Connecting a Fast-Growing Community
Cindy Lebeau has been helping to mitigate Ridgefield's growing pains by showcasing the people and happenings in Greet Ridgefield.
Sandwiched between Interstate 5 and the north-flowing Columbia River, the city of Ridgefield, Wash., boasts a charming, historical downtown and is home to the scenic Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. The U.S. National Park Service designated the refuge as a “High Potential Historic Site” for its significance along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
For the past few years, Ridgefield has also been home to a flood of new residents – it’s one of the fastest-growing cities in Washington. According to data from the Washington State Office of Financial Management, the city’s population now stands at an estimated 13,640, a 14.5% increase over 2021 alone.
Connecting the Community
Community connections often suffer in a city undergoing such a wave of growth. Fortunately for Ridgefield residents and businesses, Cindy Lebeau has been helping to mitigate the city’s growing pains. She’s the Area Director of Greet Ridgefield, an N2 magazine showcasing the people and happenings in Ridgefield.
Launched about four years ago as an N2 neighborhood publication, the magazine has grown right along with the city’s population. In 2019, in fact, Cindy was able to expand its reach from the households in just one city neighborhood to all households in the city. “But the articles still give off a vibe of bringing the community together,” Cindy said.
Cindy always gets excited when residents tell her how much they love the magazine. Many of them save each issue so they have a record of people and events they can revisit. And they greatly appreciate the community connections. “They have told me they like getting to know more about city officials, business owners, and their neighbors,” Cindy shared.
Speaking of business owners, the advertisers among them have shared stories with Cindy about the positive impact Greet Ridgefield has had on them personally. “Because of the rapid growth, land that used to be covered with beautiful crops, horses, and cows is now covered with neighborhoods,” Cindy said. “I’ve been told that even with the crazy increase of people, businesses feel special to be part of something that still has a ‘small town feel,’ but they get to reach way more homeowners.”
One advertising partner – one of Cindy’s first clients – is a young window washer who attributes much of his success to Greet Ridgefield. He started out as a one-man operation but now has multiple people working for him. “Other businesses that have been with me for years have gone from smaller to larger ads as their business increased,” Cindy said. “Some include a bookkeeper, a patio cover contractor, an HVAC [professional], and a dentist.”
Her Plate Is Full
Cindy has certainly made good on the magazine’s community-building mission while building a very successful business for herself. So it might come as a surprise to learn that Ridgefield wasn’t her first community choice for a magazine launch. She was hoping to cover her own community of Camas, Wash., but another N2 Area Director had already launched a magazine for that city. “It was a blessing in disguise,” she stressed. “Even though I drive almost an hour to the community almost every day, I thoroughly enjoy getting to know the town and the amazing people that run it.”
Since the magazine reach was extended to the whole community, Cindy’s Area Director role has expanded, too. For one thing, she’s become more involved with the chamber of commerce, Main Street Ridgefield, and other city organizations.
Cindy’s days are certainly full – and varied. “Sometimes I’m meeting with prospects and current clients, and other days I’m attending the meetings that go on in the city,” she said. “Also, I make an effort to be at the various events, including the 4th of July parade, Paddle for Life, and Oktoberfest. I’d like to get more involved with the local schools, too.
Cindy takes in the scenery with her husband, Mo (right), and their son, Quentin.
As if all that weren’t enough, Cindy also is Area Director of an N2 Stroll magazine covering the Felida neighborhood of Vancouver, Wash. But she gets plenty of support – not only from her husband of 36 years, but also from N2. “N2 really seems to care about us, our communities, and our advertisers,” Cindy said. “I like how they continue to evolve with the needs of our current times. I appreciate the weekly updates, coaching, and Regional Managers that can help us with all the changes that go on.”