Welcome to the Club!

This is an issue I always look forward to reading from cover to cover.  As a member of the first class of “Top 10 Under 40” way back when it was printed on papyrus, it’s fun to read the details of these leaders making the community a better place to live for us all. I was honored this year to be a judge and that was a harder task than writing a country song without referencing a pickup truck and whiskey. 

When reviewing the many qualified candidates, I looked at their impact on Siouxland, how they built a career in their field, and their compassion for others.

It’s funny how MY own personal definition of success has changed from decade to decade; heck, even from year to year, perhaps, month to month. This issue is a perfect reminder about how fleeting time is when you look at it from afar at a bird’s eye view. I can tell you the goals I had at 25 years old differ dramatically from the goals I set for myself this year. Re-evaluation is necessary for all of us. For me, I chose to leave career fields I absolutely loved in order to chase another dream, being a full-time advocate and care provider for my oldest son. Starting something new is scary; however, so is going down the same path just because that is what you have always done.

Over this summer, I have learned one splendid attribute that most of the class of 2023 Top 10 Under 40 would probably echo if you asked them. This community really cares about the underdog. I average about five individuals a day that come up to me and ask how Trey is doing.  Many times, they are complete strangers. They often ask about my lovely wife and younger son as well. I guess when you share every thought and experience on the radio for more than 25 years, big-hearted people take note. The world is a lot more interesting and caring when you log off social media platforms and ask real questions about how our neighbors are doing, with extra bonus points if you really listen. I’m getting much better at this as I reach the age where I find out more about AARP as opposed to going out clubbin’ on the weekend. Do hip peeps still say clubbin? I didn’t think so.

We had so many very qualified young professionals that I wished we all could have learned about all of them in this issue. Unfortunately, only ten made the issue. Hopefully, names not picked this year will pop up in future years. Please do me a favor and CELEBRATE the kind-hearted who invest so much of their time and energy to make the tri-state area a better place. Say thanks, write a note and keep submitting their details so we all can know how vital they are to the heartbeat of our hometown.

It is a shame so many newspapers and other journalistic outlets had their circulation stunted recently. We NEED a bullhorn to amplify the good. I am so happy Siouxland Magazine can do that with every issue, and I am thrilled to join the team in that mission.

My guess is the top 10 this year probably spend their time helping others and not sending angsty messages on social platforms.

Compassion takes work.

Rolling up your sleeves and working towards a goal for the betterment of Siouxland may not grab clicks online like the Kardashians, but the result is much more rewarding.

That is something you don’t learn in a dance club.

Tony M. Michalski

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