And the 2022 Strongest Town Winner Is…


Jasper’s bid to become the 2022 Strongest Town was a steady march of solid victories. The town of 16,703 is located in the heart of a the American Heartland. Draw a triangle drawn between Louisville, Kentucky; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Cincinnati, Ohio, and you’ll find Jasper in the Southeast corner. The Jasper Team made a deep impression round after round, including getting past powerhouse Champaign, Illinois, in the Elite Eight with a two percentage point margin. One of the town’s great strengths was its decision to form the Heart of Jasper, a diverse group of organizations that leverages existing assets, transforms those in need, and instills new energy through creative programs and collaborative leadership. The town is always careful to listen to its residents and to build community engagement, but also minds its financial health with its solid Impact Jasper community investment plan.

In Monday’s Live Webcast of the Finals, there was a great spirit of mutual admiration between Jasper Mayor Dean Vonderheide and the other finalist, Norwood, Ohio’s, Alisha Loch. Norwood, a wonderful community on the edge of Cincinnati, was a great audience favorite in this competition. We are grateful to the Norwood Team for enriching our contest.

The final round was close, with Jasper winning 51.3% of the votes to Norwood’s 48.7%. We hope others will look to Jasper as an example of what it means to build lasting strength and resilience in their communities. Strong Towns’ founder and president, Charles Marohn, will be visiting our winners in the coming months to present the Strongest Town 2022 Championship Award in person.

Thank you to everyone who followed along with the contest and voted, especially our members, whose experience, insight and industry make this organization possible.

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