It’s been a busy year for Sarah Kuglin so far.
Last February the Redwood Area Chamber and Commerce presented her with its Rising Star award for all she’s done in the area to promote social media.
Kuglin’s ongoing business, Redwood Valley Technical Solutions, has created over 75 websites for area businesss and organizations.
Then she started the monthly Redwood Area Social Media Breakfasts for local businesspeople to get together and share ways to use the Internet to promote their services around the world.
Last month, Kuglin helped create the first (hopefully annual) Social Media RockStar event.
Working with a team based in Willmar, Kuglin helped over 125 Internet-savvy business owners, consultants, marketing teams, and organizations came to to Jackpot Junction Casino to learn new ways to promote their causes across the world.
“I was surprised at how some of our nationally-known speakers were really, really eager to come to southwest Minnesota,” said Kuglin in her home office last week.
“I tried to find speakers who could speak to everyone, so everyone could relate to something.”
The only disappointing part of the RockStar event for Kuglin: “Being one of the organizers, I didn’t get to watch any of the speakers speaking!” she said.
After graduating from Redwood Valley High School in 1997, Kuglin became an assistant at the Redwood Area Development Corporation.
While earning a degree in network administration at Hennepin Technical College, Kuglin repaired computers for Best Buy and maintained a 200-computer network at a medical supply company.
Kuglin returned to Redwood Falls and started her business, Redwood Valley Technical Solutions (RVTS) in late 2002. Her hope was there might be enough demand in rural Minnesota to support a career in computer repair and services.
RVTS was originally part-time, but Kuglin quit her day job in July 2011 to focus on RVTS 24/7. Social media and web design take up all her time today.
To recognize how her efforts help put southwest Minnesota on the map, Kuglin was recently featured in the cover story of the regional magazine River Valley Woman.
Credit it all to social media.
It turns out Kuglin had already worked with the magazine’s editor on a variety of projects for several years — without ever meeting her in person.
“She asked me one day if I’d like to be on the cover of the magazine, and I thought it was a cool idea,” Kuglin laughed.
She spent a day in New Ulm doing the interview and photos, and the magazine has been on local newsstands for the month of September.
“It was really fun. People I haven’t seen in a long time have been calling to say they saw it,” said Kuglin. “I was really surprised by the number of people who are so supportive of our area.”