New year, new goals for NREDA
NREDA board of directors met in January to discuss goals and strategy for the coming year. 2009 NREDA president Henry Fischer lays out a summary of these plans in the message from the president.
Fischer, elected at the 2008 NREDA Conference, leads a board of veteran members and newcomers to NREDA. Please join Fischer in welcoming your new directors. Their names and contact information are listed to the left, or visit your NREDA Web site for more details, including current committee chairpersons.
Register now for rural loan fund conference
NREDA member Linda Salmonson reports there's still time to register for the NREDA /National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Loan Fund Conference.
The conference on March 24-27 in New Orleans is divided into two segments to accommodate your busy schedule. Participants may attend one or both sessions. Topics include small business lending in times of uncertainty, loan fund structuring, lender liability, and more. Beginners and advanced loan fund managers will find courses that meet their needs.
"This is truly an opportunity to learn from both experts and your peers from around the country that work in regional development organizations and at cooperatives. You will gain new contacts, new ideas and information," says Salmonson.
The conference is a result of NREDA's goal to strengthen networking partnerships with NADO and other groups. "This is the first time NREDA will partner with NADO and EDFS on a conference, even though we've been allies in support of rural America for many years," Salmonson adds. "I hope all NREDA members involved in finance and lending make their best effort to attend. I'm looking forward to a great learning experience and the beginning of a stronger partnership with NADO members at both the national and local/regional level."
Get conference details and registration information.
NREDA regional training is June 24-25, 2009
What's the impact of energy efficiency at the community level? How will the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007 impact your business and recruitment efforts? These timely topics and more will highlight NREDA's regional training workshop, "Save Energy, Save Your Community." The workshop takes place June 24-25 at Great River Energy in Maple Grove, MN, a Platinum LEED certified facility.
Niki Knox, chairman of NREDA's professional development committee, reports both conference location and line up of speakers should provide developers with the tools they need to reap real benefits from energy efficient practice and programs.
Find workshop details and registration on the NREDA Web site
Plans underway for 2009 NREDA Conference
The sunny beaches of Destin, Florida will provide the backdrop for the 2009 NREDA Annual Conference, November 8-10, 2009. According to the NREDA conference committee, work is well underway.
"We've chosen the theme 'Positioning Rural America For Success' for the conference," reports Rick Nelsen, committee chairman. "Our intent is to provide a value-packed agenda full of useful information that gives attendees the tools they need to help their organization or community prepare for economic development opportunities."
The committee is currently reviewing a large number of suggested speakers. Entrepreneurism, social networking, site selection, and building re-use are among the many topics currently being considered, Nelson says.
Henry Fischer, NREDA president, reminds members of the value of the conference, not only for content but for networking opportunities as well. "I encourage all NREDA members to seriously consider attending. As economic developers we should not let our guard down during tough economic times. We need to stay current and be ready to take advantage of opportunities that will arise."
AML achieves International Accreditation
Association Management, Ltd. (AML) was recently awarded international accreditation by AMC Institute, the global trade association representing the Association Management industry.
AML, responsible for handling NREDA as well as several other nonprofit organizations, is the first Association Management Company (AMC) in Iowa to achieve AMC Institute accreditation. Among 500-plus AMCs worldwide, fewer than 50 have achieved AMC Institute accreditation, demonstrating the commitment and the ability to deliver the highest level of professional management services to association and not-for-profit clients.
Member Profile: Don Macke
Don Macke, director of the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, is a familiar name to most NREDA members. With over 30 years of experience in community based economic development, Macke has shared his findings and expertise on entrepreneurship at two NREDA conferences. Through RUPRI, Macke helps rural regions and communities foster economic development via entrepreneurship-based strategies. In joining NREDA, Macke says he hopes to further broaden his development network. Welcome aboard, Don!
Welcome new NREDA members
Cheri Guckenberger and Pat Murphy, Central Iowa Power Cooperative, Cedar Rapids, IA... Tammy Bean, Iowa Power Cooperative, Cedar Rapids, IA... Jim Dalley, White Mountain Gateway Economic Development, Plymouth, NH... Ed Bee and David Kolzow, Taimerica Management Company, Mandeville, LA... Edwin Nakaya, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, Lihue, HI... Craig Thompson, Marion Can Do, Marion, OH... Jack Schultz and Todd Thoman, Agracel, Inc., Effingham, IL.
Pat on the back
Henry Fischer, NREDA president, recently returned from the annual conference of the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA), where he successfully represented NREDA and its mission to NTCA members. Fischer's visit helped reinforce the importance of ED partnerships between NTCA cooperatives and other rural development organizations.
Raymond Mondragon firstname.lastname@example.org, is the recipient of the 2008 Dallan Sanders Award. The award is presented by the New Mexico Industrial Development Executives to honor a person with a direct connection to rural economic development in New Mexico, whose position and activity is focused on economic development in rural communities, and who has shown years of dedication to the vitality of rural areas at the regional or state level. Ray Mondragon currently serves director of economic development and government relations for ENMR-Plateau in Clovis, NM.
Loren Medley email@example.com past president of NREDA and longtime board member, announces his retirement as business development coordinator at Kansas Electric Power Cooperative, effective January 2, 2009. Among his many awards and commendations over the years, NREDA presented Loren with an honorary lifetime membership award at the 2008 NREDA Conference. Loren is continuing his rural development work as a consultant to utilities and providing assistance to client cooperatives with REDL&G loan applications.
White paper points to need for rural development
A result of NREDA's alliance motivated goals is this report produced by NREDA members Pat Merritt, Dana Baker and Dorene Benthin. The paper, presented at the NTCA Expo in September, finds rural telco's can realize real value from collaborative rural development partnerships.
Green collar economy: What's in it for you?
NREDA President Henry Fischer calls attention to a Yahoo blog post that points to specific industries (wind and solar, for instance) and claims green jobs in these fields could replace declines in other sectors such as manufacturing and constructions. The article also offers links to a review of specific green jobs and salaries. Read the blog.
Rural broadband criticism heats up
If broadband issues concern you, please read the following report by National Public Radio. The NPR article, includes criticism of the Recovery Act's broadband incentives by former FCC economist Michael Katz. Katz says, "The notion that we should be helping people who live in rural areas avoid the costs that they impose on society ... is misguided, from an efficiency point of view and an equity one."
Katz's comments follow a similar thread that appeared in the New York Times prior to the passage of the stimulus plan. Critics quoted in the NY Times article, claim rural broadband funding is akin to building a "cyber bridge to nowhere."
Most rural developers would disagree. "This type of urban/city mentality believes anything to rural is a bridge to nowhere," says Dana Baker. "Reality shows entrepreneurs and economic core growth is from rural regions." Baker serves on the NREDA board and is a consultant to the telecommunications industry.
Harkin says RUS is best for broadband funds
From the rural blog DailyYonder.com, an article on U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin's view of the RUS and rural broadband service. Read the blog.
The article includes a link to a Washington Post piece that questions the ability of RUS to deliver high-speed service to rural areas.
Cellulosic ethanol production now in sight
The Christian Science Monitor takes a look at cellulosic biofuels.
Economic Gardening Boot Camp and Entrepreneurial Gathering
Don't miss the 2nd annual Economic Gardening Boot Camp in Fairfield, Iowa, March 31-April 2, 2009, followed by the 6th Annual Rural Entrepreneurial Gathering on April 2-3, 2009. Boot Camp will allow participants to learn more about this model program, developed in Littleton CO. The Entrepreneurial Gathering features presentations of cutting-edge strategies and models from other communities.
For more information, contact Burt Chojnowski at Burt@BrainBelt.com or 641-919-2163, or see the conference brochure. If you can't make the April event, catch the National Economic Gardening Conference on June 17-19 in South Dakota. Contact South Dakota Rural Enterprise for details, 605-978-2804.
National Economic Gardening Conference
The National Economic Gardening Conference will be held in north central South Dakota this summer, June 17-19. This is a national conference on cutting edge entrepreneurship programs and tools! We are so fortunate to have this caliber of economic development professionals coming here to network with and learn how to enhance entrepreneurship!
If you are not familiar with economic gardening, it is a network-based model of economic development first designed by Chris Gibbons in Littleton, Colorado. Read more background from the Littleton website.
Here's a couple links to learn more about last year's conference:
Economic Gardening in Steamboat Springs
Google Groups Discussion
REAL Entrepreneurship Institute
NC REAL is offering their REAL Entrepreneurship Institute, a 33-38 contact hour course that prepares high school, post-secondary, and community-based educators to teach REAL Entrepreneurship. This program helps young people, adults, schools, communities, and rural America grow through hands-on entrepreneurship education. Institute participants experience the highlights of the REAL course, interact with experienced REAL instructors, and prepare lesson and course plans.
Get the details.
Agriculture Census provides up-to-date data
Released February 4, 2009, the USDA Census of Agriculture provides data of interest to rural developers including statistics on the number of farms, demographics, and economics by state and county.
Building a "clean energy economy"
The Center for American Progress reports on energy incentives included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Tracking the Reinvestments
Find out where the stimulus money is going by bookmarking Recovery.gov Web site. While many figures are not yet available, this site promises to provide information about federal grants and contracts, details on how the Recovery Act is working, and tools to help you understand the expenditure of funds.
Local impact of the Recovery Act
An interactive map from the Center for American Progress provides a preliminary glimpse of how much your state will receive through grants, tax cuts, aid to those in need, clean energy programs, and more. Get the details.
Stay tuned: Stimulus plan information to follow in up coming articles.
$100 Million for CDFI Fund
NREDA member Linda Salmonson shares the following information from the Opportunity Financing Network.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes $100 million for the CDFI Fund. The following programs of interest to CDFIs are included in the compromise. (This is from a working draft so some items may be changed in the final bill.)
- CDFI Fund: $100 million for the financial assistance and technical assistance programs, including the NACA program. (This is in addition to the FY2009 regular appropriation of $100/105 million.)
- SBA Microloan Program: The Small Business Administration is included in the draft, but details are not complete. The microloan program is believed to be included but not dollar amounts available at the present time.
- NMTC: $3 billion in NMTC allocation that will be equally divided between 2008 and 2009 funding rounds. The AMT is for 2009 only.
Other Programs of Interest:
- Sec. 502 Direct Loans: $200 million
- Rural Community Facilities Guaranteed Loans: $130 million
- EDA Economic Development Assistance: $150 million
- Weatherization Assistance Program: $5 billion
- Child Care and Development Block Grant Program: $2 billion
- Indian Housing Block Grants: $10 million
- Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP): $2 billion
- HOME Program: $2.25 billion
- Community Development Block Grants: $1 billion
- Homelessness Prevention: $1.5 billion