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Message from the President

Bruce Nuzum, NREDA President

Responding to your input; adding value to your membership!

A big thank you to all NREDA members who participated in our biennial Membership Survey! Not only do the board, staff and I appreciate the time you took to offer your input, we use your comments to guide our programming and events so we can bring value back to you. This year's survey results reinforced the value that members place on networking opportunities, the annual conference and other educational opportunities to gather and learn best practices for each other. All great information that the board took into account at our strategic planning session which I''ll talk about in a later column.

I am especially appreciative of the comments and suggestions to our opened questions. The input showed an definite interest from the membership related to more opportunities to interact and learn from each other either through online communication and/or regional meetings. Many members indicated they are new to economic development and looking for programs and tools that they can implement in their communities and areas. Likewise, may stressed the importance of this programming being offered as affordably as possible.

Please know, NREDA committees were already hard at work on many of those fronts. We strive to offer value as affordably as possible. But also know we are adjusting programming specifically in response to these comments. We've adjusted the agenda of our upcoming NREDA Conference to include sessions on best practices and success stories as well as more opportunity to interact with each other. Planning is also underway for an "economic development 101" pre-conference session for those new to the business and/or organizations that are just beginning their economic development efforts. As discussed at last year's Annual Conference, the Professional Development committee had plans for regional workshops on lending and revolving loan funds. These first workshops will be held later this spring at member requested locations in South Dakota and Indiana.

Being a national organization of volunteers, we know we need technology based platforms to improve communication and reach as many members as possible. To that end, I want you to know that we're working hard on a new website. Our goal is that it will be more interactive and a resource for you on a variety of economic development subjects. We hope to launch the new website before we gather for our next conference. Further, to be more efficient, the board and committees have started using a web-based program called Basecamp. Combined with go-to-meeting, we hope this new approach will make information more accessible, streamline our volunteer efforts and make committee meetings more informative and interactive. Once we've trained ourselves, we plan to roll this out to the membership as our primary communications platform. All of these efforts and others are being undertaken to add value to your membership and better serve you as members.

What would make all of these efforts more effective? Your involvement! If you're not already, I'd invite you to get involved on an NREDA committee. Have an economic development topic you want to see explored at the conference? No better way to make encourage the topic than to help plan the event! Is there a program or a tool that you want to implement in your community but don't know how? Join the Professional Development Committee and help design the educational session and/or invite it to your area! Have a success story to share and celebrate? Bring your story and join the Communications Committee! There's no better way to have input and add value to NREDA than being involved!

NREDA Awards History


  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Dennis Mingyar, Director of Economic Development, Ohio's Electric Cooperatives, Columbus, OH and Charlie Walker, President & CO, Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation, Chippewa Falls, WI
  • President's Award - Trista Fugate, Director of the Connections & Community Engagement, Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc., Johnson City, TX and Mary McLaury, formerly with Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, Arlington, VA
  • Organization Excellence Award - South Carolina Power Team, Columbia, SC and Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corporation, Algona, IA


  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Mike Meissen, Iowa Area Development Group, Des Moines, Iowa
  • President's Award - Mendi Alexander Anschutz, NEX-TECH, Hays, KS


  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - John Bradford, formerly with Valley Telephone Cooperative Inc., Raymondville, TX
  • President's Award - Newsletter Editor, Shawnna Silvius, iShine Productions LLC, Nebraska, NE
  • President's Award - Dana Baker, GVNW Consulting Inc., Colorado Springs, CO


  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Linda Salmonson, East River Electric Cooperative, Madison, SD
  • President's Award - Administrator John Padalino, Administrator for Rural Utilities Service, USDA Rural Development, Washington DC


  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Gordon Ipson, CEcD, FM, Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative, Palmyra, MO
  • President's Award - Bruce Nuzum, EDFP, Iowa Area Development Group, West Des Moines, IA


  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Clare Gustin, Sunflower Electric Power Corporation
  • President's Award - Richard J. Nelsen, CEcD, Nebraska Public Power District, Columbus, NE


  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Jim Vermeer, Corn Belt Power Cooperative
  • President's Award - G. Mark Gaddy, Berkeley Electric Cooperative


  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Dennis G. Hall, CEcD, CKAE, Economic Development Manager, Nebraska Public Power District, Columbus, NE
  • President's Awards - Georgia Electric Membership Corporation, Atlanta, GA And Sherry Rose, Wabash Valley Power Association, Indianapolis, IN


  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - James T. "Tim" Mood, Electric Power Associations of Mississippi
  • President's Award - Mary Logan Wolf, Former Editor, The Rural Developer


    Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Allegra Brigham, Four County Electric Power Association, Columbus, MS
  • President's Award - Rand Fisher, Iowa Area Development Group, Des Moines, IA
  • President's Award - Molly Lopez, Association Management, Ltd., Des Moines, IA


    Rural Economic Development Leadership Award- Dennis Krueger, Kiwash Electric Cooperative, Cordell, OK
  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award-JoAnne Lewis, Douglas-Coffee Co. Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Authority, Douglas, GA
  • President's Award - William F. Hagy, III, USDA Rural Development, Washington, DC
  • President's Award - National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA), Arlington, VA


  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Eric Phillips, Union County Chamber of Commerce, Marysville, OH
  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Joe "Max" Higgins, Columbus-Lowndes Development LINK, Columbus, MS
  • President's Award - Loren Medley, Kansas Electric Power Co-op, Topeka, KS


  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - F. Eugene Williams, Berkeley Electric Co-op, Goose Creek, SC
  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Randall S. Jones, Lumbee River Electric Co-op, Red Springs, NC
  • President's Award - Linda Salmonson, East River Electric Power Co-op, Madison, SD
  • President's Award - Dena Stoner, NRECA, Arlington, VA
  • President's Award - Rich Larouchelle, CFC, Herndon, VA

  • Economic Developer of the Year - Bruce Hensley, North Central Missouri Electric Co-op, Milan, MO
  • Rural Leadership Award - Bobby Koepplin, Cass County Electric Co-op, Valley City, ND
  • President's Award - Jane Marden, NRECA, Arlington, VA
  • President's Award - Bob McLaury, CFC, Herndon, VA

  • Economic Developer of the Year - Henry H. Johnson, III ("Hal") - Orangeburg County Development Commission, Orangeburg, SC
  • Rural Leadership Award - Marci Penner, Kansas Sampler Foundation, WE-Kan, and Kansas Explorer's Club, Inman, KS
  • President's Award - Pat Merritt, Georgia Elec. Member Corp., Atlanta, GA

  • Economic Developer of the Year - Larry Sevier, Rural Telephone Service Co., Lenora, KS
  • Rural Leadership Award - Stephen Miller, Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, Hays, KS
  • President's Award - LaDonna Boyd, Dakota Electric Assn., Farmington, MN

  • Economic Developer of the Year - Jack Rhodes, Electric Power Assn. of Mississippi, Jackson, MS
  • Rural Leadership Award - Ralph Thomas, Palmetto Econ. Dev. Corp, Columbia, SC
  • President's Award - Jerry Andrews, Alabama Electric Co-op, Inc., Andalusia, AL

  • Economic Developer of the Year - Jack Briggs, NW Electric Power Co-op, Cameron, MO
  • Rural Leadership Award - Michael Treadwell, Lindsay, Oklahoma
  • Founders' Award - No record of recipient

  • Economic Developer of the Year - Bruce Nuzum, Iowa Area Development Group, Des Moines, IA
  • Rural Leadership Award - Tom Seth Smith, Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, Inc., Durant, OK
  • Founders' Award - Gene Williams, Berkeley Electric Co-op, Goose Creek, SC

NREDA | 1255 SW Prairie Trail Parkway | Ankeny, IA 50023 | Phone: (515) 284-1421 | Fax: (515) 334-1174