10 Under 40 Winner: Emily Vondrak

Emily Vondrak
Marketing and Development Manager, Siouxland Habitat for Humanity

What are you working on now? 

I have the privilege of working for Siouxland Habitat for Humanity, so I get to spend a lot of my time sharing more about how we build safe, affordable homes for families in need in the community.

I am also involved in some great community organizations. Currently, I have the pleasure of serving on the Board of Directors for the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, and as a Chamber Ambassador. 

I am also honored to serve as the 2021 President for Sioux City Growth Organization. I am working with a mission of attracting and retaining young professionals to Siouxland; we strive to get involved in the community and showcase and experience all Siouxland has to offer.  

Additionally, I served on the planning committee for the first-ever Summer In Siouxland program. It was created for all of the students who spent their summer doing an internship in Siouxland so that they could learn what opportunities they would have if they choose to stay here after graduation.

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

My biggest hope for the future of Siouxland is for the community to continue to grow. It is almost surreal to walk through downtown and see the revitalization compared to 5, 10 years ago. We’ve seen so many new businesses, housing developments, and more pop up. It’s also led to some fantastic quality of life projects. My vision is that we stay on this trajectory and share with people what a great community this is to be a part of and call home. 

What are you doing to make that happen?

One of the most important ways to encourage growth is to support the things we have now. Go to events like the Farmers Market, Food Truck Fridays, or Saturday in the Park. Remember local restaurants and boutiques when you’re dining and shopping. Take your family or friends for a fun night out watching a local sports team, or show, or event at the Tyson Events Center or Orpheum Theatre. 

Investing in our community is why Innovation Market is one of my favorite events we sponsor for the Sioux City Growth Organization. It is amazing to hear the ideas of local entrepreneurs and ultimately see them come to fruition. For Siouxland to step up and invest in local people is the key to progress.    

How can people help you make that happen? 

Get Involved! Change comes from every one of us in this community. We all have different experiences and perspectives that shape the way we see the world. If you have an idea to make Siouxland better, find a person or organization that can help you make it happen. 

What is the most important key to success?

The most important key to success is hard work. It sounds cliché, but growing up as a farm kid it was a characteristic that was ingrained in me as a way of life. It is a trait that has served me well. 

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?

Do not be afraid of change. At the time, losing my job at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic was frightening. But, by deciding to embrace change and see the set-back as an opportunity, I ended up being able to move into a new role in the nonprofit world, which had been a career goal of mine for a long time.

What quote or saying inspires you?

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

Volunteer Organizations
Sioux City Growth Organization, President
Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors
Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, Ambassador
Summer In Siouxland, Planning Committee
Akron-Westfield Cheer Coach

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