As I told the assembled at the Fargo-Moorhead CVB Annual Breakfast yesterday, it's because these towns always exceeded my expectation. As Fargo did years ago for me. And, because of that, I always look forward to my visits.
Following my presentation, the CVB presented a number of awards to area individuals and organizations that advanced the destination in a number of ways. One was Alexander Wagner, a professor at North Dakota State University that had assisted in bringing the International Conference on Discrete Simulation of Fluid Dynamics to Fargo. A group that has, over the past 20 years, met in such destinations as Beijing, Geneva, Kyoto, Nice and Oxford. Last year, they were in Rome.
When Alexander got up to accept his award, he told the crowd that, to his international colleagues, Fargo was seen as an "exotic" destination. And, they're still talking about their visit in glowing terms to their friends.
My favorite part of his speech, however, was when he playfully chastised the crowd for not always realizing what a fabulous community Fargo-Moorhead is. He explained that he could have moved anywhere when he left Germany. He chose Fargo for its beauty...and for how wonderfully the air smelled. Yes...sometimes it is the simplest of things. And yet, the most important.
We all need an Alexander Wagner in our communities to remind us of just how cool our town is.
Thanks to Cole and the gang at the FMCVB. It was a great morning!