You only get one chance every 10 years to start a new decade.

As we put the wraps on the decade of the 2010’s here in Osceola County, we’re asking local officials and “movers ‘n shakers” to reflect on the last year of this one and the first one of the new decade, the “Roaring ’20s”, and how we’re going to best usher it in.

Kelly Trace is Chief Strategist for Reach.

Connect and engage.

It’s what’s at the heart of Trace’s marketing company, and the service she provides to clients. But what makes her happiest is watching locals serve each other and “paying the community rent.” It’s close to her heart, as she’s kept Kissimmee, her birthplace and hometown, just as close.

Here are her thoughts on 2019 in the city and county, the one upcoming and what the community might look like when we do this again in 2029.

What were the community’s biggest wins in 2019?

Our nonprofit community is working tirelessly behind the scenes to communicate even more for the betterment of those in need. I’ve seen so many stories this year about a person in need going to one nonprofit for services, then that nonprofit not only serves them but connects them to more nonprofits who can help. It’s magical when they all work together, one by one, to help a family get into stable housing, find wraparound services, get medical care, survive domestic violence, find jobs. We have the best group of men and women leading these needs in the region, I’m sure of it.

Some more tangible wins:
The new school times have drastically cut down on commutes and all my employees are spending less time in the car and more time at home, the Silver Spurs Club celebrated 75 years of rodeo in Osceola County, mental health is becoming less stigmatized in our community, and efforts to promote technical education has improved high school graduation rates and job placement.”

Any happy personal wins?
“We started providing fresh veggies to our employees every week in partnership with Mick Farms. The better they eat at home, the healthier their families will be, and the better they will be at work. It’s a win-win. We launched Founders Night and have had an attendance of about 20 every month. We discuss topics relevant only to CEOs. We call it group therapy for small business owners and startups. We announced an expansion and we also have 12 companies on campus and for something many people told me wouldn’t work in a small town, we are doing it. And being married to the best person on the planet (St. Cloud Councilman Keith Trace) for nine years.

By the end of the ’20s in ten years, what do you think community will look like as far as infrastructure and how residents interact with leaders and each other?
“I’d really love to see infrastructure ten years from now that provides the best connectivity to other parts of the region quickly. And a door-to-door commute for many where it doesn’t take hours to get to work or school. As far as communicating with leaders, I’m hopeful that in ten years I will see more of what I saw in 2019. People picking up the phone to have real conversations about moving our community forward. Have opinions, have different opinions, be upset about it, but have compassion in your response. People over politics and parties.

“I’d also love to see more people volunteering. My uncle used to say we all need to ‘pay our community rent.’ I hope to see more people doing their part, and setting an example for those coming behind us.”

Positively Osceola would like to thank Kelly Trace for spending time with us so that we could share her outlook of what 2019 was, and what 2020 might be. We thank Kelly for making a Positive Difference in Osceola County!