Inspire(d) Summer 2022

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Stephanie Fromm Decorah, IA It has something to do with not quite admitting one is wrong, Stephanie explains with a grin. Instead, it’s about reframing to ecorah native Stephanie Fromm think, “But what if we do it this talks fast and works faster. On way?” she explains, illustrating meeting her, you might think with her hands the concept the Winneshiek County Tourism and of pivoting a problem to allow Economic Development Director has been a slightly different approach. in that role since birth. Zach, who is equally as focused And, in a way, she has: the Luther and intentional about business College business major moved back development, chides her about to the community in 2015 to accept this determination. “I get it all the position shortly after she and her the time,” she says, “especially in husband, Decorah (native) social studies the example we’re trying to set teacher and coach Zach Fromm, had their for our kids about saying you’re Below: Stephanie Fromm and her husband, Zach, rent “Piper’s firstborn, Wally. Since then, they grew Skoolie,” a renovated school bus, along the Upper Iowa River. sorry, but specifically, when you their family by two more kiddos (Marcie Top: The whole Fromm family enjoys canoeing on said River. might be wrong.” “‘So…are you and Piper), all while nurturing their own / Photos courtesy Stephanie Fromm going to say it?’ he will pester. collection of businesses: “Twin Springs ‘Are you?’” Lodge” near Decorah; “Marcie’s Cabin” It’s the kids that led Stephanie to her near Warrens, Wisconsin; and lately, “Piper’s current role in the building of Sunflower Skoolie,” a bus they renovated as a tiny home and Child Development and Discovery Center rent as Airbnb accommodations along the Upper in Decorah, a $9M project to relocate and Iowa River. expand the current Sunflower childcare “When we bought the bus, my mom just shook center. The project has raised $6.5M to her head,” Stephanie says with a laugh. “She said, date in grants and local donations or ‘Well, I don’t know what you’re going to do with it, pledges and is chasing its final $2M in but it always seems to work out, so…’” commitments as of spring 2022. Her mom, Brenda, is referring to Stephanie’s The Fromms got on the waiting list at personal way with redirection, a necessary mindset the current Sunflower childcare facility – for an entrepreneur and community advocate Decorah’s largest (120 children) and one facing the challenges that come with innovation. of the few to provide infant care – when BY KRISTINE KOPPERUD



Summer 2022 /