Regional Marketing Project Completed

In 2015, CEDA was awarded a grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) to study opportunities for regional marketing in southeastern Minnesota in light of the growth projected for the region over the next 10-20+ years. The project brought regional stakeholders together to discuss the region over 6 stakeholder meetings.  Stakeholders discussed opportunities to better collaborate to promote the region and enhance our already high-standard of life.

The information gathered is available below to be utilized as a resource for the betterment of the region and has been shared with other regional organizations for their use on regional marketing efforts.  CEDA Vice President Chris Giesen led the project with asstiance from Community and Business Develpment Specailists Sherry Hines, Ryan Yetzer, and Courtney Bergey, Director of Marketing Joya Stetson, and Director of Training Tom Monson.  A special thanks to Journey to Growth and Destination Medical Center for their support and assistance.

If you haven’t already reviewed the final report, it is available at the link below:

Regional Marketing Study

DRAFT REPORT – Regional Marketing Study

In 2015, CEDA was awarded a grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) to study opportunities for regional marketing in southeastern Minnesota in light of the growth projected for the region over the next 10-20+ years.  The project brought regional stakeholders together to discuss the region and opportunities to better collaborate and enhance the region’s already high-standard of life.

As a regional stakeholder yourself, please take a moment to read through the draft report:

SE MN Regional Marketing Report

Listening sessions to provide feedback on the project and report will be held:

Thursday, September 15: 6:30-8:00 PM
Harmony Community Center
225 3rd Ave SW, Harmony

Monday, September 19: 6:30-8:00 PM
Lake City Community Ballroom
205 West Center Street, Lake City

Tuesday, September 20: 6:30-8:00 PM
Dodge Center Community Center
35 East Main Street, Dodge Center


May 13, 2016 Proclaimed “CEDA Day” in Preston, CEDA Given Key to the City

At its 2016 annual meeting, held this year at the Branding Iron restaurant in Preston, Minnesota, Preston City Administrator Joe Hoffman announced to the gathering of nearly 100 friends of CEDA that Mayor Kurt Reicks had proclaimed May 13, 2016 “CEDA Day” in the City of Preston.  After presenting the Mayor’s proclamation, Mr. Hoffman told attendees about the projects CEDA worked on for the benefit of Preston including a recently awarded small cities block grant, and awarded the Key to the City of Preston to CEDA President/CEO Ron Zeigler stating “that for 30 years CEDA has been a trusted friend of Preston.”


Mayor Reicks' Proclamation

2015 CEDA Annual Report

Our 2015 Annual Report is now available by clicking the link below!

CEDA 2015 Annual Report

Lake Byllesby Park Campground RFP NOW AVAILABLE!

Lake Byllesby Park Campground (Goodhue County, MN) RFP

Available through 2/1/16.

First Southeast Bank, CEDA to Compete for $15,000 “Strong Communities” Award

(Harmony, Minnesota) – The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines (FHLB Des Moines) is excited to announce that First Southeast Bank and Community & Economic Development Associates (CEDA) have been selected as one of seven Strong Communities Award finalists vying for the opportunity to receive $15,000.

FHLB Des Moines challenges communities to rally behind their community’s project during a public vote from October 5 – October 16 on Strengthening Communities Together™ at The voting will serve as a component of the selection process to award a $15,000 stipend to support small business and economic development growth in their community.

FHLB Des Moines member First Southeast Bank partnered with CEDA to assist in the expansion of Harmony Enterprises, a major community employer. The efforts resulted in the creation and retention of 73 full-time jobs. The project also grew the city tax base, improved public infrastructure and impacted manufacturing in other surrounding communities.

The Strong Communities Award honors the projects, the people and the programs that promote small business growth and retention in their communities.

# # #

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines is a member-owned cooperative that provides funding solutions and liquidity to nearly 1,500 financial institutions to support mortgage lending, economic development and affordable housing in their communities. Serving 13 states and three U.S. Pacific territories, FHLB Des Moines is one of 11 regional Banks that make up the Federal Home Loan Bank System. Members include community and commercial banks, credit unions, insurance companies, thrifts and community development financial institutions. The Des Moines Bank is wholly owned by its members and receives no taxpayer funding. For additional information about FHLB Des Moines, please visit

CEDA Welcomes New Faces!

Jessica Ganrude

20150209_134017Jess joined the team in February 2015. She grew up in Southeastern Minnesota, attending Winona State University and received a BA in Sociology. She also holds a MPS in Community and Economic Development from Penn State where she gained insight into community and economic development practices/techniques, community structure, land use, leadership development and more.

Jess truly enjoys helping others and often volunteers in and around her local community and aboard. She spent a year in the United Kingdom volunteering with an organization called Community Service Volunteers, has volunteered in Japan while studying abroad, and currently volunteers with Project Fine of Winona.


Josh Sande

20150330_100545Josh joined CEDA in March 2015.  He grew up in Duluth, MN, but also has deep roots in Rochester, having lived there for the first 8 years of his life.

After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, MN with a BA in Political Science and Philosophy, Josh taught 2nd Grade in Kansas City, Missouri as a member of Teach for America. He has also worked as a political organizer in Duluth, Saint Peter, and Mankato.  Most recently he completed an internship at the White House in Washington DC.

Josh is passionate about public service, and believes that advocating for rural communities and small businesses provides for the public good.  He is committed to contributing to the important work that CEDA does in Southeastern Minnesota and beyond.

Josh currently assists the Lewiston EDA.


Don Farrow

20150330_100619Don Farrow joined CEDA in March 2015 as a Community and Business Development Specialist. He holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin Madison and has previous archaeological field experience in Israel.  Having spent most of his life in smaller communities, he is committed to helping small towns be the best they can be.

Don currently assists the Fillmore County EDA.


Kelli Gosch

Kelly Gosch2 July 2015Kelli Gosch joined CEDA in August 2015 working with Howard County Business & Tourism as Event Coordinator. Before joining CEDA, Kelli worked in the medical accounting field. Kelli left the patient setting for the corporate medical environment, excelling in finance operations and government contracting. For 7 years Kelli traveled to federal institutions, breaking a part their financial operation weaknesses and putting them back together with sound financial processes and procedures.

Kelli is originally from Jacksonville, Florida and holds an associate degree in elementary music from Florida Community College, Jacksonville.


Deann Baker

deannDeann joined CEDA in August 2015.  She holds a bachelor of science in business management with an emphasis in finance and has over twenty years in customer service experience. In her previous career, she worked more than five years operating an office for a certified financial planner.

Deann and her husband have three daughters and six grand kids, with a 7th in December 2015. Living in the Twin Cities until the last nine years, she now calls  Rushford, MN home.

Deann and her husband also own a used car lot and U-Haul business in Rushford and she likes to make beaded jewelry in my spare time, selling them in a craft store in Caledonia.

Deann currently assists the City of Lewiston.


CEDA Awarded Grants by AgStar and AgriBank

Article written by Tom Monson

agstar land grant

Pictured above attending the event: Sai Thao (Ag Star), Tom Monson (CEDA), Lundi Vang, Ron Zeigler (CEDA), John Monson (Ag Star), and Lenny Xiong.

Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA) was provided a $65,000 grant by two Minnesota Farm Credit organizations. AgStar Financial Services, a Mankato-based Midwestern leader in agricultural loans, and AgriBank, its St. Paul-based funding bank, presented the grant at a media event at Emerging Hmong Farms north of Cannon Falls, Minnesota.

Land access is a major hurdle to prospective crop-producing farmers. CEDA will construct an inventory of farmable public lands to be made available in English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali, and Karen. Additionally, CEDA will catalog tools – such as technical and financial assistance – available to help secure and develop farms.

“We are excited to begin establishing a tool to help emerging farmers easily access available farm land. It will fill a void in determining accessible land for farmers,” said Ron Zeigler, President and CEO of Community and Economic Development Associates.

“Emerging farmers lack availability of technical assistance, capital and land,” said John Monson, chair of the AgStar Fund’s Board of Trustees. “AgStar has worked hard to address availability of technical assistance and capital, but land has remained a challenge to find.  This will help address that challenge.”



Boscobel Developers Makes Award Nominations

Article written by Tim Jacobson


The Boscobel Developers nominated Nu-Pak for the “Economic Driver Award,” to recognize its continued investment in Wisconsin. Businesses in the category demonstrate the following:

  • Continued investment and job creation in Wisconsin
  • Commitment to advancing their business models and product development efforts
  • Commitment to their employees and being an employer of choice
  • Commitment to the communities in which they operate
  • Commitment to worker safety and the environment

Kwik Trip was nominated for an award by the La Crosse Area Development Corporation.

At the awards ceremony at SentryWorld, Nu-Pak was represented by Rich Uselman and his wife Melissa (an employee of Gundersen Boscobel Area Hospitals and Clinics), and the Boscobel Developers were represented by Ken Schweiger and CEDA Community and Business Development Specialist Tim Jacobson.

Rich gave an excellent acceptance speech which credited the vision and dedication of the company’s owners, the work of the Developers and the city, the commitment of employees, and collaboration with other companies, such as Sargento, which are willing to invest in Boscobel and Nu-Pak’s capabilities.

This was an excellent venue for promoting Boscobel’s positive business environment to business and government leaders from around the state.


Congratulations to the award-winning businesses!

St. Charles EDA: $685,000 in Private Investment made through Commercial Rehab Program

Article written by Cris Gastner


The City of St. Charles Economic Development Authority reported that over $685,000 of private investment was made as a result of the Commercial Rehabilitation Program that provided a small capital investment through a 5 year fixed loan program.

“I think the response exceeded all of our expectations,” stated Cris Gastner, CEDA Senior Vice President and St. Charles Economic Development Director. The program’s design allowed St. Charles commercial businesses to access up to $10,000 or 50 percent of the total project cost on a 5-year forgivable loan basis. The program which was designed and first started the middle of 2013 was made possible through the dollars received as part of the Rochester Sales Tax dollars. The EDA initially invested $100,000 into the program and while it was slow to start, it was eventually increased to $167,000 total funds available.

“Over 15 different businesses within St. Charles requested the funds and has resulted in many of the improvements that residents are seeing not only within our downtown mainstreet corridor, but also along Hwy 14 and Hwy 74 north,” Gastner stated. The goal of the EDA, City Council and staff was to help promote the investment into those areas because it is a critical part of the infrastructure of our community, Gastner relayed.

In addition, it was reported that 24 new home building permits have been issued because of the EDA and City Council’s decision to utilize Rochester Sales Tax revenues to reimburse home buyers for their 2014-2015 new home building permit fees. This program has helped to increase the number of building permits and resulted in an average construction home price of $221,000.