Jewell County Community Development Holds Annual Meeting


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The Jewell County Community Development Association (JCCDA) held their annual meeting on Tuesday, January 9, 2017 at the Buffalo Roam.  Board members Commissioner Steve Greene, Chair Lisa Goodheart, Eric Bourbon, Brian Shulda, Leon Boden, Kristin Underwood, Mankato City Administer Chris Rhea, and Caleb Mahin heard a report from Coordinator Jenny Russell.  This year was captioned “Visioning for the Future” and saw the organization having a 500% return on investment to the Jewell County community.

In January 2017, JCCDA campaigned the Jewell County Commissioners and they approved funding seven people in the Rural Opportunity Zone program.  This program helps to pay up to a maximum of $15,000 over a five-year period toward student loan repayment of people who move back to Jewell County.  The County or an employer pays half and the State of Kansas pays the other half.

In March, the Jewell County community successfully raised over $50,000 in the Jewell County Match Month from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation.  JCCDA helped to coordinate this fundraising effort and Dane G. Hansen matched the amount to contribute $100,232.05 to a permanently endowed fund.  The interest off this account will be available in perpetuity to help finance projects in Jewell County.  Thank you to all who donated and be looking for another chance in March 2018.

In April, JCCDA helped to coordinate Community Clean Up days through the Jewell County communities.  Another Dane G. Hansen Foundation initiative, participating communities got a share of $20,000 to spruce up their surroundings.

Other Dane G. Hansen programs, Strategic Doing and First Impressions helped Jewell County citizens vision for the future and cleaned up the communities even further.  Jewell County Community Development has assisted and implemented both of these programs.

Also in 2017, JCCDA worked to get an Assisted Living Facility built in Jewell County.  JCCDA located a potential developer, established a committee to work on the project, and conducted community meetings for input.  The committee toured a similar facility in Plainville and worked with the Mankato City Council to work out details.  At the end of 2017, JCCDA did work toward securing a ten percent down payment for the community.  Assisted Living Committee members include Rick Diamond, Lisa Goodheart, Ila Nelson, Nancy Spiegel, Aaron Coil, Mankato Mayor Don Koester, and Trevor Elkins.

The Jewell County Comeback Story video series was started in 2017.  This video series profiled people who have returned to Jewell County, what they are doing now and the process that they took to get back to the area. Jewell County Community Development participated in the planning of and spoke at the Career Fair at Rock Hills High School to help expose students to different careers.  Also in 2017, Rock Hills students got to dream up their own ideas and write a business plan to put those ideas into action through the Entrepreneurship Fair spurred on by Growing Jewell County and JCCDA.  Thank you to all of the area businesses who donated to the event.

In 2017, Jewell County Community Development worked with sixteen existing and three potential businesses.  The Association helped bring in more than $281,572 to Jewell County.  That is almost a 500% return on investment.  JCCAA reaches over 10,000 people a month or 120,000 people a year through social and print media.

Thank you to Jewell County residents for your investment and confidence in Jewell County Community Development in 2017.  We look forward to serving Jewell County in the year to come.  If you are a business or organization in need of assistance, please contact our office at 785-378-7036 or jccda@nckcn.com.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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