Wabahsa – Minnesota
Wabasha is located on the Mississippi River.
Home of the National Eagle Center and the Grumpy Old Men Festival.
Cathy is the EDA Director for two communities in southeastern Minnesota – Eyota and Lanesboro. Cathy joined the CEDA team in 2009, bringing with her vast knowledge of construction, real estate, finance, economics, budgeting, grant writing, and customer service. Cathy is a visionary with expertise in generating new ideas and solving problems. She has brought millions of grant dollars to the communities she serves. She has created pilot programs with the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation to bring succession planning to local businesses and with Greater Minnesota Housing to pilot revolving loan funds to revitalize rental housing above downtown commercial spaces. She has implemented main street renovations for three communities including partnering with CEDA grant writers to bring nearly $2 million dollars of small cities block grant funding to SE MN. Cathy works with the EDA Board in Preston to showcase area assets and strengthen the local economy, she is responsible for the creation of the National Trout Center, and a successful $10 million dollar State grant to build a MN State Veterans Home.
Cathy is a graduate of Mankato State with a degree in Finance and Economics, and she holds a MN Realtors License. Through her work, Cathy is a member of the Rochester Area Builders, the Preston Area Chamber, and the Southeast MN Association of Realtors.
Ben Strand has lived in Winona since 2012 when he started his freshman year at Winona State University studying Journalism and English Writing. While in school he worked at the Winona Daily News for three years covering arts and culture and education. He also spent a year working at the Pump House Regional Arts Center in La Crosse, WI. He started getting involved in Winona’s arts and culture community by hosting monthly open-mic poetry events in 2014 and volunteering for various music and arts festivals in the region. During his last year of school he co-founded Treedome Productions, a multi-media entertainment production company presently located in Rochester, MN. Ben is a cohort of the 2018 Blandin Community Leadership Program and 2019 Leadership Winona program.
Prior to starting with CEDA in June, Ben spent three years at the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce as the Main Street Program Manager working with the city’s downtown district and aiding in its economic development and revitalization.
Ben is extremely passionate about rural community development and rural downtowns. He looks forward to contributing to the growth and development of Lake City and Wabasha in the coming years, as a lot of important projects are in progress that will have drastic and positive impacts on the community.