Thank You CURE for a Strong Foundation

Speaking at my first large CURE event in Clinton, MN.

Speaking at my first large CURE event in Clinton, MN.

After four transformative years, I am leaving CURE’s nest. As of Friday, April 29th, I will no longer be working for the organization that I have grown with over the years. I am pursuing my dream job in the historic preservation field as the Minnesota Main Street Coordinator for the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (PAM).

My first meeting facilitation experience at a listening session in Granite Falls.

My first meeting facilitation experience at a listening session in Granite Falls.

I remember my first day at CURE as its program organizer like it was yesterday. It was a Tuesday in January of 2012 during an unusually warm winter. I had just moved from the Washington DC area to Granite Falls, MN, the week before. After meeting everyone in the office for the first time, I was placed at a white folding table at the front of the office and given an Excel list of over 2,500 mailing addresses. My job was to look for duplicates or missing information. My next task was to help with CURE’s largest mailing of the year. I had never licked so many envelopes and manually folded so many pieces of paper.

My first Amtrak experience during a work trip to Chicago .

My first Amtrak experience during a work trip to Chicago.

The following month I was in Clinton, MN, population 449, participating at my first rally. That same month, I facilitated my first meeting of over forty people in my community. A year later, I was leading the communications division at CURE.

Over the past four years, I was given every opportunity possible to grow as a professional. Out of the office, I was encouraged to pursue leadership roles within my community. While developing CURE’s communications division, I was given the opportunity to seek out learning opportunities and to experiment and innovate.  

Co-facilitating a young leadership event, "Don't Worry, We've Got This," in 2014.

Co-facilitating a young leadership event, “Don’t Worry, We’ve Got This,” in 2014.

CURE’s communications division is at the heart of our programs; advocacy, campaigns, and events. It enables us to connect with our partners and membership base across the region. Most likely, I have photographed you at one of our events. We developed our communications division around its key component, our photographs. Through our monthly RiverVoice emails, social media posts, graphics, press releases, blog posts, photos and videos, CURE is able to engage with its constituents and tell its story every day.

Documenting the Minnesota Falls Dam removal on the Minnesota River.

Documenting the Minnesota Falls Dam removal on the Minnesota River.

Because of my CURE experience, I am confidently taking on my new role at PAM, a nonprofit organization headquartered in St. Paul that works statewide for the use, reuse and preservation of historic buildings and sites. PAM’s Minnesota Main Street program is the state’s downtown revitalization program that helps towns and small cities maximize both their people and built assets for economic vitality. In my new role, I will be able to apply my Master’s degree in historic preservation and my deep passion for community development and downtown revitalization.

I had the opportunity to meet Governor Mark Dayton because of CURE's important work around water.

I had the opportunity to meet Governor Mark Dayton because of CURE’s important work around water.

One of the best parts of my new job is the fact that I will remain living and working nearby with an office located in Granite Falls. I want to stay in touch with CURE’s connected community. So please feel free to connect with me at my new work email address, sotaibi@mnpreservation.org.

Thank you to the many in the CURE community for your support, friendship, and mentorship. Thank you for providing me with a strong foundation to pursue future endeavors.