Archives for December 2014

Dodge County Works Toward Completion of Hwy 14

Article by: Tom Monson

Dodge County expressed the importance of completing Highway 14 during the September 11, town hall style Dodge County Hwy 14 Economic Impact Meeting held in Dodge Center City Hall. One month later on October 7, Governor Dayton announced $7.3 million in financing for the Dodge County portion of Highway 14. Roughly 40 individuals representing businesses, communities, and families were present for the legislative update from the head lobbyist of the Highway 14 Partnership, Amanda Duerr (Flaherty & Hood), and construction and engineering update from the MNDOT Engineer Gregory Paulson. Many voiced their thoughts and concerns about the current status of the US Highway including County Commissioners Steven Gray (District 4) and David Erickson (District 5), (then) County Sherriff Jim Jensen, and State Senator Dave Senjem. Due to the creation of the Corridors of Commerce program, the state financing for this project is allocated through a competitive process measured by economic impact. The local CEDA associate created, organized, and emceed the event by leveraging the strategic network of Dodge County Economic Development Authority, particularly its partnership with the Highway 14 Partnership.

US Highway 14 bisects Dodge County going east and west and serves to connect Southern Minnesota regional centers including Winona, Rochester, Owatonna, Waseca, Mankato, and New Ulm running from the WI border to SD border. In three locations, Highway 14 drops from four to two lanes, having negative repercussions on the safety, efficiency, and competitiveness of this crucial infrastructure. The eastern most of these three locations is midway through Dodge County, extending 15.1 miles from just west of Dodge Center until the eastern edge of Owatonna. A major roadblock for the completion of this project has been Right-of-Way Acquisition, which was estimated to cost over $20 million just to purchase the necessary land. The $7.3 million announced in October is allocated through the Corridors of Commerce Program and will be directed to purchasing Right-of-Way for Segment 2 of the project as designated by MnDOT.

Blooming Prairie celebrates Manufacturers Week

Article by: Tom Monson

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce President, Bill Blazar challenged Blooming Prairie manufacturers to help set a new pace for innovation in Southeastern Minnesota. During the October 22 Manufacturers Luncheon commemorating the statewide Manufacturers Week, leadership from many of the largest local employers were in attendance to hear Blazar’s report on the state’s business climate, upcoming challenges and opportunities, and tools through the EDA and Chamber of Commerce that could be used in lieu of the information. Blazar’s message was capped by a challenge to not only Blooming Prairie manufacturers, but employers throughout the region: Get outside your boxes. Southeastern Minnesota has begun to trail the rest of the state and decline over the last few years in produced innovations despite having research and patent powerhouses in Mayo Clinic and Hormel. The local CEDA associate coordinated and assisted in planning the event as well as co-emceed. The success of the event will be measured through the results of the several project-based follow up meetings initiated by the event.

Bill Blazar, Mayor "H" Peterson, and local Chamber President Tammy Johnson presenting a certificate of commendation to Brad Kramer of Tandem Products

Bill Blazar, Mayor “H” Peterson, and local Chamber President Tammy Johnson presenting a certificate of commendation to Brad Kramer of Tandem Products

CEDA Hosts Annual Investor Appreciation Gala

On October 19, 2014, CEDA hosted its Annual Investor Appreciation Gala at the Somerby Golf Club in Byron, MN. The event brought together company investors and staff for a social gathering, dinner, and acknowledgment of CEDA’s gratitude to those who invest in the company and all that it accomplishes.  CEDA puts on the event in recognition that the valuable services that the company provides would not be possible without the generosity of its investors.

“The event was a great way for board members and investors to catch up with team members they know and meet our new staff. With all of the new team members joining us, it is especially important to celebrate CEDA’s successes together,” said Ron Zeigler, CEDA CEO/President.

CEDA is looking forward to a another great year in 2015.

CEDA CEO/President Ron Zeigler addresses investors, board members, and staff at the annual investor gala.

CEDA CEO/President Ron Zeigler addresses investors, board members, and staff at the Annual Investor Appreciation Gala.

From Ron’s Desk

Article by: Ron Zeigler

As 2014 quickly comes to a close, I write this note with a debt of gratitude – gratitude for your continued support of CEDA.  As importantly, I write this note with a debt of gratitude to Joyce Iverson.  Joyce has retired from active CEDA work.  Since January 9, 1995, Joyce Iverson has given of her time and talents to make our area a better place to live, work, recreate and do business – and for that I thank her.  Never one to shy away from a project, Joyce has a keen attention to detail and spreadsheets.  Her efforts in assisting communities after the devastating flood of 2007 was very welcomed and needed.

Joyce and the rest of the expanded CEDA professionals committed themselves to the betterment of rural America.  With all of the things that have gone on over the past year, I look forward to providing you our annual report in the Spring.  It is obvious that CEDA has been able to assist many communities, counties and organizations in their efforts in 2014 and we look to continue to do so in 2015.

On behalf of the CEDA Board of Directors and Team Members, I would like to wish Joyce Iverson the best in her retirement – she deserves it.  I would also like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season and a prosperous 2015!

Joyce Iverson

Joyce Iverson