What do you want to be when you grow up?
Common question, yet, I’d bet that “an economic development professional” is not a common answer. Growing up, I’d never thought that I’d make a career out of economic development, however, that’s exactly what I did. And I wouldn’t change it for anything. An organization that has helped my professional development along the way is the Minnesota Economic Development Foundation (MNEDF).
The MNEDF is a 501 (c) 3 private non-profit corporation, formed for the purpose of building stronger Minnesota communities through economic development outreach, education, training and initiatives. MNEDF Chair and Economic Development Association of Minnesota President’s Award winner Patrick Connoy says “matching driven professionals with communities and organizations with a commitment to economic development action produces measurable outcomes for the individuals and communities that the Foundation supports.”
|Patrick Connoy, MNEDF Chair & recipient of the 2015 EDAM President’s Award|
I was first introduced to the MNEDF several years ago, when I was awarded a scholarship to assist me in achieving an economic development certificate through Hamline University. Since then, I received my Masters in Public Administration, and started my own economic development firm,Decklan Group, in 2012.
Recognizing the importance of economic professionals, I wanted to give back by giving a student an opportunity to not only learn more about the profession, but to provide them with the experiences to learn why it is such an important, and crucial field in today’s world. Because of the Foundation’sgenerous intern scholarship, and focus on economic development, we were able to employ an intern for three months; not only did he assist in numerous projects across the state, he was given invaluable experiences that will impact him forever.
I am so grateful to have this organization in our wonderful state, and I hope that they continue to focus on providing scholarships to encourage students to pursue a career in the field I love.