Passionate, Proven, Prosperous Year for EDGE

Monday, July 04, 2016

The EDGE Annual Meeting and Banquet was held on Wednesday, January 13th with approximately 135 member-investors attending the event. Beckie Cromer, EDGE Executive Director, served as Master of Ceremonies.

The banquet is an annual event that brings together so many volunteers who do so much for the community. EDGE’s top accomplishments for 2015 were showcased in a display and the Annual Report was distributed to investors at the meeting. The most notable success stories of 2015 included the resurgence of the food processing industry with RKFC launching production in October, the groundbreaking on the multi-million dollar, Phase II Excel Development project and the announcement by Southeast Community College that Falls City was chosen as a location for one of six regional learning centers.  EDGE President, Bart Keller, summarized the evening’s event by saying, “Our efforts are producing strong results in a variety of areas including recruitment, workforce development and housing all of which are important components of our economic development program”.

This year's keynote speaker was Dr. Paul Illich, President of Southeast Community College. Dr. Illich gave an update on the learning center progress, the planned facility improvements for the Beatrice, Milford and Lincoln campuses as well as updates on enrollment.  Southeast Community College is working hard to devise a plan that will serve the region’s vast education needs.  Falls City looks to initially focus on manufacturing and health care training initiatives.  An advisory committee, which will be supported by specialized focus groups, will oversee the programming that will be offered in the area.  Programming will serve specific needs as identified by our diverse employer base.

Marc Morehead, Vice President of the Investor and Community Relations committee, awarded F&M Bank with EDGE’s seventh annual Investor of the Year Award.  Marc highlighted F&M’s accomplishments by saying, “F&M Bank made significant improvements to their iconic building located in the heart of downtown Falls City.  Their interior remodel project included a complete redesign of their long-standing space and their new digs were unveiled during an open house on November 1st.”

The F&M project can be described as a complete facelift and includes a new lobby area which includes a beverage station and a TV, updated offices, integrated teller stations and much more.  It is a completely different bank when you walk in the door and they have created a new and improved area for their valuable customers to do business.  “Pardon Our Dust but Improve We Must” adorned the entrances of the bank for most of 2015 and customers and staff alike endured the ups and downs that come with a major improvement project but the community is lucky to have such a beautiful, updated addition to the Main Street district.  F&M Bank employs 17 people, invested more than $3/4 of a million dollars in their community, and utilized several local contractors in their project.  We thank them for choosing Falls City as a place to do business, make investments and create jobs. Mark concluded his presentation by saying, “On behalf of the EDGE Board of Directors, our Investors, the people of Falls City and Richardson County we say thank you for your outstanding community investment!” 

Beth Sickel, Past President of EDGE and Executive Vice President at F&M Bank, was the presenter of the award ceremony where five deserving recipients (See EDGE Presents Community Based Awards on page 2) were recognized as part of the evening’s program. 

During the business meeting Tim Heckenlively was elected to serve another 3-year term as a General Director. EDGE President Bart Keller turned over the gavel to incoming President, Ray Joy, and concluded the meeting by saying, “We are always excited to have new members get more involved with EDGE at the Board and Committee levels. If you want to find out more about becoming involved in the exciting things EDGE is doing, please talk to Beckie Cromer or any Board member. I urge you to get involved and help make a difference in Falls City and Richardson County.”

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