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Support to schools earns 'friend' award by Main Street Financial

Lead Summary
Mavis Fodness

The Luverne Education Association honored Main Street Financial Services as the 2022 Friend of Education.
An ice cream social Monday afternoon also revealed the 2022 Teacher of the Year (see related story) and kicked off American Education Week in Luverne schools.
Annually the LEA group nominates an outside individual or group who supports public education within the school district.
Nominations praised Main Street Financial and owner Nancy Van De Berg for many years of support for Luverne Public Schools.
“Main Street Financial has funded speakers in the past that have been at our school to enjoy,” one person wrote in a nomination. “They are very willing to support Luverne Schools and help in any way.”
For many years, Main Street Financial has given “thousands of dollars” to sponsor the annual kindness, respect and courage retreats, and Van De Berg herself is a second-year mentor in the high school’s Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities program.
Van De Berg said her staff (which has two children in Luverne Elementary School and graduated 11 children from LHS) helps decide where donations are directed and have supported providing extra educational opportunities in Luverne.
“We are a supporter of positive role models and encouraging others to be the best that they could be,” Van De Berg said.
“The programs we are sponsoring at school center on encouragement, being a positive role model, having the courage to step out of the box and also the courage to do the right thing — especially when it isn’t popular — treating others with kindness and respect. These attributes have gotten me and our entire team to where we are today.”
Van De Berg said education continues to be important to the business she purchased in 2016. Each of her staff brought to the business skills to be lifelong students.
“Much studying was required to obtain the insurance and securities licenses that each one of us holds, and each was gained to fulfill a need within our business,” she said.
Van De Berg recalls as an LHS senior she participated in the school’s vocational program, where she and two other students worked at Tri-State Insurance in Luverne.
The experience allowed Van De Berg to gain an interest in business. She wants to give that same experience to young people in her role as a mentor.
“There were many role models in my life and so much encouragement, and many life lessons were learned from each one,” Van De Berg said.
“I want to give back and be able to encourage a young person to think out of the box, take chances they many not take, and gain a lifelong friendship.”

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