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The Rural Developer - 2nd Quarter 2010


2nd Quarter, June, 2010

In this issue:

Letter from the President

NREDA 2010 Conference

Featured Articles

Rural Resources

Membership Highlights

Professional Development

Training Opportunities

2010 Directors & Officers

Rick Nelsen, President
Eric Phillips, First Vice President
Tom Lambrecht, Second Vice President
Dana Baker, Secretary-Treasurer
Henry Fischer, Past President
Jada Ackerman
Jim Bausell
Brad Captain
Bobby Davis
Ron Ebenkamp
Lori Fischetti
Rand Fisher
Clare Gustin
Randall Jones
Chad Lowder
Chris Martin
Hondo Powell

Jim Vermeer
Lynn Harkin, Executive Director
Molly Lopez

NREDA Staff:

Membership dues, billing, and registrations:
Kelly Kipping

Lynn Harkin

Rural Developer:
Shawnna Silvius

NREDA Conferences:
Sharyn Baudler

NREDA Web Site:
Darcy Watson

Useful links:

Statistics & Demographics
Economic Development Courses
Government Sites
Business & Economic Information
Regional Economy
National Economy
Sites to Help You Find Things
Search Engines

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NREDA members appreciate sharing ideas, suggestions, and development solutions. What's going on in your area? Is there a resource or solution you think other member should know about? Let us know:

Member Updates
Update your membership information at

ED 411
Get support and feedback on your rural development questions. ED 411 links you with a fellow NREDA member who is ready to help you.
Get answers now.

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Effective Lobbying
Download the NREDA Guide to Lobbying your Legislators for advice on how to approach your leaders and present rural development issues in a way that nets results.

Post a Job
NREDA members and non-members may post a position on the NREDA Web site and have a one-time email distribution about the job to NREDA members.
Get more info.

Job Openings
View postings for economic development positions.

Get involved
Serve on an NREDA committee and share your ideas for strengthening your organization through membership, training, conferences and more. More info.

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By Rick Nelsen, CEcD, NREDA President

I hope your summer plans include a trip to Portland, Oregon for the NREDA Annual Conference in July. More information is provided elsewhere in this newsletter so I will be brief. The NREDA Conference is always one of the highlights of my year as I always come home with several take-aways that benefit me and the communities I serve. I also enjoy the chance to renew old friendships and make new ones with my peers from across the country. Refreshed and renewed would be one way to describe the feeling. Join us in Portland July 11-13 and experience it for yourself.

As the weather heats up and the air conditioners come on, the importance and convenience of electricity again becomes evident. We take so much for granted in America, but we only need to look elsewhere in the world to understand what life might be like without electricity. May 11th marked the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issuing the executive order establishing the Rural Electric Administration. I imagine we will hear much more over the next year to celebrate this event as the Rural Electrification Act, sponsored by Senator George Norris (NE) and Congressman John Rankin (MS), was passed in 1936 bringing electricity to rural America. Amendments in 1949 then paved the way for telephone service to be brought to America's rural areas.

We can be thankful for the vision of past leaders who set the stage for where we are today. I encourage you over the next year to read about these efforts that positioned us to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves to us today. Let's celebrate Rural America and work together to continue its success far into the future.

See you in Portland!


Rick Nelsen, CEcD
2010 NREDA President

- Portland, OR

Hurry! Early Registration Deadline - June 21
Join us for the 2010 Annual NREDA Conference

July 11 - 13, 2010
The Benson Hotel, 309 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205
Hotel Phone: (503) 228-2000
Hotel Conference Rate: $159/night:
Rate applies until Wed. June 16 - Mention NREDA Room Block.
Note: These rates are available for early arrivals and late stays
(3 days prior and post).

Learn more about the nationally recognized speakers, the variety of breakout sessions and the many dynamic topics.


Economic Development Innovation Reaches 9,000 Feet

New Mexico Logo
Submitted by Tammy Bean, Tularosa Basin Telephone Company (Sources: Mark Lautman, Community Economics Lab)

Cloudcroft, New Mexico is nestled in the Sacramento Mountains in southern New Mexico. It is a difficult task to address economic development due to the seasonal tourist environment, current economic conditions and the fact the community is basically landlocked at 9,000 feet due to the fact it is surrounded by US Forest and BIA land. Recruiting a manufacturer to move in and create 100 jobs is not an option. However, a new innovative program called LIVE WORK CLOUDCROFT allows for creation of jobs - one at a time.

Cloudcroft is one of six pilot communities in New Mexico implementing a new innovative economic development program LIVE WORK NEW MEXICO which provides local leaders with three program strategies for creating high paying, economic base jobs at a fraction of the cost, risk and impacts associated with traditional corporate focused economic development efforts. The statewide program LIVE WORK NEW MEXICO focuses on the fastest growing class of economic base activity in the economy today. The three program strategies focus on workers who work alone from a home office, workshop or studio instead of the traditional corporate office of factory. These workers are typically sole proprietors with their own LLC or S Corp. Some are 1099 contract employees and others are employees of corporations that are allowed to work primarily from home. The types of work performed by home based workers include; consultants, writers, artists, digital animators, financial advisors, accounting, design services, medical transcriptions, IT services, etc.

Rural Renaissance and Regional Strategies
White Paper Submitted by David Kolzow, NREDA Member
and President, Team Kolzow, Inc.

Local economies continue to struggle across America, but many rural communities struggle even more so. The central challenge facing rural regions is the same for all regions in America, indeed in the entire world: the vigorous pursuit of a competitive edge in rapidly changing global markets. However, the rural economic impediments of remoteness, lack of modern infrastructure, sparse population and labor market densities, scarceness of technology talent, a past reliance on natural resource-based industries, etc. place an additional burden on sustainable economic growth for rural communities in this new globalized environment.

Therefore, it seems logical that rural communities must join forces. Recent trends suggest that only through such cooperation can many of the smallest communities hope to avoid continual decline and possible eventual extinction. This paper offers valuable insight into planning strategies and processes for areas to consider in posturing sustainable regional development initiatives. Learn more about planning regionally and acting locally - David Kolzow (NREDA Member) offers insight into vision; competitive assessment; setting priorities; regional, innovative and entrepreneurial strategies; building leadership capacity and collaboration; and implementation that lead to successful regional efforts with sustainable characteristics shared by other successful programs. Read on to learn more in David's full white paper NREDA Member.

NREDA Strategic Planning Session

Here are a few highlights from the Strategic Planning Session facilitated by Sherri Rose held in Des Moines in April with more than 14 board and committee members. More information resulting from the session will be coming soon.

Sherri Rose, Facilitating

Gustin, Phillips, Baker & Ackerman formulating a plan

Nelsen at easel sharing activity results

Ebenkamp, Fischetti, Lowder, Fischer & Davis

BlueSquareRURAL RESOURCES USDA Loan & Grant Programs and Deadlines
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
- Deadline June 30 & July 26!

(Source: Debra Yocum, Nebraska Rural Energy Coordinator and USDA Website:

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is a grant and guaranteed loan program designed to increase energy efficiencies and stimulate the development of renewable energy systems in rural America. Eligible applicants are farmers & ranchers and for profit rural small business owners (including rural electric cooperatives.) Grant funding and guaranteed loan funding is available. Applications for FY2010 funding are due June 30, 2010. The Grant Program provides energy audits and renewable energy development assistance. It also provides funds to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. The Guaranteed Loan Program encourages the commercial financing of renewable energy (bioenergy, geothermal, wind, solar, hydrogen and hydro power) and energy efficiency projects. Under the program, project developers will work with local lenders, who in turn can apply to USDA Rural Development for a loan guarantee up to 85-percent of the loan amount. Learn more about specifications and eligibility by visiting the USDA Rural Development website.

USDA Programs and Dates to Note:
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) - Deadlines June 30 & 26th
Biorefinery Assistance Program - Deadline August 4th
Repowering Assistance Program - Deadline July 20th
Advanced Biofuel Producer Payment Program - Sign up by July 6th
Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program (REDLG) - June 30, Sept. 30, Dec. 31 & March 31
Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) - June 30, Sept. 30, Dec. 31 & March 31
Rural Micro-entrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) - July 16, Sept. 30 & Dec. 31

Read on...

Community Tool Box
(Source: University of Kansas, Work Group for Community Health and Development website:

The Community Tool Box started in 1994 and is a continually updated, extensive online resource containing more than 7,000 pages of practical guidance information essential for building healthy communities. The purpose of the site is to make it easier for people to bring about change and improvements in their communities.

Visit the site and click on the Table of Contents to access the 46-chapters containing more than 300 different sections. The information offers practical, step-by-step guidance in community building skills.

DSIRE - Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency
(Source: North Carolina State University and National Renewable Energy Lab website project)

This site which was established in 1995 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy contains accurate and updated information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. The site contains information on Rules, Regulations and Policies and Related Programs and Initiatives. This site is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. Find incentives in your state by visiting this site.

Speaking Opportunity:
Economic Development Practitioners Sought

(Source: Press Release, June 2, 2010 from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's Community Affairs Department is issuing a call for economic development practitioners to present at a national conference titled, "Economic Development in Underserved Communities: Where Research and Practice Meet," to be held September 9–10, 2010, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. This conference will bring together the latest research and practice in economic development in underserved rural and low-and-moderate-income urban communities. In an effort to foster thinking and action on relevant issues impacting these communities, this conference will highlight best practices in the application of economic development policy.

The conference is organized into four blocks, each with two break-out sessions, one focused on rural issues and one on urban low-and-moderate-income issues. They are seeking practitioners to present information about innovative programs and projects that fit into each of the following sessions from a rural or urban perspective:

  • Attracting and Retaining Talent
  • Entrepreneurship and Small Businesses
  • Local Government Policy
  • Collaborative Approaches

To submit a program description and learn more about the conference, please visit the Community Development section of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's web site or email.


Congratulations to these NREDA Members In the News

LaDonna Boyd - 2010 Exceptional Businesswomen
Kathy Towner - Woman Business Owner of the Year
Pat Merritt - Selected to Georgia Downtown Association Board
Great River Energy - Wheat Straw Feasibility Study

If you have items you'd like to share with your fellow NREDA members, please send with photographs to

NREDA Membership Campaign Update
Submitted by Bobby Davis, Membership Committee Chair

As our NREDA Membership Campaign winds down, a very big and deserving "THANK YOU" goes out to all our State Chairmen. Due to your tremendous commitment, our campaign has been a SUCCESS! Even in the mist of challenging economic times, your efforts have certainly paid off and we have gained 24 new members for NREDA to date this year.

We know that through this campaign, many more contacts have been made and should certainly prove fruitful in the future for our organization. Remember, the promotional incentive of extending the membership through 2011 to anyone who joins NREDA and registers for the Annual Conference in Portland at the same time is still available for a short time. We're anticipating a large attendance at our Annual Conference in Portland and we look forward to seeing you all there.

We would like to take this opportunity to "Welcome" our new members to our family of rural economic and community development professionals. We now challenge you to get actively involved in the organization, and also to help us in our recruitment efforts of NREDA within your circle of friends and influence. You will find that it is the active participation of its members that makes NREDA the premier economic and community development organization for rural America.

NREDA Welcomes Our Newest TEN Members!

Anne Boothe, Economic Development Specialist
Triangle Communications
PO Box 1140
Havre, MT 59501
(406) 394-7807

John Bradford, Business Development Manager
Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc.
480 South 6th Street
Raymondville, TX 78580
(956) 642-1233

John focuses his efforts on sales, marketing, business development and strategic planning for a regulated telephone cooperative company and it's three deregulated affiliates. John received his undergraduate degree in Education from Angelo State University and his MBA with an emphasis on international business from the University of Dallas. John has nearly a 35-years career in the telecommunication industry holding positions with AT&T, Southwestern Bell, Star+ Technologies, San Marcos Telephone Company and Lufkin-Conroe Telephone Exchange. John is the Vice-Chairman for the Rio Grand Valley Partnership Chamber of Commerce; and a board member with the Willacy County Industrial Foundation, the Willacy County Historical Society and the Rural Rio Grande Valley Strategic Planning Project. He is also the Past Program Chairperson for the Texas Telephone Association. John enjoys analyzing new business opportunities and seeing a planned project come to fruition.

Fran Buckel, General Manager
Franklin REC
PO Box 437
Hampton, IA 50441
(641) 456-2557

Dennis Krueger, General Manager
Kiwash Electric Cooperative, Inc.
P.O. Box 100
Cordell, OK 73632
(580) 832-3361

Alissa Oconnor, Economic Development Director
Humboldt County Development Association
29 Fifth Street South
P.O Box 529
Humboldt, IA 50548
(515) 332-2557

Lindsay Olson, Project Analyst
Applied Data Consultants, Inc
2985 58th Street
Eau Claire, WI 54703
(715) 874-4397


In her position, Lindsay works to find solutions for economic development organizations to implement Geographic Information Systems (GIS) based site selection as a service to increase business relocation and as a tool for start-up and established businesses for market analysis. She works closely with the EDO's throughout the implementation process and acts as the primary point of contact for potential clients. Lindsay attained her Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from the University of Wisconsin in January 2010. She also holds an Associates of Applied Sciences degree from Chippewa Valley Technical College in Marketing. Prior to beginning her career with Applied Data Consultants, she held several internships including positions as a Natural Resources Technician with Chippewa County Land Conservation Department and as Resource Inventory Technician with the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (WCWRPC). Lindsay belongs to the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, Young Professionals of the Chippewa Valley, Western Wisconsin Dairyland Business Center & Women's Business Center, Chippewa County Economic Development Corp., Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corp., Momentum West, Wisconsin Land Information Association, Association of American Geographers, Gamma Theta Upsilon and Sons of Norway.

Lindsay enjoys finding lasting solutions to client's needs and working with people on a daily basis. She thrives on what interaction and leaving clients satisfied with solutions provides to them. She is interested in learning more about the operation and goals of rural economic development organizations and she is eager to find ways in which GIS can help drive business development in a community. Lindsay was born and raised in Wisconsin. She grew up on a soy and corn farm in Eleva, WI and later moved into the "big city" of Eau Claire, WI. Her favorite summertime activities are swimming and boating around Wisconsin's many beautiful lakes. She also enjoys hiking and camping in Northern Wisconsin. She loves to travel and to be a true geography geek while attempting to learn all she can about different cultural and natural regions in the US and beyond.

John Pitz, Director
Filer Mutual Telephone Co-op
215 Fair Avenue
Filer, ID 83328
(208) 316-3007

Debbie Robinson, CEO/GM
Wood County Electric Co-op
PO Box 1827
501 South Main
Quitman, TX 75783-2827
(903) 763-2203

David Simonsen, Executive Director
Elkhorn Valley Economic Development Council
309 Madison Avenue
Norfolk, NE 68701
(402) 371-8142

David Simonsen

David facilitates business start-up, retention and expansion and attraction efforts for a three-county region in Northeast Nebraska. In his position, he enjoys the constant change and challenges and also knowing that he is bettering the area he serves. Dave has his Master's degree in Organizational Management with an emphasis in Economic Development and Entrepreneurial Development which he earned from Peru State College in Nebraska. Prior to his current position, Dave was the Executive Director for Wayne Area Economic Development (2005-2009) in Nebraska and also for Davis County Development Corporation in Iowa (1999-2005). Previous to these, he was a grant specialist at Iowa Lakes Community College. Dave looks forward to gaining additional skills through NREDA that will benefit his organization and the region he serves.

Welcome NRTC Member:
Chris Martin,
VP for Industry & Member Relations
2121 Cooperative Way, Fifth Floor
Herndon, VA 20171
(703) 787-7228
Chris will also be serving as NRTC's Ex-Officio Board Member to NREDA.

Did you know...

NREDA members can renew membership online by logging in, clicking on your profile name (top right-hand corner) and choosing "Billing". If you have dues billed in the database, they will show on this screen and you can pay them from here. We accept MasterCard or Visa.

Post Job Listings:

If you have job postings in your organization or area, remember that NREDA is a useful and an available tool.


Leadership Development and Board Effectiveness
Webinar Series Offered

The Heartland Center for Leadership Development is now taking registrations for a new Leadership Development and Board Effectiveness webinar series. These five webinars on developing community leadership and building board member capacity will begin in June and conclude in October, 2010. Each webinar will be designed to provide interaction, discussion and feedback. Webinar participants will receive a packet of downloadable training materials that include session PowerPoints and readings. Registrants will also be able to view the webinar via recording, so one can refresh their learning experience at any time. Webinars will last 60 minutes and will be hosted by an experienced team of Heartland Center trainers. This session dates and topics include:

  • June 22, 2010 - Leadership Styles and Practices
  • July 13, 2010 - Working with Groups
  • August 24, 2010 - Engaging the Community
  • September 14, 2010 - Stewardship Essentials
  • October 19, 2010 - Governance Effectiveness

Each webinar will start at 12:00 p.m. (Central) and end at 1:00 p.m. The training team includes Milan Wall, Vicki Luther and Kurt Mantonya from the Heartland Center staff and Gordon Goodwin, a former Heartland Center board member with expertise in building board capacity. The cost of each webinar is $59.99, or purchase the entire webinar series at one time for is $250.00, a savings of $49.99. Each registration entitles a single user to have more than one person attend at their computer in one site. Additional registrations from the same organization will be treated as another single registration.

For more details and registration information about this exciting webinar series, please visit the Heartland Center's webinar page.


The Rural Developer E-Bulletin is published
monthly for members of the
National Rural Economic Developers Association
100 East Grand Avenue, Suite 330 Des Moines, IA 50309
Tele: 515-284-1421 FAX 515-243-2049

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