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Economic Development Director to Visit Kossuth and Palo Alto Counties

By Staff | Mar 27, 2012

DEBI DURHAM Director, Iowa Economic Development Authority

The Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corporation is hosting a CEO Network Meeting on Tuesday, April 3, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Algona. Special guest speaker will be Debi Durham, director of Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Debi will speak on the new organizational dynamics of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, financial assistance programs, and the state of Iowa’s budget.

Debi will be in Palo Alto County on Monday, April 2, visiting area companies. Later that day, there will be an After 5 Meet & Greet at the Wild Rose Casino in Emmetsburg from 5 to 7 p.m. On Tuesday, April 3, Debi will be visiting Kossuth County and meet with several companies.

Debi Durham was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad in January 2011. As one of her first orders of business, Durham worked with the Governor and legislators to restructure the department to create a public-private partnership to update and improve Iowa’s delivery of economic development services. That led to the creation of the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress the umbrella organization for the new structure. Durham now serves as the director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the public arm that replaces IDED and oversees the traditional economic development programs.

Prior to leading Iowa’s economic development initiatives, Durham served as president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce since July 1995. She also served as president of The Siouxland Initiative (TSI), the economic development corporation serving the tri-state metropolitan area, and the Siouxland Chamber Foundation. In both 2007 and 2008, TSI was recognized as one of the “Top-Ten” economic develop- ment groups in the nation.

In June 2009, the Downtown Rotary Club in Sioux City recognized Durham as their Key Way award winner. The annual recipient is recognized as a local leader who has “contributed greatly to the health and prosperity of the area through business and community involvement.” Durham was also recognized by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry as one of “Five Iowa Women You Should Know” in 2007. In 2003, she was named to the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame and was the Republican Lt. Gubernatorial candidate in 2002.

Durham holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Marketing and Management degree from Missouri Southern State University. She and her husband Joel have two children.