Saying Moundridge's Wayne Fisher has a strong sense of community is akin to stating that water is wet. When your father is the mayor and your mother is president of the historical society, that's pretty much a given.
"I've kind of grown up with that, giving back and doing that," Fisher said. 'It's just the way it should be."
Fisher has gotten involved in his own way over the years. Through his job at Bradbury Company, a machining manufacturer headquartered in Moundridge, he was led to take on a role with the local chamber of commerce — holding a position on the chamber board for the past 17 years.
After some initial hesitancy, Fisher quickly latched onto the role, even serving as board president for four terms. Through his tenure, Fisher noted he has seen plenty of change, but he is proud of the evolution of the chamber — especially being looped into some major city projects.
"We've come a long way in the last few years, which I'm thankful the chamber's been a part of," Fisher said. "The way our chamber is working now, promoting businesses, promoting schools, we're doing a good job and I'm really happy with the way it's going."
Having a director (Murray McGee) who is also on city staff has aided that collaboration between the city offices and the chamber and the fruitful partnership has led to some updated street signage in Moundridge, while the chamber has spearheaded plenty of local initiatives as well.
Once talk of daycare needs in Moundridge began circulating, the chamber quickly got on board hosting meetings and forming committees that helped with the formation of Cradle to Crayons Childcare Center. Additionally, the chamber took the lead on forming a community foundation to help meet other needs around town — an endeavor that continues to expand.
"It's grown to where we started giving out grants," Fisher said, "and I'm proud of that."
The chamber has also addressed the arts culture in recent years, helping fundraise for the newly formed Moundridge Arts Council, which Fisher has a vested interest in — as both his mother and wife are involved in the council.
With his daughter having gone through the Moundridge school system, Fisher has also dedicated his time to that cause, volunteering as a judge for debate and forensics tournaments through the years. His daughter was a driving force in his commitment to Moundridge, Fisher said, and part of the reason he continues with his work is the bond that has been reciprocated through that.
"It's the relationships that I really like; the whole town is a big family, for lack of a better word. Everybody gets along. Everybody works together," Fisher said. "It's a close-knit town, and that makes it a lot easier."
Recently, Fisher's commitment to the chamber was recognized as he was honored with the first ever Distinguished Service Award — a fitting award as McGee joked that Fisher is the "history of the chamber," given his long tenure.
Being presented with that award was a bit of a surprise, Fisher admitted, but he noted it was an honor. It was also a bit of a sendoff for Fisher, as he steps away from the chamber to run for city council.
No matter the role he takes, Fisher said he will continue to be involved in Moundridge because it's easier to take pride in what's going on in the community that way, recommending others take that same viewpoint as a way to get involved.
"If you can help make it better, it's going to be better for everyone and if it's better for everyone, it's better for you," Fisher said. "It's an all-around good feeling when the whole town is prospering like it is."