Delta County Economic Development will host its 21st Annual Meeting on Thursday April 20, 2017 at the Orchard City Town Hall. The event will begin at 5 p.m. with cocktails and appetizers. The meeting will be called to order at 6 p.m.
During the meeting the board will announce the results of the election of directors. The mail ballot by voting members is currently underway. Brad Harding (First Colorado National Bank), incumbent is seeking to be re-elected to a three year term. Cheryl Hines (Area Farmer), Jere Lowe (Earth Friendly Supply, Co), Paul Larmer (High Country News), and Darnell Place-Wise (Delta Area Chamber of Commerce), are seeking first terms on the DCED Board of Directors. The ballot also provides for write-in candidates.
Brad was born and raised in Paonia, CO and is a fifth generation resident of Delta County. He married a Cedaredge native andhave two young daughters (10 and 7 years-old) who are sixth-generation Delta County girls. College took him to the Front Range, first to the Colorado School of Mines and then to Colorado State University, where he graduated with a B.S. in Fisheries Biology. His career in Fisheries Biology was short-lived as his entrepreneurial side took over. He ran a diversified financial services office for 7 years in the Denver Tech Center, then moved to Aspen, CO and worked as the Vice President of the Commercial Banking Department For US Bank. In 2007, Brad was fortunate to be a member of the ownership group that purchased The First National Bank of Paonia-Delta. The bank was renamed, First Colorado National Bank, and he currently serve as President and Board Secretary. He is also the President of the Delta County Economic Development Board of Directors (since 2008) and serve as a Board Member of Delta Montrose Electric Association and Elevate Fiber. “I am absolutely thrilled with the events that have brought me back home! My wife and I consider ourselves very lucky to call Delta County home.”
Cheryl is a 4th generation resident of Delta County who was raised on a family peach and apple orchard in Delta County. Cheryl and her husband Randy operate a multigenerational farm in Delta County. The Hines are Independent Sales Reps for DuPont Pioneer Hi-bred and Certified Crop Advisors going on 34 years. Cheryl and Randy raised two sons and have 2 daughter-in-law’s and 3 grandsons. Cheryl has always been active in her community and church.
Cheryl had this to say about economic development and agriculture, “I believe economic development is important to Delta County if we want to sustain a self-sufficient, healthy community while maintaining the quality of life that we enjoy so much. My passion is agriculture. To be able to have sustainable agriculture in Delta County so that it is a viable option for future generations.”
Paul is the executive director and publisher of High Country News, an award-winning non-profit news organization that covers the American West and is based in Paonia, Colorado, where he and his family have lived since 1992. At HCN, Paul is responsible for managing 25 employees and a $3 million dollar budget for a 20-member board of directors. He and his wife, Lisa Cook, raised two children, Zoe and Zachary, who attended the Paonia and Hotchkiss schools and participated in numerous sports and 4-H programs. Paul holds a Master’s Degree in Natural Resource Policy from the University of Michigan, and is deeply interested in how government, private industry and non-profits can work together to create vibrant rural economies.
“The primary reason I want to join DCED is to give something back to the community that has nurtured my family for the last 25 years. It would be an honor to work with DCED on projects that build on Delta County's incredible assets to create a more vibrant community. I would bring a deep understanding of communication work in the non-profit realm to help DCED establish itself more firmly in the minds of Delta County citizens as a force for good. I also bring extensive fundraising experience and it would be rewarding to help grow DCED.”
Jere is a Colorado Native born at Fitzsimmons Army Base in 1972 and raised in the Denver Metro area. Jere moved to Boulder right after high school and spent the next 17+ years in Boulder County. While there, Jere gained experience working at all levels of business working for Kroger, and then GE.
Jere was a top performer at these organizations. In addition to the many positions he held and special projects he oversaw for the company, he was in retail and corporate management during his years at the Kroger Companies. During his tenure at GE he was GEITD’s Rookie of the year in 1999 and then participated in many Six Sigma and Green/Black Belt special projects for which he was recruited as a development consultant.
In September 2005 on a trip to Telluride, Jere discovered Paonia and the North Fork Valley. He purchased his place in Paonia in March of 2006 and launched Earth Friendly Farms ltd soon thereafter. Jere and his wife Stacy were married in June of 2006. In early 2008 Jere relocated full time to Paonia and the NF Valley. The economy was already crashing and Jere learned quickly how bad the economy was in Delta County and how hard it was to make a living as a first time farmer. Daughter Lily was born later that year. After struggling for a few years to just keep their heads above water, Jere and Stacy started the family business now known as Earth Friend Supply Company ltd. Today Earth Friendly Supply Company offers Colorado’s widest selection of organic growing inputs, hard goods and consulting services and has become a great success that pulls in customers from all over Colorado and beyond.
Darnell is the Executive Director of the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce; Darnell’s ties to community of the Delta run deep, having grown up in Delta, “I want nothing but success for our area; whatever I can do to help ensure that, I am raising my hand to help make that happen!” Darnell said recently. “This is where we are choosing to raise our daughter; I’d like to help bring Delta County back to that which I remember growing up, where every single store front had a vibrant business behind it. My role as Executive Director at the Chamber is complimentary to Delta County Economic Development’s mission; it makes sense to create that continuity; I am excited about the potential!”
Darnell has extensive experience in business development having worked in the professional development arena. For over 10 years Darnell worked as a Business Development Consultant for Lore International Institute; a Korn/Ferry Company, a professional development organization providing executive education, executive coaching, and consulting solutions to organizations worldwide. In her role Darnell was responsible for seeking out, developing, and maintaining client relationships, acting as a thought leader with and for the client organization, and managing all aspects of client deliverables. Such deliverables included business development, project management, and service, in industries such as Engineering & Construction, Oil & Gas, Information Technology, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Telecommunications, and Food & Agriculture.