Economic development is a big factor in our communities and I got involved as a board member of the Cass County Economic Development Corp. (EDC) because I want it to continue to grow in the future.
We are setting up the work for another decade — footprints will be left for the future — and I want this to continue to be here in the future.
There have been two good projects completed this past year that are key in the community — Eveland’s Inc. and Reed’s Sporting Goods expansions. The EDC was here to facilitate the tax-increment financing deals that will keep those good companies here and help them grow jobs right here at home.
The small cities grant project that just wrapped up in Hackensack and Walker was another key accomplishment that made our communities look better and our downtown businesses stronger.
Our most influential tool as an economic development organization are the relationships we have with key cities. The desires of all — especially the cities — is to believe in our future and wish to make it better. The EDC has developed excellent working relationships with these cities so we can work together to do just that.
My wife, Nancy, is a third-grade teacher in the Pine River-Backus School District. We have been married for 28 years now. She married a “Type A” and you will have to ask her what that is like. In the summer, I like to spend my time either “on the water” or golfing. I golf once per week.
I am active in the community through many different organizations. Two years ago, I was elected to the EDC board for a three-year term. Being on the board takes some time, but for the most part the meetings are scheduled way in advance so it is not hard to plan around. Some seasons do take more time than others. If I am asked, I believe I would serve again on the board.
For the future I want to see businesses continue to retain and grow jobs right here in Cass County. The businesses we work with at the EDC should have access to all of the tools to help them do that and grow stronger right here.
(The Cass County EDC is a local non-profit corporation with the mission to “Improve the business environment of Cass County by encouraging a strong, diverse and sustainable economy and to build better relationships between business, government agencies and local communities.”)