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Transitions highlighted by Phillips County Economic Dev. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Lee   

Transitions and new beginnings became the topic of Phillips County Economic Development Corporation’s annual meeting Wednesday night, March 21.

PCEDC saw a transition last year when executive director Nici Bishop left her position after six years to pursue another option. Erica Brady was hired by the board to fill the vacant position.

Brady gave an update on 2011 during last Wednesday’s meeting.

“We’re fortunate to have Nici in the role of board chair this year and allow us to continue to tap her knowledge base and look to her for a new type of leadership,” Brady said.

Brady noted after a lot of hard work, they saw the completion of a goal that had been a long time in the making. The completion of the Haxtun Childcare Center came at the hands of many people and organizations working together.

Brady noted there were other quality linkages that were established or reestablished. “The bond between the county, city and towns continues to be an important priority.”

PCEDC continued its relationship with Highline Electric Association and its loan fund that helps new and existing businesses get low interest loans, according to Brady.

Brady said PCEDC worked with Colorado State University to update the 2004 Phillips County housing profile and needs assessment that had been conducted over eight years ago.

Phillips County also came together to work with the state to provide input for the governor’s Bottom Up Initiative.

Phillips County commissioners Jerry Beavers, at left and Bud Biesemeier were presented with Years of Service and Leadership awards during PCED’s annual meeting Wednesday, March 21.  —Enterprise photo

Looking forward, the PCEDC board looks to build upon the four major strategic priority areas they have established, according to Brady. They include the retention and expansion of businesses in Phillips County; new business development in the county; enhance Phillips County’s infrastructure, services and amenities to help support and attract business and enhance lifestyle for all county residents; and grow and maintain a viable and successful county-wide economic development infrastructure to tie all the pieces together.

Commissioners honored for their service

Phillips County commissioners Jerry Beavers and Bud Biesemeier were recognized for their 12 years of service to the county during last Wednesday’s meeting. Fighting back tears, Bishop said, “These two guys mean a lot to me. I think the both of you have been selfless servants for the job you have done as commissioners.”

The two commissioners, who are stepping down after this year, were presented plaques honoring their many years of hard work and dedication to the county.

“It’s been great to work with the county and with the group here. It’s been a fantastic experience,” Biesemeier said.

“I don’t have too much to say,” Beavers said. “I think we’re probably getting more credit than we really deserve. We’re just doing our job. It’s been a fun job.”

Ken Lund, executive director of Office of Economic Development and International Trade, attended last week’s PCEDC annual meeting. Lund was appointed to the position in August 2011 after serving as the governor’s chief legal counsel.

He spoke about ways his office and PCEDC can work together to provide numerous resources and took questions from those attending. Topics that were questioned included wind power, natural gas and enterprise zones.

Also attending last week’s meeting was Judy Snedeker, director of Rural AmeriTowne in Wray. She gave an outline of the program and where the idea came from. She also spoke about the marketplace they held and the four area kids who took part in that.

Four area youth were recognized during last Wednesday’s Phillips County Economic Development Corporation annual meeting for their participation in Rural AmeriTowne’s marketplace. Pictured from left are Hannah Gibbs, Keegan Shaw and Hannah Marner. Not pictured is Briar Bergner who was represented at the meeting by her mother Gloria.  —Enterprise photo

Keegan Shaw, Hannah Gibbs and Hannah Marner were all at last week’s meeting. Briar Bergner was represented by her mother Gloria.

Snedeker outlined what each student’s business involves before introducing them. Bishop presented the students with awards recognizing them for all of their hard work.

To close out the meeting, PCEDC board member Tom Bennett recognized Bishop for her service as executive director.

Prior to last Wednesday’s meeting, a social hour was held with drinks provided by Haxtun Liquors. A meal was prepared and served by The Skillet.

PCEDC’s demographics cover the entire county, including Amherst, Haxtun, Holyoke and Paoli.

Current PCEDC board members include Tom Bennett, David Bickford, Nici Bishop, Casey Blake, Jamie Brundige-Tori, Diane Fryrear, Laurie Koellner, Randy Schafer and Kevin Scott.

Holyoke Enterprise March 29, 2012