To the JEDCO Membership:

It has been a year of transitions. Emerging from the pandemic, our organization went through a change in staff, a change in our strategic plan, and an evolution in the way our organization will serve you best.

Our executive committee and I have been working diligently, having intentional conversations with the City, the Chamber of Commerce, and stakeholders to help set a strategic direction and re-engagement process for JEDCO. We have a calendar for 2022 that we feel will test some new ways of providing value and ensure we remain relevant as an organization.

This communication is the first step in unveiling what we are undertaking with our strategic plan. The three core strategies include:

Strategy 1: Evolve the Mission and Objectives of JEDCO

In what is effectively a “reboot” of JEDCO, we have constructed a set of 1-, 2-, and 3-year objectives that we feel will best fit what is needed in the changing environment of economic development as it exists today. We diligently conducted research and spoke with others in the field, and feel we have a modernized and relevant model for success.

Strategy 2: Engage Members and the Community on the Value of JEDCO

This strategy reflects the feedback we heard from you in our survey work and focus groups. We have contemplated a new vision of what we hope to be and what return on investment looks like as part of a new suite of resources we will provide to you. We have updated our budget and this year, for us, is about re-establishing our relationship with you, and being intentional with your investments in us, and trying out some new things, while leaving successful efforts in place.

Strategy 3: Rebuild / Evolve Infrastructure

Our final strategy is reflective of the changing need we have in an operational sense. We have had many and varied conversations regarding what is needed in terms of a staffing model and support for our membership and programmatic infrastructure, and we feel we have matched our defined needs with our capacity to engage a staff member and will be actively pursuing an individual to help execute our vision and support our members.

Our board will be meeting later this month to establish a timeline for the search and onboarding of a new permanent staff member, take the first steps to implement our strategic plan, and work to reengage you, our members, as an organization.

We will be alternating some networking activities and economic development events, including our annual meeting as the year moves ahead. We will be sending out monthly communications to our membership and updating our website and blog posts to continue to connect you to resources and information you need. Our primary task at hand is educating the community on our next steps and what we have in store for the coming year.

Most of all, we want to express our gratitude for your patience as we have been thoughtfully developing the next steps for JEDCO. We look forward to reengaging with you in the coming weeks and months.

Brian Vahle, Vision Bank, JEDCO Board President

Grant Taylor, Hansen Company, Inc., JEDCO Board Vice-President

Brian Erickson, Knapp Properties, JEDCO Board Secretary / Treasurer

Joseph R. Benesh, Ingenuity Company, Interim Director, Johnston Economic Development Corporation