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The Rural Developer - 4th Quarter 2010


4th Quarter, November, 2010

In this issue:

Letter from the President

2011 Conference & Sponsorships

Continued Conference Highlights

Rural Resources

Membership Highlights

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

NREDA Staff:

Executive Director
Lynn Harkin

Membership dues, billing, and registrations:
Kelly Kipping

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

High school cross country season recently ended here in Nebraska. I have been attending the state meet for the past five years as my youngest daughter got involved in 7th grade and I continue to marvel at how well some kids perform under pressure and how the unexpected can happen at any time. This year I watched one young woman hardly break a sweat in running the best time in the state and also witnessed runners collapsing along the course and one young man literally crawl the last 50 yards trying to finish. What does this have to do with rural economic development? Three things come to mind...the need to be prepared, strong determination is needed, and failure will happen- how you respond to it speaks volumes about you.
  1. Preparation -- I witnessed this firsthand this year as I saw my daughter go the "extra mile" in the summer. She worked much harder than the year before putting in the miles in June, July and August to prepare for the season. The result was improved times on every course over last year and qualifying for state as an individual in possibly the toughest district. Are we prepared for the economic opportunities that might come along for our communities or regions? Have we gone the extra mile to learn new things, are we ready to host a prospect and win the project?
  2. Determination -- One thing I have noticed, especially among the high school girl runners, is that they come in all shapes and sizes but the differentiating factor is their heart and desire to succeed. How determined are you, your community or organization to be successful? At the end of the day or the project are you exhausted physically and mentally? Are you too concerned with your weaknesses to know and understand your strengths and build off of them?
  3. Failure -- You are going to lose a project, have a business close or leave but how are you going to respond to it? Will you dwell on it? Will you learn from it? How hard will you work to not have it happen again? I watched a girl lead the state race in 2009 but failed to finish and come back in 2010 with a top 8 placing. How do you respond to adversity?
Here is where NREDA comes in -- one of the most enjoyable things I have witnessed following cross country is that while it may appear to be an individual sport there is a strong team aspect about it. I have watched an entire team gather to cheer a teammate at the finish when he or she was the last person on the course. My daughter, after qualifying for state cried, not for joy but because the team missed qualifying by 3 points. And, I have never heard a disparaging word or any boos directed towards another team at any meet, only words of encouragement. NREDA is a lot like that to me. We work hard to put together great conferences and other opportunities to prepare our members to be the best; we have persevered through some tough times and unexpected circumstances, Tropical Storm Rita for instance, to build a strong organization determined to benefit our members. Finally, we share in each other's successes and failures -- someone is always there for that pat on the back, encouraging word or the hand to help us up. We are quick to share what works or how to avoid a problem.

It has been an extreme pleasure to have served NREDA as your President this past year. As I look at the list of past leaders, my only hope is that I measured up to the standard that they set. You have a great, dedicated, Board of Directors working for you and NREDA will continue to be a strong prepared and determined organization far into the future. I would be remiss if I did not thank Lynn Harkin and Sharyn Baudler at AML for all their hard work and keeping me on the right path this past year.


Rick Nelsen, CEcD
2010 NREDA President


NREDA 2011 Annual Conference
Union Station, Nashville

"Community Transformation"

July 10-12, 2011

Featured Speakers / Topics

Union Station Nashville Tennessee



Mark Lautman: The opening speaker for the Conference will be Mark Lautman, of Lautman Economic Architecture. Mark has been working with the Community Economics Lab, a not-for-profit "think tank" based in New Mexico. They are focused on finding new approaches to doing economic development that will work in communities where traditional employer-focused approaches struggle because of lack of capital, labor, transportation, land and other shortcomings. He will also present a breakout on the home-based worker program -- major innovation in economic development.

Dr. Mary Lou Apple: The President of Motlow State Community College(MSCC), Dr. Mary Lou Apple, will discuss the Mechatronics Program, and the MSCC workforce development efforts. The result is mechatronics, a relatively new discipline that combines aspects of mechanical, computer and electrical engineering. On January 14, the MSCC campus in McMinnville began offering a certificate of credit in mechatronics. The project began when 11 members of a manufacturing roundtable for the McMinnville-Warren County Chamber of Commerce asked Mary Lou Apple, president of MSCC, for a way to provide local industries with a more technically skilled and educated work force.

Dr. Massoud Amin: Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Massoud Amin, holds the Honeywell/H.W. Sweatt Chair in Technological Leadership, and is the Director of the Technological Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. His research focuses on two areas: 1) Global transition dynamics to enhance resilience, agility, security and efficiency of complex dynamic systems. These systems include national critical infrastructures for interdependent energy, computer networks, communications, transportation and economic systems. 2) Technology scanning, mapping, and valuation to identify new science and technology-based opportunities that meet the needs and aspirations of today's consumers, companies and the broader society. This thrust builds coherence between short- and longer-term R&D opportunities and their potential impact. He is considered by many as the "father of the smart grid."

    Conference Details
    Location: Union Station, Nashville, a Wyndham Historical Hotel
    Room rates: $169/night
    Contact info: Individuals may call the on-property reservations office at Union Station, A Wyndham Historic Hotel direct at (615) 620-5676, Monday through Friday, 8:00am -- 5:00 pm (CST) or Wyndham Worldwide Reservations, 24 hours, 7 days a week at 1-800-WYNDHAM (1-800-996-3426).
    Note: For budget purposes, conference registrations for members will be $550 with a $50 discount for online registration


    Please call the NREDA Meeting Planner, Sharyn Baudler at (515) 422-9422 or email

    We look forward to seeing you in Nashville!

    Looking for Further Support for Rural Development -
    NREDA Sponsorships

    Looking for ways to further support rural development? Consider teaming up with the National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA). The National Rural Economic Developers Association's mission is dedicated to the advancement of rural economic development through providing education and networking opportunities. Our purpose: To promote the exchange of ideas and information between association members; to provide members educational opportunities to encourage professional advancement; and to further the movement of growing and revitalizing rural America through economic enhancement.

    NREDA has several ways for you to get involved and show your support of rural America. Get your name out in The Rural Developer newsletter and website, join the prestigious listing of sponsors at NREDA events; take advantage of exhibit space at the annual conference and if you are interested in FREE MEMBERSHIP DUES & CONFERENCE REGISTRATIONS, please see the Titanium, President's Reception levels; if interested in FREE CONFERENCE REGISTRATIONS, see the, Diamond, Golf Sponsor, and Platinum Sponsorship Opportunities. For more information, see the Sponsorship Form [link the form here] and get involved today!

    Continued Highlights from the
    2010 Annual Conference

    Entrepreneurial Program Teaches Youth and Adults
    Business Start-up Basics

    Submitted by Dana Baker, NREDA Secretary-Treasurer
    & Publications Chair

    Shelby Hosford at Annual Conference

    Shelby Hosford with Warren Miller Freedom Foundation explained their Entrepreneur Program to a large crowd during the NREDA Annual Conference in July. Shelby explained that the goals of the program are:
    • To discover the excitement and joy of early economic success and independence which develops character and self-esteem.
    • To develop economic understanding and strong business ethics, which will build informed, contributing citizens.
    • To develop a legal and ethical business awareness that will connect you to the real-world workplace and your community.
    • To believe in your dreams, empower you to build on your visions, and encourage you to be flexible and broaden your opportunities.
    The programs currently are for secondary school age groups and for adults. Future programs are being developed for college and corporations that can be accessed online.

    With the ever increasing desire to provide business opportunities for youth, the entrepreneur program will provide mentor relations with existing business professionals and support incubator development. It creates win-win between existing businesses and startup entrepreneurs. Successful School curriculums create a jump start for schools, teachers and young entrepreneurs. If you wish to learn more, contact Shelby Hosford at (253)-459-4436, (800)973-6033 or via e-mail at More information is also available at

    How to Attract and Enhance Air Service in Your Community
    Submitted by Henry Fischer, NREDA Past President

    Are you looking for ways to attract major airlines and regional carriers to your community or establish connections to new destinations? Jack Penning, Director of Market Analysis for the Sixel Consulting Group is a national leader in air service development based in Oregon.

    Jack Penning
    Penning's firm helps communities initiate and develop strong relationships with airlines across the U.S., exploring new non-traditional models to successfully attract air service and build upon it. One example is "community-backed air service," whereby community organizations pledge to purchase tickets over the course of a year and/or "guarantee" a specified investment to minimize the risk for carriers to enter new markets. One example he used is St. Cloud, Minnesota, a regional center with a population of over 200,000, featuring a dynamic regional airport with a vibrant terminal building, jetbridge, 7,000 foot runway and state-of-the-art facility and infrastructure. When Delta Airlines discontinued service to St. Cloud at the end of last year, community leaders mobilized and continue to be in the midst of raising $2.2 million locally to initiate 2-3 daily flights from St. Cloud to Chicago O'Hare. Pledges and investments of this magnitude can often get the attention of airlines that are in an expansion mode.

    Penning also noted that to be successful in attracting regional carriers, communities must be within 400 miles of a major hub. Communities also can apply for Small Community Air Service Development grants from the federal government to augment local pledges and investments, which can help make their communities more attractive to air carriers in today's competitive environment.

    Sustaining Development Through Cooperative Businesses
    Submitted by Linda Salmonson, NREDA Conference Committee
    & Ron Ebenkamp, NREDA Board Member

    Loren Medley at AM lunch

    NREDA members had the opportunity to hear Adam Schwartz with the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) in Washington, D.C. and Maura Schwartz with the Northwest Cooperative Development Center in Olympia, WA share an informative and educational session on establishing a business in communities using cooperative business models during the Annual Conference. The session offered an overview of the over 29,000 cooperatively owned businesses throughout the country and how their member owners were able to collaborate to provide access to products and services that would not have been possible or practical under other legal structures.

    According to Schwartz, the cooperative business model offers a value system and enables local owners to aggregate their products, services or buying power to achieve economies of scale. Especially effective in rural areas, cooperatives have a strong foothold in urban areas as well. One can purchase everything from cranberry juice (Ocean Spray) to utilities (electric, telecom and water); as well as aggregating purchases of hardware (ACE) and housing using cooperatives.

    Adam and Maura presented studies on community-owned organizations where the member owners have a real stake in the success of the business. The discussion included various "cooperative" businesses several owners have established, such as funeral, food, grocery and home care services. Some businesses that have partnered and formed have found ways to meet the needs of the community and to survive during recessionary times proving the adage, "where there is a will there is a way".

    Maura Schwartz stated, "Through the cooperative model of shared ownership and governance by democratic control, cooperatives allow local owners to develop thriving businesses that are vested in the community (they don't move away). They give the owners a cooperative advantage in the market place."

    The take away from this session is that even though many NREDA members work for cooperatives and belong to cooperatives, we may not necessarily think of the cooperative business model when we are pursuing economic development in our communities. The session illustrated how the cooperative structure may be the right structure for both new and expanding businesses and offered tips and contacts to help with local cooperative development. To learn more about business cooperative models, visit or


    REDLG User Group Forum Created --
    Regional Training Session Planned

    NREDA has created a Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant (REDLG) Users' group to provide advice, information, and best practices for NREDA members that want to use REDLG programs for economic development projects in their area. Our membership includes professionals that have used this program in many ways to create jobs in rural America. The users group will provide a great way to share this expertise to more NREDA members — including information regarding revolving loan funds!

    To provide opportunities for NREDA members that work with USDA Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant (REDLG) programs and operate Revolving Loan Funds (RLF) to network and interface on an ongoing basis regarding aspects of the REDLG program. In addition to having networking opportunities at NREDA annual meetings and other functions, a listserv is available for members to quickly ask for help from others that use the REDLG program to provide ongoing communication opportunities. The REDLG program is a very useful tool for rural development. We want to connect novice users with more experienced people so rural America can grow and thrive!

    REDLG Regional training:
    Texas was selected as the first state to hold a REDLG program 101 workshop this coming 1st quarter; also a summer session will be scheduled in Denver, CO this summer. Some of the agenda topics to be covered include the culture of economic development, the program overview , communication of program risk, regulatory and fiscal implications, responsibilities regarding governing, reporting and servicing, engaging local support, and working through the applications with case studies and best practices. Join the list serve TODAY and send in your questions and where you would like to see a NREDA REDLG workshop held. REDLG Users Group members must request to be included in the group. Participation is only open to NREDA members. See instructions below.

    Instructions: To join the Listserv
    (Send an e-mail to with "Subscribe" in the subject line.)

    To send a message or reply to the NREDA REDLG Users Group
    1. Address your e-mail to (Only subscribers can send to the list)
    2. Put the word "LIST" (before your topic) in the subject line. (Example - "LIST Contact info for USDA in Iowa" Note: "LIST" will be removed when your message is sent.)
    3. Please include your name and contact information in the body of the e-mail.
    Online Entrepreneurship Trends & Research Resources
    (Source: The AgUrban and The Kauffman Foundation websites)
    If you are interested in entrepreneurial research and trends, start-up statistics and more, there are two sites and electronic communications you may choose to subscribe to or to save in your bookmarks.

    AgUrban is an electronic publication of Jack Schultz, CEO of Agracel, Inc. and BoomTown Institute. Schultz is also known for research and for authoring BoomTown USA.
    Learn more.

    The Kauffman Foundation is working to further understand entrepreneurship, to advance entrepreneurship education and training efforts, to promote entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and to better facilitate the commercialization of new technologies by entrepreneurs and others. The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity is a leading indicator of new business creation in the United States. Visit this site and click on the charts to access interactive charts depicting key Index findings since 1996.


    Congratulations to these NREDA Members In the News
    If you have items you'd like to share with your fellow NREDA members, please send with photographs to

    Robert Hance, Midwest Energy Cooperative (MI) President and CEO, was recently recognized by the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association with a "Special Recognition Award" for his being a "tireless advocate for cooperative members." Hance, began his co-op career in 1974 and became Midwest Energy's top executive in 2002. He was nominated for this prestigious award by the Midwest Energy board of directors.

    Aaron Ridenour, Marketing and Economic Development Manager for Prairie Power G&T, Jacksonville, IL, receives the Distinguished Service Award from the Rural Electric Resource Council.

    NREDA Welcomes New Members!

    Peter Kelly
    City of Gallup
    110 W. Aztec Avenue
    Gallup, NM 87301
    (505) 863-1307

    Stephen Marshall
    United Electric Cooperative
    PO Box 688
    DuBois, PA 15801
    (814) 583-7320
    Mike Michaelis

    Mike Michaelis, Executive Director
    Ellis County Coalition for Economic Development
    Hays, KS
    (785) 628.3102

    George Robertson
    Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation
    121 N. Lake St.
    Warsaw, IN 46580
    (574) 265-2601

    Please note: Anyone joining now until the end of the year receives membership through 12/31/2011 — that's 13-months for the price of 12 — a great value. Ask someone to join today! Log onto to join or renew. Learn about Membership Benefits here.

    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. MasterCard and Visa are accepted.

    Post Job Listings:

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


    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