The annual membership meeting of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation was held Thursday evening at the Litchfield Country Club.
"We're all in this together," Dr. Robert Mulch, chairman of the MCEDC Board of Directors addressed the attendees. "Our problems won't be solved individually, solutions will be found in cooperating together."
Executive Director Valerie Belusko noted that in her last year and one half, "all the struggles we have here in Montgomery County are interrelated, so to solve them we need to be looking for solutions, instead of looking for complaints."
"I want to remind everyone about the good things around us, and if you see a problem, ask yourself what are you going to do to change it." she said.
Re-elected to the board of directors were municipal members Rex Brown, city of Hillsboro, and Shelly Herman, city of Litchfield. Business member John Galer was also re-elected. All will serve three year terms.
Officers were elected and include Dr. Robert Mulch, chairman; Tim Hopper, vice chairman; John Galer, secretary; and Sheila White, treasurer.
Heather Hampton+Knodle discussed the origins of MCEDC and its evolution from the Competitive Communities Initiative 15 years ago. She, with Emily Battin, Mike Plunkett and Yvonne Purcell, worked to get every community in the county involved and participating. Battin in particular worked hard leading the town hall meetings.
As MCEDC was organized, Battin helped write the by-laws, was the leader in parliamentary procedures, which the organization operates under today, and worked tirelessly to increase membership, Hampton+Knodle said.
Battin, who just recently passed away, "needs to be in our thoughts tonight," Hampton+Knodle said.
The MCEDC efforts this past year have helped in bringing a competitive fiber optic broadband system into the county. CTI from Taylorville has begun its expansion into Nokomis and is headed to Hillsboro.
A partnership with the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln has been established which will lead to long term resources becoming available from charitable local gifts to many area projects.
Announcements were made for members to attend the CEO Marketplace on Tuesday, May 8 and the Legislative Breakfast Monday, May 14. Both events will be held at Lincoln Land Community College. in Litchfield.
MCEDC Community Assistance has garnered grants to the village of Coalton and the village of Panama this past year for equipment and improvements. Since 2005, the MCEDC has secured $730,142 in grants for new construction, new equipment, training and community health programs throughout the county.