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Monroe County EDC hosts 2023 Annual Stakeholder Dinner: ‘Driving Economic Growth in Southwest Illinois’

The Monroe County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) held its 2023 Annual Stakeholder Dinner on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, at the Falls Banquet and Reception Center in Columbia, Ill.

A capacity crowd of area leaders consisting of  elected officials; business leaders; state and regional agency personnel, and numerous other stakeholder leaders from the region gathered to hear about plans for growth and economic development in the region. 

“We are very excited about the development opportunities in the region and the potential for this Corporation to drive those forward,” commented Board Chairman Cole Stenzel. “This organization consists of over 30 public and private sector leaders with the commitment, expertise, and leadership to make things happen.” 

Executive Director Edie Koch was excited about the progress the organization has made in the last few years. “Members are energized and motivated.  We are constantly exploring ways to improve the region and make it more competitive,” said Koch. 

Recent successes connecting businesses impacted by COVID to needed resources, implementing record numbers of new business projects due to the new Monroe-Randolph County Enterprise Zone program, and an Economic Recovery Plan to be released at the end of the year covering the municipalities in Monroe County,  Red Bud in Randolph County, and Dupo in St. Clair County,  were among initiatives mentioned by Koch.  

Mary Lamie, executive vice president of Multimodal Enterprises for Bi-State Development and  Kristin Richards, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, were featured speakers at the event. Both Lamie and Richards highlighted the importance of Southwest Illinois, to the region and to the state respectively,  and commended the work that the Monroe County EDC is doing. 

The event ended with much-deserved recognitions of the Kaskaskia Regional Port District; H. R. Gentsch, CEO and president of Harrisonville Telephone Company; and Joe Koppeis, owner and president of Admiral Parkway Inc., for  outstanding service to the region and its economic progress.


This story also appears in the November 2023 print edition of the Illinois Business Journal.

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