National Rural Economic Developers Association

NREDA is an individual-member, professional organization dedicated exclusively to the advancement of rural development, the development of member proficiency, and achievement of social and human service objectives in rural areas. NREDA's membership base is comprised primarily of, but not limited to: Electric Cooperative Related; Telephone Cooperative Related; Economic Development Organizations; Associations; Government Related; or Consultants.

As the only organization focusing exclusively on rural economic and community development, NREDA connects professionals in energy, telecommunications, water and sewer systems, transportation, housing, health care, education and financing. By joining NREDA, you can take advantage of an extensive knowledge base and networking opportunities to make your own development program more successful.

More and more companies are discovering the benefits of doing business in rural communities. Small businesses and major corporations alike are drawn to rural America's workforce ethic, lower costs and particularly to its quality of life. To protect and promote this unique advantage, the National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA) dedicates itself to bringing together industry-wide expertise on a broad range of rural development issues.

The National Rural Economic Developers Association is a member organization dedicated to the advancement of rural economic development through providing education and networking opportunities.


NREDA is the essential resource for rural economic developers.

  • To promote the exchange of ideas and information between association members.
  • To provide members educational opportunities to encourage professional advancement.
  • To further the movement of growing and revitalizing rural America through economic enhancement.

Diversity & Inclusion Statement:

Rural America is characterized by a dynamic mix of heroes from all walks of life. As economic developers fostering prosperity for our neighbors, the National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA) is committed to contributing to a more transparent, fair and accountable society. As a national organization NREDA believes that in order for us to reach our full potential as rural Americans, we must live together, build together, work together, and grow together.
NREDA represents the diverse and welcoming communities they serve. NREDA’s mission as an organization continues to be the advancement of rural economic development through education and networking from those from all demographics of sustainable rural life, industries, and opportunities. NREDA leadership will continue to amplify the voices of an open and inclusive environment that supports the advancement of rural economic development and our hometowns.

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Association Documents

It is the policy of this organization to provide in a timely, accurate, and transparent manner, public records, to both members and the general public in accordance with federal and state law regulations. Please contact NREDA Headquarters at (515) 284-1421 or

The NREDA Rural Issues Committee is responsible for monitoring federal legislation that may have an impact on economic development in rural America and keep the Board apprised of this legislation. This monitoring will include developing and maintaining relationships with the legislative staffs of affiliated organizations such as NTCA, NRTC, NRECA, NADO and CFC. The Committee has developed an issues paper that defines key areas of recognition or support for rural development.  

See the 2018-2019 NREDA Rural Issues Paper to learn more.


The National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA) was formed to promote rural development opportunities through electric and telephone cooperatives. At the time of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), cooperatives had been a long time advocate of marketing rural locations as a competitive and low cost alternative for business investment. The creation of a national organization, structured to coordinate recruitment resources would provide all members a greater presence to corporate America.

In 1988, a handful of cooperative members responsible for economic development, met in Platte City, MO, to evaluate this idea and its many benefits. In the spring of 1989, NREDA was formally organized, and later that year held the first member meeting in Washington, DC. The next year, Nashville, TN served as the conference city for the first annual meeting, attracting over 300 attendees. From that small beginning, NREDA had matured into a professional organization providing members valuable assistance with their economic development, key account management, community development, infrastructure development, or other rural development programs.

Submitted by NREDA member: Mark Woodson, CED, CKAE
Associated Electric Co-op, Inc., Springfield, MO

Past Presidents

Nikki M. Pfannenstiel1/1/2021
Rick Nelsen, CEcD1/1/2020
Bruce Nuzum1/1/2019
Jim Vermeer1/1/2018
Trista L. Fugate1/1/2017
Rand Fisher1/1/2016
Clare Gustin1/1/2015
Dana J. Baker1/1/2014
Tom Lambrecht1/1/2013
Eric Phillips1/1/2012
Rick Nelsen, CEcD1/1/2011
Henry Fischer1/1/2010
Pat B. Merritt, CEcD1/1/2009
Sherry Rose1/1/2008
Stan Rice1/1/2007
Loren W. Medley1/1/2006
Dennis Mingyar1/1/2005
LaDonna Boyd1/1/2004
Mike Meissen1/1/2003
Linda Salmonson1/1/2002
Mary McLaury1/1/2001
Dennis Chastain1/1/2000
Rosa Rios-Valdez1/1/1999
Larry Walsh1/1/1997
Mark Woodson1/1/1996
Ed Murphy1/1/1995
Jay Clark1/1/1994
Fred J. Gassaway1/1/1993
Jack C. Bailey1/1/1990
Earnest D. Faucett1/1/1989
Gilbert "Gib" Keith1/1/1987