Custer Economic Development Elects New Officers

CUSTER COUNTY—The Custer Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) held its annual meeting on Monday, January 17. The meeting was held at the Custer Public Power District on Monday afternoon with Rick Nelson serving as the facilitator.

Board members elected officers, focused on strategic planning, and discussed priorities for the Custer County following a lunch.

Election of officers and executive committee included Chairman Chris Smith (Palmer Monument Co.), Vice Chairwoman Jami Anderson (Thomas Livestock Co.), Secretary Scotti Ross (Bruning Bank), and Treasurer Ryan Vonderohe (Great Western Bank).

Executive Director Keith Ellis spoke with KCNI/KBBN on the Get Up and Go Breakfast Show on Monday, January 17 and said the CEDC would discuss strategic planning for 2022, as well as the next two to three years.

CEDC Executive Director Keith Ellis Oct. 2021

“You have to have continuity in your planning and in your work scope. We’re not that dynamic that we change year to year too much, but sometimes priorities can change. Sometimes you get input from your members—which we did a membership survey—and so you have to take those into that vision of where you want to take the organization,” Ellis said.

Ellis began his role in mid-September 2021 and said he appreciates the history and continuity of the CEDC members who focus on what they can do and what they can do well.

“This is a great board. I’ll just say this that I’ve been here four months now and the leadership from this organization has been really tremendous. Not just this last year but for a long, long time. So the high expectations that if we say we’re going to do something, we’re going to get it done,” Ellis said.

The top priorities discussed during the annual CEDC meeting included business retention and expansion, child care, workforce housing and development, and a wellness facility.

Measurable impacts of these priorities–Ellis described–is building relationships to then improve the economy and fulfill the needs of employers over time.