Sven Peterson received a Great Gifts of Gratitude award from Great Western Bank

Local Hero: Sven Peterson

Leadership during a time of crisis, separates those that lead because of their position from those that lead because of their disposition. Sven Peterson is the city manager of a rural town of 8,000 people who spent weeks preparing for the arrival of the pandemic to Perry, Iowa.

This was not easy, given that his position is outside of the public health, industry, state or federal government. Other officials would wait for direction before making decisions, Sven took it upon himself to encourage collaboration between public and private sectors.

He directed reallocation of funds to purchase recreational equipment for kids stuck at home, helped organize the fundraising, purchasing, and distribution of thousands of masks weeks before guidance from the federal government encouraged the use of masks. Sven has worked behind the scenes on many of these initiatives and is tirelessly advocating for the residents of his community.

Eventually the pandemic arrived to Perry and led to the infection of hundreds of residents, however, the community was better prepared for it because of Sven's leadership. Often times, leaders are brought to the forefront of attention when something goes wrong and are not recognized for the work that the public sees. Sven will be integral in the recovery of Perry from the pandemic and it would be wonderful to see him recognized for the work he has done so far.

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