About Us

Hostess Billboard


HISTORY


About us – the Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas (RDA) was incorporated on July 1, 1993. The mission of the RDA is to proactively promote economic growth of the region through industrial recruitment, expansion, and training enhancements.

The primary goals of the RDA are, the creation of skilled jobs that benefit the community; to encourage the retention of existing employment within the community; and create an atmosphere that provides growth opportunities to industry.

The RDA serves as the lead organization and key point of contact for the economic development activities for Lyon County, and Emporia, Kansas. The RDA partners are City of Emporia, Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce, Emporia Enterprises,  Emporia Main Street, Emporia State University, Flint Hills Technical College, and Lyon County.


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The spirit of cooperation, between these partners has yielded over $900 million in new buildings and equipment investment, and over 2,000 direct jobs. The new companies locating in the Emporia/Lyon County area are Simmons Pet Food, CAMSO, Norfolk Iron & Metal, Hills Pet Nutrition Inc., and  Westar Energy-Emporia Energy Center. Existing company expansions include Detroit Reman, Hostess Brands, EVCO, Hopkins Manufacturing, Birch Communications, Kansa Technology LLC, VEKTEK, Tyson Foods, Glendo, and Fanestil.


BOARD OF DIRECTORS



The Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas carries out its mission under the policies developed by a seven-member voting board of directors appointed by the four member organizations City of Emporia, Lyon County, Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce, and Emporia Enterprises. The City of Emporia, and Lyon County appoint two board members each; Emporia Enterprises, and the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce appoint one board member each. Those six board members then elect a board member at large.

The Board of Directors has seven ex-officio non-voting board members who serve as long as they hold their respective position. They are Emporia City Manager, Emporia City Attorney, Lyon County Counselor, Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO, the Emporia Main Street Director, Emporia State University President, and Flint Hills Technical College President.

OFFICERS

APPOINTED BY

Rob Gilligan, Chair

City
City of Emporia
Jim Kessler, Vice-Chair
City
Mark McAnarney, Treasurer
Ex-Officio
City Manager
Jeanine McKenna, Secretary
Ex-Officio
President/CEO Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce

BOARD MEMBERS

 APPOINTED BY

   
Pat Wiederholt
County 
Flint Hills Bank
Dan Slater

County

  Lyon County Commissioner
Rick Tidwell Emporia Enterprises Valu-Net FIBER
Rob Gilligan
City 
City Commissioner
Mel Scheller
At Large  
Jim Shepherd
Chamber
2S, Inc.
Jim Kessler City
Casey Woods
Ex-Officio
Emporia Main Street Director
Marc Goodman Ex-Officio County Attorney
Christine Montgomery
Ex-Officio
City Attorney
Dr. Allison Garrett Ex-Officio President of ESU
Dr. Dean Hollenbeck Ex-Officio President of FHTC

STAFF


The RDA staff serves as a confidential single point of contact for companies considering the Emporia region for a competitive business expansion or location.

Kent Heermann, CEcD President
kheermann@emporiarda.org
620-342-1600 x 16

Robin Nelson, Executive Assistant
rnelson@emporiarda.org
620-342-1600 x 19