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Luther gives time to community

ABOVE: Hayley Luther is one of this year’s 4 Under 40 recipients.

NORTHROP– Hayley Luther’s dedication to programs and efforts in the community has earned her the title of 4 Under 40 recipient. The program aims to honor up-and-coming leaders in Martin County and is now in its fourth year.

Luther grew up locally in Northrop and went through St. James Lutheran School and then onto Martin Luther High School.

“In eighth grade there were five students in my class. Four boys and me. I can hold my own with the guys,” Luther said with a laugh.

Her classes at Martin Luther had more students– she graduated in a class of 15– though it didn’t matter much to Luther because she enjoyed the small class sizes and what the school had to offer.

“Drama was probably my favorite thing… sports are fun, but there’s something about the drama program that’s just cool,” Luther said.

When entering high school, Luther had an interest in teaching. Her mother’s been a long-time teacher at St. James Lutheran School and Luther had assisted with teaching Sunday school and vacation bible school classes growing up. However, about half-way through high school she decided teaching wasn’t for her.

“It’s too much talking for my personality,” Luther said with a laugh.

However she always had an interest in art and one day while at a sports physical she said her mom pointed to a brochure on the wall and said, “you know you could always do that for a living,” which piqued Luther’s interest

After graduating from Martin Luther High School in 2009, she went on to Concordia University-Nebraska, which her mother and some other relatives are alums of. There she obtained a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design and a marketing minor.

She ended up in Luverne, where she had some family and worked for four years at a printing company.

“I liked learning the back end of the process, but it was less marketing than I wanted to do,” Luther said.

While in Luverne she met her husband Paul online though he is also originally from the area. The two dated long-distance for awhile before she made the move back home in 2017. The two got married that summer and soon after Hayley started working at AdMfg.

“I like that I do a variety of stuff. I had interned (while in college) at Weigh Tronix, and the experience was great but I figured out having one client wasn’t for me. I like a variety of work,” Luther said.

Now she works with many different businesses, organizations and non-profits. She has created and hosts about 60 websites and also does campaign work for grants, though social media posts, ads and other printed materials.

Luther believes some of her work is misunderstood and explained that a lot of throughs process goes behind creating a graphic or branding. As an example, she has created the current logo for the Fairmont Area Community Center, which is comprised of three triangles–red, blue and purple– meeting in the middle to form a partial square.

She said it includes YMCA branding so when that organization takes over there won’t be a major change. As it stands, she said the red represents Fairmont Area Schools and its hockey program and also incorporates area school district colors– purple forthe Jaguars and blue for the Mavericks.

“There’s more happening in the background than people realize. I don’t just make something pretty. There’s a reason to it,” Luther said.

While she’s created the website and branding for the Fairmont Area Community Center through her work, she’s also involved on a personal level and has been a consistent supporter of the community center and has spent many hours volunteering for the cause.

“I’m a young person with a family who moved back to the community so I think about what I and my peers are looking for. I’ve lived in small towns with something similar, so why not here?” Luther said.

Outside of that, Luther is also an active member of her church, St. James Lutheran, and has volunteered as a substitute Sunday school teacher and has assisted with annual events like the cookie walk.

“I grew up at the school so helping out is nothing new,” Luther said.

She also spends time volunteering at the Fairmont Opera House, where she has helped organize Star Wars night in the past and is currently on the new community engagement committee, which is being formed to help with the facility’s fundraising efforts.

“Growing up I had the Opera House, and I would like my kids to have the Opera House,” Luther said.

She has two boys, Grant is 4 years old and Max is 4 months old.

Luther has also found a lot of joy volunteering with Martin Luther High School’s drama department, where she directs annual plays along with Amanda Bergt.

Speaking on her involvement with various organizations, which includes Project 1590’s From the Ground Up committee, Luther admitted that finding the time can be hard, especially now with her work and two young children at home.

“Time is a priority so sometimes you don’t have time to join all of these boards but just pick something you enjoy and volunteer. If more people just found one thing they liked and volunteered there would be way less shortage of volunteers in town,” Luther said.

Upon learning she had been named a recipient of 4 Under 40, Luther said she was surprised but humbled.

“I knew some of the past nominees because I had worked with them so to be added to the list was cool,” she said.

The fourth annual 4 Under 40 recognition program will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday March 12 at Best Western in Fairmont. Tickets can be purchased at Best Western, Fairmont Ford or online at www.twinvalleybsa.org/4under40.

Articles on the other recipients of this year’s 4 Under 40 will appear in subsequent Saturday editions of the Sentinel.

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