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Goetz inspires hometown crowd

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Stephanie Goetz speaks to her hometown crowd Wednesday, April 26. Samantha Bengs / RiverTowns Multimedia 3 / 3

Stephanie Goetz knows how to hold the attention of an audience. After a 10-year broadcasting career in Fargo, N.D., the 2003 Red Wing High School graduate created Goetz Communications, a motivational speaking and consulting business. At Wednesday's Professional Women's Leadership Event, the audience, perhaps, was one of Goetz's most attentive as she shared her story — a story many in attendance knew well and share with the Goetz family.

"At the age of 12 years old," Goetz said, "I had no idea the fire I was about to go through."

She recalled the moment she learned her oldest brother, Brandon, was killed in a car accident.

In the presence of her parents, Bob and Susan Goetz, the youngest of three Goetz siblings then recounted the death of her brother, Cam, who took his own life.

"Nothing can prepare you for that again," she said, to a silent room.

As a coach and motivational speaker, Goetz uses her personal experiences to show how to face life and thrive through loss and tragedy.

"Resilient people have a gratitude and gracefulness for the things they still have because they know they cannot control what happens to them, but they can absolutely control how they react," Goetz said. "They can see that there is a silver lining and a way to get through things."

A decade after Cam's death, Goetz started a nonprofit organization aimed toward helping children struggling with mental health. The organization focuses on early intervention and prevention in schools and erasing the stigma surrounding mental health, she said.

"There is some light in our darkness, some good that can come out of the bad," Goetz said. "Somebody needs that light that you have."

Goetz has an insatiable desire, she said, to continue advocating for mental health treatment and awareness.

"I don't want there to ever be another Cam going through that situation and not feel that they have any other choice."

Now based in Minneapolis, Goetz works not only as a motivational speaker, but a coach and consultant with executives, Fortune 500 companies and many other agencies building communication skills, brand, influence and presence.

"It is an incredible honor to share my journey with the community that shaped who I am," Goetz told the crowd..

For more information Goetz's speaking and consulting career, visit