An early Merry Christmas to everyone! I can’t believe how fast 2013 has gone by. It seems like we just had our Annual Meeting, after the big May blizzard. 2013 provided many opportunities for growth at CEDA. We added new members to the team, began relationships with new community partners across the region, and assisted with many projects and events.
As a growing private non-profit company, we do not rely on any outside foundation or government support for funding. Our budget is funded completely through the services we provide and the generous support of our investors. This independence from outside funding sources provides us tremendous amounts of flexibility in the scope of services that we are able to provide and where/how we provide them. We are a results-driven organization that does not ask for long term commitments from our clients; CEDA either gets our clients results or they can separate their ties with us – the way it should be.
New communities added to the CEDA family (or where we were asked to provide additional service) this year include the cities of Elgin, Claremont, Fairfax, Goodview, Oronoco, and Wabasha in Minnesota, Houston County and People’s Energy Cooperative in Minnesota and Boscobel Developers in Boscobel, Wisconsin. We also completed individual projects in the cities of Cannon Falls, La Crescent, Lyle, and Mantorville in Minnesota. We are not limited by geographical boundaries and are continually looking for ways to expand our model.
In addition to adding our newest full-time team member Rick Howden, we also started an internship program; I’m very happy to have Tom Monson on the team as our current intern. I hope that his experience has been beneficial and that he is enjoying it!
In 2013, the CEDA team also successfully authored grants that funded over $3.2 million in multiple local projects.
One last thought that I would like to share with all of you is the importance of supporting our local businesses. We are very fortunate to have a very diverse business community in our region but as we shop this holiday season, take a moment to think about how our spending habits affect our local economies. Spending our dollars with local business supports local families, our neighbors, our schools, and makes our communities strong and vibrant.
On behalf of the CEDA Board of Directors, CEDA team members, and myself, thank you for your continued support and confidence in our organization.