One of the direct requests arising from our year of listening to people like you in communities throughout Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties was the need for more information and links to resources to help grow our towns. Economic development leaders have asked LCEDA and MCEDA to be a portal to information and training workshops that can make a difference in our member communities.
One of our first steps in filling that request was the panel discussion added to our annual meeting, bringing four experienced regional development professionals together with our constituents to discuss three topics essential to modern growth in our area: competition in economic development, expanding community housing options and agri-business and its role in regional development.
Our featured panelists included Joan Franken, managing director of Costello Companies; Erica Beck, vice president of development for Lloyd Companies; Paul Kostboth, owner/manager of A1 Development Solutions, and Steve Watson, director of business development for the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development.
The panel discussion drew a standing room only crowd of over 75 people to the Holiday Inn City Centre prior to our combined LCEDA-MCEDA annual meeting. The panel, moderated by business journalist Jodi Schwan, spoke knowledgeably about development in our communities, citing case histories and actual experiences. The most interesting aspect of our discussion was the interaction of the areas of expertise, proving that good economic development in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties relies on an intelligent blend of business attraction and retention, adequate housing inventory and positive value-added agri-business growth. The panelists stayed after the session to take questions and talk with individuals. It was a great learning workshop, an idea that we’ll be repeating in the months to come.
LCEDA and MCEDA are committed to exploring regional partnerships with other resource providers to bring you more data, more examples of successful growth and more opportunities to interact with your peers throughout our region. Our annual meeting panel discussion was a strong step in meeting one of the needs of our member communities.
Cooperation and communication are vital to the growth of our communities—and we want to provide the venues and the opportunities to share information, connect with resource providers, and build a better future for us all.
By Nick Fosheim, Executive Director, Lincoln and Minnehaha County Economic Development Associations
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