Economic Development Doer Bees

National Economic Development Week runs from May 8 to May 13, 2017. I have asked a few individuals in regional economic development to write guest articles for the Loveland Business Development Center (LBDC) this week. Our communities would not be as strong as they are without these people leading the charge. I also want to acknowledge a few people who have been instrumental in keeping the wheels of economic development turning smoothly – the doer bees; supporting the leaders in our local economic development programs.

I will begin by mentioning Terri Donovan-Keirns. I began working at the Larimer SBDC program in July 2008. I transferred to the Loveland SBDC in November 2009 as program coordinator. Terri replaced me at the Larimer SBDC at that time. I have had the honor of working with Terri since then, as she is still a valuable asset to that program. I am sure you have heard the phrase, “everyone is replaceable.” I don’t believe that is the case with Terri. She is one in a million. Among the vast list of her work attributes, she has the ability to maintain a calm demeanor, no matter how stressful the situation, while keeping a smile on her face. Terri has been involved in my ongoing training related to SBDC regulations. This can be an exhausting task. She is methodical, patient and thorough in her training style. I am so grateful to have Terri to turn to when trying to master the procedures of my job.

Kat Rico was part of the Larimer SBDC team until April 21, 2017. Kat began working at that center in August of 2012 through the Front Range Community College work study program. Her skill set with digital marketing is unmatched and will be greatly missed. Kat’s background in coding and technology helped the center to reach a sophisticated level with their marketing efforts. She also was a contributing writer for Larimer SBDC & LBDC Success Stories and blog posts. I can easily see Kat as a future SBDC director. I will be following her and cheering her on as her career develops.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Nikki Garshelis. Nikki was in a support role under Betsey Hale when Betsey was the City of Loveland economic development director. Nikki is one of the most accomplished administrative staff members that I have ever been associated with. Nikki is the go-to person if seeking Loveland information or specific contact information of individuals. Betsey held the Annual Loveland Business Appreciation Breakfast and Nikki was the doer bee behind that event. Great job with all the details of putting those events together, Nikki! She has had a stellar reputation in the Loveland community. Nikki now works as business services coordinator at the Development Center (DC) office for the City of Loveland planning, permitting and building.

Annette Gilbert replaced Nikki Garshelis as business services coordinator in the Economic Development Department at the City of Loveland, now working under Kelly Jones, director of the department. Although I have not had a great deal of interaction with Annette, I have heard only glowing remarks about her capabilities. Nikki once said to me, when talking about an admin at the DC, “She’s one of us.” Annette is included in this group. This group is made up of support staff who have a work ethic that is rare in today’s world. Their main goal, each day, is to have everything running smoothly in their department/program. They don’t seek the limelight. Their motivation is to make their boss look good and to make sure their department/program is adding significant value to others. A focus on solutions and not problems, would be a common thread.

Economic development works best with two personality types – the big picture person and the detail oriented person. If you get the right combination, wonderful things happen and the community thrives. It is an exciting time in Northern Colorado for economic development. We are fortunate to have extremely talented people in positions that impact the economic growth in the region.

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