There are those who will always think the grass is greener on the other side. Then there are others who relish their comfortable, familiar surroundings. The people in this category will often hear their hometowns calling them back to continue helping them flourish.
So it is for Michigan City’s Anna Radtke.
“Home always calls me back,” Radtke said with a laugh. “We may travel a bit, take a few vacations here and there, but we’ve seen enough to know that the grass isn’t always greener.”
Born and raised in Long Beach, Radtke currently lives in Michigan City. She went to IU Bloomington, where she majored in journalism. Currently, Radtke works as a realtor for @properties and manages Bridges Waterside Grill in Michigan City on weekends. She also volunteers as a board member for the Economic Development Corporation of Michigan City (EDCMC).
Radtke enjoys all that Michigan City has to offer, from the beach and lakefront, to hiking at Indiana Dunes National Park.
“My whole family is here. My sisters opened Bridges when I was 13 years old, so I’ve been working with them since day one,” she said.
“Then, a couple of years ago, I realized that I had some spare time on my hands. I had some knowledge of the area and some resources that I could put to use.”
Radtke recently married Justin Post from Trail Creek. She said that they’re both very involved in ensuring the future success of Michigan City.
“Justin is involved with Michigan City’s Brand Leadership Team and Main Street Association, as well as a few other organizations in the area,” she said.
Radtke became involved as well, helping to organize events like the Shelf Ice Brewfest, Taste of Michigan City, and more.
“Our philosophy is that, if we’re going to live here in this town, if we’re going to make this our home and maybe raise a family here some day, we want it to be a town that’s fun. A town that has a lot to offer not just tourists, but residents as well,” she said. “We decided to work to make Michigan City the kind of town we would want to live in. If we weren’t willing to invest our time and knowledge to better our home town, then how could we expect others to do it?”
Three years ago, driven by her desire to do more, Radtke emailed Mayor Ron Meer, explaining her skill set and asking him if he knew of any local organizations for which she might be a good fit.
In return, the mayor immediately appointed her to the Economic Development Corporation of Michigan City.
“The board members meet several times a year to discuss where the city is at, where it’s headed,” she said. “We see what sort of developers have expressed interest in the city and work to develop a strategic plan to keep business and community development headed in the right direction.”
Whether it’s investors from out of town or local-owned, Radtke said, EDCMC is a really good resource.
“We can help potential investors and business owners learn more about what properties are available right here in Michigan City. It’s a wealth of information that is available to them,” Radtke said.
“One of the things that is vital if we’re going to keep talent here in the area is to make sure that we have a good school system,” she continued. “If you don’t have a good school system to help residents and their children get the education they need to be productive and successful, they aren’t going to stay here. That’s just not sustainable.”
Radtke said one of the most valuable qualities a city can offer its residents is opportunity.
“Without opportunity, there’s no point in being here. In order for a city to be successful in the long run, you need to have long-term permanent residents and business growth,” Radtke said. “You need to have a plan. If you don’t have a plan, you’re not going to get anywhere. You have to be able to adapt.”
Radtke feels positive about the forward momentum right now in the area and sees great potential in the city. She is a believer in incremental improvement to the community.
“Realistically, Michigan City is still a working class city,” she said. “Working on basic infrastructure first will allow us to position our city to build more and better things in the future, as the money comes into the area.”
For more information about Economic Development Corporation of Michigan City, visit them online at https://www.edcmc.com/