On Christmas Eve 2020, Shelly Loberg, a member of the Edina Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund Committee, drove through a snowstorm to deliver $500 disaster-relief checks to struggling restaurant workers.
A late infusion of donations enabled the committee to focus on direct relief, zeroing in on local restaurant workers who had weathered two shutdowns since March of that year. Through her role as vice president of the Edina Chamber of Commerce, Loberg identified 21 local kitchen staff, dishwashers and servers to receive grants on Christmas Eve. Despite the realities of Minnesota weather, the culmination of Loberg’s work on the committee was, to her, “a bright spot in a bad time,” when her own workplace was struggling amid the pandemic.
In addition to her role at the Chamber of Commerce, Loberg is also the vice president of Explore Edina—the visitor bureau portion of the chamber that focuses on marketing Edina as a travel destination. In both roles, she helps to promote local businesses through marketing efforts and events.
“The first thing I noticed when I [started this job] is that our retail entities in Edina were not doing anything cooperatively,” Loberg says. “So I figured, once a year, to promote the city as a shopping destination, we should do an event that celebrates all of the great fashion here.” In pursuit of this idea, Loberg launched the Style Edina fashion event with local stylist and producer Jodi Mayers. What began as a small luncheon with a walkway fashion show in its first year eventually expanded to include a stage, lighting and many pop-up vendors hosted at the Westin Edina Galleria.
“[Style Edina is] a great way for me to network and get to know the retail community, as well as demonstrate to them what Explore Edina is doing for them,” Loberg says.
Beyond networking and supporting local businesses, Style Edina serves as a fundraiser for local nonprofits. The Edina Community Foundation is one of the recipients, and Loberg says their Connect Card program particularly resonates with her. Through this program, the foundation helps under-resourced Edina kids gain access extracurricular activities in the community. “As a single mom, I connect with that a lot,” Loberg says. “Kids should be able to do whatever activity they are passionate about—regardless of what the resources are like.”
Outside of work, Loberg serves on the Board of Directors of the Rotary Club of Edina and has committed to serving as president during the 2023–2024 term. Within the club, her focus has been authoring global grants. Her most recently approved project allowed her to send refurbished medical equipment to a hospital in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, as well as to construct a nutrition garden on its grounds to feed patients and educate them on good nutrition.
“It took me about two years to get it all put together,” Loberg says. “There’s just a lot of different moving pieces—a lot of assessments, memorandums of understanding and fundraising that’s involved in the global grant process … It was a tremendous learning opportunity.”
Whether it’s by organizing funds to aid Edina community members or authoring international grants, Loberg strives for purpose. “I am a person that needs to find meaning in my work and that is why I find myself in the nonprofit world—because I love being part of a community of people that’s making an impact.”
Contributed by Izzy Wagener, a senior at Edina High School, on behalf of the Edina Community Foundation.
Edina Chamber of Commerce, 3300 Edinborough Way Suite 650; 952.806.9060; edinachamber.com; @edinachamber
Explore Edina, 3300 Edinborough Way Suite 650; 952.806.9064;
exploreedina.com Explore Edina