04 Jan Making Moves with Elena Moeller-Younger
Name: Elena Moeller-Younger
Years in Flint & Genesee: 19 altogether
• Principal, Director of Marketing and Strategic Planning at CIB Planning
How she spends her time:
– Exploring the Flint Cultural Center with her twin girls
– Eating at a diverse range of restaurants, ranging from Taboon to Xolo
– Helping municipalities across the state become the best versions of themselves
When you moved back to Michigan after living in Chicago, you landed in Fenton in 2013. Why?
My best friend grew up in this area, so I was out here all the time and fell in love with it. This friend was one of the first groups of cafe employees at what is now the Laundry, and her parents lived on one of the lakes. I spent a lot of weekends in Fenton and enjoyed it.
So when my husband got a job in Flint (where we both grew up), I wanted to live in the Fenton area. I knew that the schools were good and that it was a growing community. And it wasn’t too much of a drive for my husband. A 20-minute commute with no traffic? Coming from Chicago, where I was commuting out to the suburbs every day, that was no big deal.
The Chicago commute was hard. Raising the twins without my mom to help and having a long commute to work was not sustainable. It’s always been important for me to have my career and raise my two girls, and I couldn’t wrap my head around this without help from both of our families.
How are you involved in the community?
We belong to a church in downtown Flint, where we’re involved in the choir and participate in the Wednesday night family night. It’s a great community of people and a great way to stay connected.
I’m also on the board of directors for the Fenton Education Foundation. A lot of those members are other parents or business owners, so it’s a great way to network and get to know others from the area.
And then I’m involved at the school level for my girls’ school. Every November, we put on a big craft show to raise money for the school. There are over 200 vendors, and thousands of people come, so there’s a lot involved to get that going.
For someone who is where you were 10 years ago — a working parent who just moved to Flint & Genesee — what would you recommend to help them acclimate?
Get involved with one of the local chambers of commerce or business networking groups. You might also stop by your city or township office and talk with some of the staff. They might be aware of the groups that are specific to your area and can point you in the direction of a local co-working space. Those first connections are where it all starts!