Skip to content

Life & Leadership

by Brian Buethe, President | CEO, Grimes Chamber & Economic Development,,

September Newsletter Article

This past month, Grimes Chamber & Economic Development, and the community we serve lost a great friend.  It is common in successful communities, businesses, and organizations that influential leaders emerge.   These leaders vary in their styles and skills.  They are sometimes extremely visible, but often work quietly and humbly to help those around them.  Leaders play important roles and I’ve come to appreciate those who lead humbly.

We believe that it is in the best interest of the business community and more generally in the community, that more leaders are identified and equipped so that they feel confident to accept leadership roles.  Our community is blessed with people who are typically very proficient and well educated.  The potential for leadership here is significant.

The inaugural class of the Grimes Leadership Academy (GLA) recently began a ten-month journey of learning.  The class is comprised of eighteen diverse and talented people who work and/or live in the community.  They come from different backgrounds and professions.  They have a sincere desire to improve their individual talents so that they can be an asset to those around them.  The curriculum has two primary themes: personal leadership development and knowledge of the community.

Upon graduating from the Grimes Leadership Academy, members of the class will be more prepared to assume or expand their leadership footprint.  However, whether they choose to accept and exercise their call to leadership will be up to them as individuals.

That great friend that I mentioned earlier; I was referring to Rick Hutcheson.  He was more than a friend.  He was a generous community leader with a beautiful, kindhearted soul.  During his life, Rick made a tremendous impact on Grimes and beyond.  He was a decorated war veteran, who, following his time in the service returned to Grimes and made it better.

For thirty-two years he served as a local volunteer firefighter; thirteen of those years he was the Chief.  He then went on to become the Fire Chief in the neighboring community of Granger for nine additional years.  Rick built homes, started businesses, gave his time and talents to organizations too numerous to mention.  He was a renowned woodworker, and was the fastest scroll saw operator in the world.  His talent, like his love for Grimes, was immense.

I came to know Rick when I arrived in Grimes in 2007.  He provided great leadership as we worked together with a great group of people to organize Funtastic Days (a festival he helped to start), which is now called Governors Days.  The community will miss Rick.  I’ll miss Rick.  All current and future community leaders, including those participating in the Grimes Leadership Academy, would be well served to learn from his good example.  #lovegrimes

Scroll To Top