On June 17th, the Iowa Economic Development Authority Director, Debi Durham, will be visiting Benton County.


Ms. Durham was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad in January of 2011 as director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED). In collaboration with Gov. Branstad and Legislators, Durham worked to restructure the IDED into a public-private partnership to update and improve the way Iowa’s economic development programs and services are delivered. This partnership is now known as the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA).


As the director of IEDA, Durham plays an integral role in economic development initiatives across the state including: Home Base Iowa, High Quality Jobs program, New Jobs Training programs, site location and development, expanding Iowa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, among others.


With this visit, Durham will get an insight to the needs of our business climate and communities here in Benton County. She will analyze the potential in our communities and talk about how we can implement the IEDA initiatives in Benton County. As we come together, we have the opportunity to ask questions about building upon successes and overcoming struggles that our communities are facing. The director will also have a more in-depth perspective of what we are doing to attract, expand and maintain business in Benton County, while providing feedback on what we can improve upon. It is very important for her to understand that we have many dedicated individuals and leaders that are taking an active role to bring new opportunities to their community.


Benton Development Group is hosting a luncheon for business representatives, local elected officials and community members to ask Durham questions about their business or community needs. Durham will also be speaking about helping position rural communities for continued growth and what resources are available to help. While this gives the attendees a better idea of what resources and knowledge are available, it also gives BDG the opportunity to collaborate with businesses and communities to identify solutions to each unique set of struggles.


The luncheon will begin at 12:00pm at the Van Horne Community Center. There is no cost to attend; however, BDG is requesting that attendees register for the event to ensure we are adequately prepared. To register, please visit the BDG homepage at www.bdgia.com or call the BDG office. Registrations are due by June 10th.