Sunday, June 23, 2024
From the Publisher

Resilience, renewal, and the power of community


As I read through the stories in this month's Wenatchee Business Journal, I'm struck by the common threads of resilience, renewal, and the power of community that weave through each narrative.

In the heartwarming tale of Happy Fudge's reopening, we see how the love and dedication of Jason Stewart and Melissa Wike have breathed new life into a cherished local business. Their labor of love not only preserves the legacy of former owner Beth Davelaar but also showcases the incredible resilience of the human spirit in the face of loss and adversity. By coming together to rebuild and reopen Happy Fudge, Stewart and Wike have created a space that radiates warmth, love, and the enduring spirit of a beloved community member.

Similarly, the Executive Q&A with Kaylin Bettinger and Upper Valley MEND highlights the transformative impact of community-driven initiatives. Through her leadership and the tireless efforts of staff and volunteers, MEND has expanded its reach and deepened its commitment to meeting the diverse needs of the Upper Wenatchee Valley region with dignity. From the growth of Das Thrift Haus to the acquisition of affordable housing units through the Solid Foundations campaign, MEND exemplifies the power of a community united in its pursuit of a better future for all.

In Bridgeport, we witness the remarkable synergy between grassroots efforts and municipal initiatives in revitalizing the city. The Chamber of Commerce, under the leadership of Jose Sanchez and his dedicated team of volunteers, has breathed new life into cherished community events like Bridgeport Daze and introduced fresh traditions like Oktoberfest. Simultaneously, the city's SR-173 Community Revitalization Plan is transforming the downtown landscape, creating a more vibrant, pedestrian-friendly space that complements the Chamber's efforts. This partnership between the city and its citizens showcases the incredible potential for renewal when a community works together towards a shared vision.

These stories remind us that, even in the face of challenges and setbacks, the strength and resilience of our communities can propel us forward. By investing in each other, supporting local businesses and organizations, and working together towards common goals, we create a virtuous cycle of renewal and growth that benefits us all.

As we move forward, let us draw inspiration from the examples set by Happy Fudge, Upper Valley MEND, and the city of Bridgeport. Let us embrace the power of community, celebrate the resilience of the human spirit, and work together to build a future that is brighter, more inclusive, and more vibrant than ever before.

Terry Ward is the CEO of Ward Media and the publisher of the NCW News, Cashmere Valley Record, Lake Chelan Mirror, The Leavenworth Echo, Quad City Herald, and the Wenatchee Business Journal. He can be reached at


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