant Bluff PTO – Secretary

– Sergeant Bluff Parks and Rec Board Member

– Sergeant Bluff Luton School Foundation Board Member

– Sunnybrook Church Ministries

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