IEDC hosted a webinar September 17 titled Navigating Federal Resources for Long-Term Recovery in Rural Communities. Rural communities are often faced with fewer local resources than larger, urban communities. The federal government offers long-term economic recovery resources specifically for rural communities. Trying to meet requirements and find programs that meet the community’s needs can be daunting. This webinar uncovered the economic recovery resources available for rural communities with a focus on resources from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Speakers in this webinar discussed the requirements for programs and provided the tools needed to effectively apply. Speakers also talked from recent disaster experiences and lessons learned with finding and applying for federal resources.
Community and Economic Development Director
US Department of Agriculture – State of Colorado
Pattie has lived in Western Colorado for over 35 years, 25 of those in Craig. She has over 18 years in economic development and community development practices.
She began her career in mortgage banking in Denver. She then moved to Craig to raise a family. Over her years in that region, as one of the 3 person management team for the Beanpole Telecommunications Project in Northwest Colorado, they delivered high speed broadband to remote regions. While she was the director of business and industry training and economic development for Colorado NW Community College, she worked across 3 counties designing and delivering customized training for industry as well as delivering Community Education programs. She was a founding member of the Western Colorado Economic Alliance for Western Colorado, and part of the statewide group, Colorado Economic Leadership Coalition. Later, while she was the executive director of the Greeley Downtown Development Authority, the DDA put tax increment financing in place, passed a special improvement district, crafted design guidelines for a character overlay and implemented the Main Street Program.
Pattie served the Western 22 counties as the Western Business Development Representative for the CO Office of Economic Development & International Trade from 2002, where she coordinated the Community Assessment Program for Economic Development on a statewide basis in addition to her duties regionally. She joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development as Northwest Area Director in 2005 serving 18 counties. USDA Rural Development provides funding opportunities for infrastructure, community facilities and business development to rural areas, as well as technical assistance in economic and community development.
Pattie has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Regis University. She is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute, and is a Professional in Economic Gardening. She continues her work in community and economic development in her current role at USDA in Colorado as a statewide Director in those practices in addition to her NW Area Director duties. She is coordinating and delivering the Stronger Economies Together Program throughout Colorado in partnership with Extension, working with three SET regions, with a focus on regional economic development planning and implementation.
Town of Lyons, Colorado
Mayor John E. O’Brien has been actively involved in community development in Lyons, Colorado for several years. When devastating floods hit the state in 2013, Mr. O’Brien served as the Business/Economy Recovery Lead with the Lyons Flood Recovery group, building on previous roles as chair of the Lyons Economic Development Commission and President of the Lyons Area Chamber of Commerce. Mr. O’Brien was elected Mayor of the Town of Lyons in 2014.
In addition to his elected and community roles, Mr. O’Brien also serves as Adjunct Professor at the University of Denver Daniels College of Business, partner at Blackstraw Investors, and President of O’Brien LLC, a consultancy in the medical device manufacturing field. His prior experience includes executive positions in precision metal manufacturing, directory publishing, and Eastman Kodak’s battery division. Mr. O’Brien holds degrees in business from the University of the Americas Mexico, and Thunderbird Graduate School of Global Management.
About this Webinar Series
With funding from a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), the 2014 Disaster Preparedness and Economic Recovery Webinar Series is produced by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). This training series provides practical information on key topics in disaster preparedness, recovery and resiliency for economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, and community stakeholders concerned about the local economy.
Please note: Web seminars in this series are not eligible for CEcD certification points.