Article by Ron Zeigler
Thank you, thank you, thank you….
….for your support, contributions and confidence in our organization! With your help, CEDA passed a significant milestone in 2011, we broke the million dollars in gross revenue ceiling! Couple this revenue with the fact that CEDA is a non-profit organization with minimal administrative overhead and it is easy to present that CEDA, as an organization, is strong and vital. The revenues received do go right back into program services so they are reinvested in opportunities to enhance rural America. However, we don’t judge success merely by the bottom line. We judge success from a more holistic approach – the number of communities we assist, the success of the projects we are involved with, the sustainability of our member communities, the tax base and jobs created and retained – the list goes on.
As you are aware, there are many different aspects to a successful organization – aspects that if they stood alone would not be a success, but together make a strong, successful organization. These aspects that I need to thank include: our contracted communities and counties – without your confidence in our organization, we would not be around. Secondly, our benefactors – even though these donated dollars only account for 2.5% of our budget, we are dependent upon these dollars for support as we provide our services for a fee at or below cost. These donated dollars assist us in breaking even. Third, our Board of Directors – without their vision and leadership, we would be a ship without a rudder. These people serve without compensation – no per diems, no mileage reimbursement – nothing. When you get a chance, please thank them for their service to Rural America. Lastly, but in no way least important are the CEDA team members – there are 14 members of the team. I am a firm believer that an organization’s strength comes from the team within – that is the case with CEDA. We have built a team of very talented, professional individuals that could easily move on to bigger and better things. But they haven’t. They have dedicated themselves to assisting with the expansion, enhancement and revitalization of Rural America – the area that we live in – not because we have to, but because we want to. I want to thank each and every one of the CEDA team for their dedication and willingness to think outside the box – to find a reason to do something rather than a reason not to do it – to find solutions and have the courage and willingness to move forward with these solutions.
We look forward to 2012 with great anticipation for the projects and opportunities that will come before us and the relationships these projects and opportunities will create. Again, thank you for your support, your confidence and your willingness to be a part of the vision for rural America!