Laura Gumm internalized her dad’s message at an early age and has lived it ever since. He served as the mayor of her hometown, Missouri Valley, Iowa, where he was also a business owner. He viewed both of his roles as critical to building community.
“I’d always heard him say, ‘If you want to have a town, you need to do business in your town, or you won’t have a town to do business in,’” she said. “It sticks in my head and has inspired me. I feel it’s important to do business locally if you can, and to give back to your community.”
Gumm’s career and volunteer work have been intertwined. Since 1987, she has worked with Alliant Energy customers to solve their problems, expand their service, or achieve greater sustainability. Currently a senior key account manager, she’s supporting industrial and wholesale customers –and living her dad’s motto on a grand scale. “My customers, coworkers, and community have made this job enjoyable and rewarding,” she said.
Her commitment doesn’t end with the workday. Gumm volunteers for the Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary-sponsored holiday light show “Making Spirits Bright,” the Sheboygan Senior Activity Center, the YMCA and Big Brothers and Big Sisters. She also serves on several local boards and committees.
To truly bring all elements of her community focus together, Gumm has been part of Alliant Energy–sponsored events for Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, the United Way, Feeding America, and many others.
“One of my most rewarding volunteer opportunities was serving as a Big Sister for 15 years,” she said. “My own children were pretty much grown when I entered this path, and I enjoyed being a part of this child’s life and watching her grow into a happy adult.”
It all adds up to a richer community, and a richer life for Gumm, who says, “working with people and helping however I can,” is what gets her out of bed in the morning and leaves her feeling she has made a difference at day’s end.
Gumm’s volunteer efforts and commitment to her community demonstrate how she uses her energy for good.
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Photo caption: Alliant Energy employee Laura Gumm receives the 2017 Ambassador of the Year award from the Sheboygan Chamber of Commerce. (photo courtesy of Laura Gumm)