Tips for Success in Economic Development

IADG Partners Forum Speaker

Mickey Anderson
Stanton Area Industrial Foundation

Mickey Anderson is the owner of Red Oak Chrysler Inc, of Red Oak Iowa and lives in Stanton, Iowa.  He is the President of the Stanton Area Industrial Foundation, Vice President of Acorn II Development Company in Red Oak, President of the Stanton Community Foundation, Chamber member of Stanton, Red Oak, Villisca and Corning Iowa.  Mickey has previously served on many local boards throughout Montgomery County Iowa. He has been involved with economic development for many years and has a passion for Southwest Iowa and rural Iowa.  Anderson has been involved with many business ventures, owns many rental homes and several commercial properties.

IADG Partners Forum Speaker

Maureen Elbert, Executive Director
Kossuth / Palo Alto County Economic Development Corporation
www.kossuth-edc.com; www.paloaltoiowa.com

Maureen Elbert is the Executive Director of the Kossuth and Palo Alto County Economic Development Corporation, a role she's held since 2006 when the two counties combined their efforts to enhance economic development. With over 25 years of experience in the field, she collaborates with local and regional businesses, offering resources for education, technical assistance, leadership development, mentoring, and financial support to foster business growth and entrepreneurship.

Maureen's extensive involvement extends to boards and organizations, including the Professional Developers of Iowa, Mid Iowa Growth Partners, and State SBDC Advisory, among others. She holds several academic certifications and lives in Whittemore with her husband, who serves as the town's mayor.

Maureen's leadership has garnered numerous awards for K/PACEDC, and she has established successful programs like the summer intern initiative, which benefits area businesses and companies in Kossuth and Palo Alto Counties.

IADG Partners Forum Speaker

Dennis Fraise, President and CEO
Lee County Development Group

Dennis Fraise is the President and CEO of the Lee County Economic Development Group in Lee County Iowa. A progressive, economic development professional with an eclectic background including being a business owner generating more than $3 million dollars in sales. He is a national award-winning marketing professional, public speaker, and facilitator.

Dennis is Co-host of the #1 economic development podcast Develop This!, with listeners in all 50 states, over 300 episodes, and 125,000 downloads. He is a sought after thought leader on workforce development issues, strategies to build collaborations in communities, and creating organizational excellence.

Dennis is a graduate of the Oklahoma University Economic Development Institute and is a Certified Economic Developer.

IADG Partners Forum Speaker

Debra Lucht, CEO/General Manager
Minburn Communications

Debra Lucht is a driven leader who thrives on making a positive impact. This is demonstrated time and again through her relationships with the Board of Directors and staff, the company’s continued growth, her commitment to economic development, educating consumers and policy makers, being a catalyst in the telecommunications industry.

Debra started her telecommunications career in 1998. In 2006, she joined Minburn Telephone Company and subsidiaries d/b/a/Minburn Communications as Assistant General Manager to assist the BOD and standing General Manager with leadership transition. Debra was named the new CEO/GM in 2008. Her leadership responsibilities and dedication continue to elevate Minburn Communications and the industry.

She currently serves on numerous boards and committees including Governor Reynolds Empower Rural Iowa Connectivity Taskforce and ERI Executive Committee, Regional Broadband Steering Committee, Dallas County Supervisors Appointed Representative, Perry Economic Development (PEDI, Past Board President/Current Director), Leadership Iowa Board of Directors, Iowa Communications Association Leadership Committee, and many more. 

IADG Partners Forum Speaker

Andy Sokolovich, President and CEO
Grow Clinton

Andy joined Grow Clinton after serving six years as the Vice President of the Clinton Regional Development Corporation (CRDC). In March 2022, the CRDC merged with the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce to form Grow Clinton. The mission of Grow Clinton is to promote business growth, build community, and advocate for the sustainable economic success of the Greater Clinton Region. As President & CEO, Andy works with the Grow Clinton team on business retention, attraction, regional marketing, and tourism.

Before entering a community and economic development career, Andy served as an air traffic controller in the United States Air Force.