From the Editor

When I first moved to the Coulee Region, I was first struck, as many are, by the beauty of the area. Having visited-and even lived in-many parts of the country, I firmly believed our bluffs and coulees, our rivers and green spaces could easily hold their own against other areas. But once I'd lived here a while, I came to see that natural beauty wasn't all we had going for us.

La Crosse and its neighbors-Viroqua, Winona, La Crescent and more-had something going for them that much larger cities possessed. They were humming, thriving communities with citizens very much active in them. As I spent more time here and progressed through various stages of life, I witnessed firsthand how these constituents held up their values and lived them out. I watched them stand up for the environment and for human rights. I watched them participate in and fiercely defend their schools, and I saw the students-from kindergarten through college-benefit from their passion. I saw what a handful of deeply committed people could achieve together, and I saw whole communities rally around what they hold dear. What a wonderful place to live; what a wonderful thing to be a part of.

And not lost on me was the impact women in particular were making in their cities and communities. I feel so lucky to be in a position where we actively seek out and highlight these women not only making changes in their communities-but also simply making them work. In nearly every industry, every nonprofit, every school and every walk of life, women are making life in the Coulee Region hum and thrive. They're starting businesses, running nonprofits, teaching children and so much more.

In this issue, we celebrate "life in the Coulee Region" and all that women do to make this area a beautiful, functional and caring place to live. We've invited in doctors, chefs, artists, educators, farmers, business owners and corporate players of all stripes to show you just a sampling of the women who make life in the Coulee Region go round, every single day. We hope you'll enjoy meeting them as much as we have (and if you think life in the Coulee Region is vibrant, wait till you're in a room with a good number of the 15 women on our cover!).

As you read their stories, remember that the Coulee Region would be a slightly different place without you here, too, and know that all you bring to life in the Coulee Region-regardless of position or occupation-makes an impact. For all it has going for it, it's an even better place with you in it.

Betty Christiansen



Download past issues here …

What is inside this month's issue:

Meet the women who help make this a great place to live.

Personal & Professional
Doing the Heavy Lifting
Kelly Strupp Herbst pitches in at Strupp Trucking.

In the Service of Service Members
Tracey Armstrong keeps communication strong at LHI.

Opportunities for All
Elizabeth Filter leads a new generation at VARC.

Healthy Living
Healthy Skin, Healthy Community
Dermatologist April Farrell loves to educate about skin care.

Women in the Region
Room for More
Sheila Cundiff's Northern Land Storage expands to meet demand.

Making Futures Bright
La Crosse Promise Future Center adviser Hayley Moe helps students pursue their dreams.

Math with a Flip
A new approach to learning is the hallmark of Kim Novak's teaching.

Home for Good
Matt and Carolyn Zimmerman's dream home is the People's Choice winner, too.

Giving Women and Girls a Helping Hand
Heidi Svee leads the Women's Fund of Greater La Crosse.

Substituting for Family
JoAnn Storlie ensures great care for residents at Lakeview Health Center.

A Farmer Talent Agency
Michelle Pedretti helps talented farmers promote their products.

Mother Earth
Sweet Success
Bree Breckel taps a favorite Coulee Region resource.

Local Flavor Served with a Twist
Two La Crosse transplants diversify the palates of Coulee Region diners.

There's Always Something
Jane Schmidt tells her own story of life in the Coulee Region.

Arts & Entertainment
Destiny Meets the Muse
Vicki Elwood brings talent and passion to The Muse Theatre.

Retail Therapy
Daywear to Dinnerwear
From sunup to sundown, Coulee Region retail has got you covered.

From the Mohave to the Grand Canyon (Almost)
How many national parks can a family hit during one trip?


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