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Message from the President


Bruce Nuzum, NREDA President

Planning for NREDA's Future

Recently, the NREDA Board held a Strategic Planning session to focus on the future of your organization. We had great discussion and I want to thank the NREDA Board for the time they devoted to prepare for and take part in the session. But just as important, I also want to thank all of the NREDA members that took time to answer our Membership Survey. We used your input as the basis to guide our discussion, our plans for NREDA's future direction as well as to validate NREDA's Mission and Vision.

Being a volunteer based organization, we approached our planning effort on a three year timeline knowing that the board would meet to discuss priorities again in two years. We feel this approach helps bring continuity to our efforts and recognizes that some of our plans are ambitious for an organization of our size and take time to implement.

Our broad goals for the future include:

  • Increase the awareness of the importance rural economic development and the visibility of USDA.
  • Increase the availability and accessibility of training opportunities for members.
  • Develop tools and resources for members that share best practices and other useful information.
  • Increase partnerships with allied organizations
  • Grow membership to 500 and increase member engagement
  • Determine the feasibility of adding professional economic development staff

To implement those goals, we have some great things planned and others already underway. Our first step of implementation is a professional rebranding campaign to promote rural development and NREDA. That will be the foundation of new marketing materials, a new NREDA website and the other goals listed.

To help with availability and accessibility to training, we've developed and implemented a scholarship program for members and have regional training workshops underway. Likewise, as we announced at last year's conference, to bring us closer together and be a resource, we have begun using the web-based tool of Basecamp for committee and board meeting communication as well as member information. In fact, we see Basecamp as a strategic communications tool for NREDA and great way for members to stay connected. So if you have not already, I would invite and encourage you to sign up for the Basecamp training program happening later this week.

There are more things in the planning stages that we'll be talking about in the months ahead. However I will close this month's column with a request for your engagement. As a volunteer organization, we need your involvement to implement our plans successfully! So if you're not involved on a committee, I would ask you to please sign up for the committee of your choice. All you have to do is send an email to Lynn Harkin at director@nreda.org and we will connect you from there. By doing so, you will be ensuring a strong future for NREDA. But I think you'll also find your involvement and the interaction with other NREDA members will be a benefit to you on both a personal and professional level. Isn't that why we all joined NREDA in the first place?


NREDA Awards History


2017:

  • 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

2016:

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

2015:

  • 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

2014:

  • 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


2013:

  • 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

2012:

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


2011:

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


2010:

  • 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


2009:

  • 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


2008:

    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


2007:

    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


2006:

  • 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


2005:

  • 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

2004:
  • 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

2003:
  • 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

2002:
  • 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

2001:
  • 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

2000:
  • 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

1999:
  • 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



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