By: Steve Arveschoug | Executive Director
The Montana Economic Developers Association (MEDA) gathered last week in Helena for our 2021 Summer Conference. This is the first time we have gathered in person in the last 15 months. It was indeed a pleasure to connect with my colleagues from across Montana (small town and city) in real time, including real handshakes and hugs.
The focus of the MEDA conference was to bring all of us together to consider a common set of priorities related to the future of community and economic development tools and resources. We used the Next Generation of Community and Economic Development Tools Analysis as the starting place for this important dialogue (MEDA and Montana Chamber’s signature analysis from October of 2020).
Even though we do similar work and share a passion for building our communities’ and supporting the economic growth of Montana, it is tough to get all of us on the same page. Our discussion in Helena was productive (even while seated shoulder to shoulder in an over-crowed Carroll College class room with no AC–maybe those conditions brought the best out of each of us) and I believe set the stage for fundamental changes for MEDA and the approach we take to community and economic development.
This work will continue as the MEDA Board will evaluate the summer conference takeaways at our August Board planning session. The goal: bring recommendation back to MEDA membership fall of 2021.