• Blending Families, Building Community: Garrett Brunmaier's Mitchell Experience

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    Written by: Alex Heidinger, Chamber Director
    Interview by: Doreen Nelson, Community Concierge
    Editor’s Note: Palace City Profiles is an ongoing series of community members’ stories, introducing us to our neighbors and the personalities that call Mitchell home. If you have suggestions for individuals or families with a great story, please contact Doreen Nelson at 996-1140 or doreen@mitchellsd.com.
    Nestled in the heart of South Dakota, Mitchell stands as a beacon of warmth and community spirit, drawing in individuals seeking a place to call home. Among its residents is Garrett Brunmaier, a man whose journey to Mitchell has been marked by the embrace of family ties, the camaraderie of local events, and a deep-rooted appreciation for the town's unique charm.
    Garrett, alongside his wife Brittney Brunmaier and their blended family, forms the vibrant nucleus of the Mitchell community. With children Piper, Anthony, Alexandria, Avery, Alice, and Riley, ranging from 11 to 22 years old, the Brunmaier household is a bustling hub of activity and affection.
    Their story began with Garrett and Brittney's serendipitous meeting as colleagues at A&B Business. What started as a professional relationship soon blossomed into a personal one, leading them on a shared journey of love and companionship. "Our working friendship turned into this amazing relationship that I am blessed to have," Garrett fondly recalls.
    Originally from Aberdeen, Garrett found himself drawn to Mitchell by Brittney's residency in the area. The town's welcoming atmosphere, reminiscent of his hometown but with its own distinct character, sealed the deal for the Brunmaiers. "Mitchell reminded me of a smaller version of home," reflects Garrett. "The community is friendly and open once you break that outsider shell."
    Transitioning to life in Mitchell wasn't without its challenges. Initially working remotely created a barrier to community engagement for Garrett. However, this obstacle spurred him to seek out new opportunities, leading to a career shift with the South Dakota Department of Labor as an Employment Specialist Business Services Representative. This has allowed him to fully immerse himself in Mitchell's vibrant community.
    Since then, Garrett has become an active participant in local events and organizations, from Wingapalooza and First Fridays to the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation's initiatives. His passion for community engagement is evident as he wholeheartedly embraces the opportunities Mitchell offers for connection and camaraderie.
    Beyond his professional pursuits, Garrett finds joy in family time and pursuing his hobbies, from golfing to cheering on sports teams like the Minnesota Vikings. When asked about his favorite Mitchell experiences, Garrett's enthusiasm is palpable. Corn Palace Week, the Parade of Lights, and downtown events hold a special place in his heart, each contributing to Mitchell's vibrant tapestry of life.
    For newcomers eyeing a move to Mitchell, Garrett offers sage advice: "Don't give up! Get out and involved to meet as many people as you can... Some of the best things in life take a little work." His words encapsulate the resilient spirit and sense of community that define life in Mitchell.
    As Garrett looks ahead, he envisions continued growth and prosperity for Mitchell, with perhaps one small addition: "Lake Mitchell. A fully functional lake/recreational area would be amazing." Yet, even without a sprawling lake, Garrett's sentiment rings true: the greatness of Mitchell lies in the compassion and camaraderie of its residents.
    In Garrett Brunmaier, Mitchell has found not just a resident, but a passionate advocate for community, family, and the boundless potential of life in the Palace City.
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