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MCEDA announces business and at-large members

Empire Electric and KSJD Radio join board

The Montezuma Community Economic Development Association added two business and one individual representative to its board of directors on Tuesday.

Empire Electric Association and KSJD Radio, represented by Clint Rapier and Rob Dobry, filled the two open business positions in the association. Greg Kemp joined as an individual.

The board discussed several projects they plan to be involved in this year, including collaborating with the county in its efforts to provide internet services.

MCEDA’s board of directors has 15 seats, which must be filled by seven business representatives, representatives from the county’s five governments and three individual citizens. Two business seats and two at-large seats were open at the beginning of this year. A business application by Colleen Donley, representing The Journal, was delayed because she was absent, and so board members picked Rapier and Dobry. Because an individual applicant dropped out, the board still has one position left to fill.

Kemp previously served the board, and has attended MCEDA meetings since the organization formed in 2007.

“I’m interested enough to be a regular attendee, and so having status as a board member, I feel, would be something I’d be very proud of,” he said.

Rapier, who represents Empire, has been with the company for about two years. On Tuesday, he emphasized his experience operating small businesses.

“I understand the ups and downs of small businesses and startups,” Rapier said. “I’m interested not only in my occupation at Empire, but also what we have in new opportunities for businesses here.”

Dobry, director of corporate support at KSJD, said he believes becoming a board member will benefit his company and MCEDA.

“I think I could definitely help some with growth in membership of the organization,” he said. “And I think MCEDA, especially with the internet, has a lot of options to do a lot of good in Montezuma County in the next few years, so I want to be a part of that.”

One of MCEDA’s biggest undertakings this year will be helping the county’s fiber project, which is designed to provide more reliable internet services to homes and businesses. Chelsea Jones, the organization’s part-time economic development specialist, is also a member of Connect 4, which is working on the broadband project.

The board also voted to approve MCEDA’s official status as a program of the Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado. Becoming a Region 9 program will allow MCEDA to hire employees and provide insurance through the nonprofit organization. Chairman Dave Hart said this is the next step toward achieving nonprofit status for MCEDA.

“This allows us to move forward without having to put a lot more administrative stuff on our already strapped part-time person,” he said.

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