At the recent meeting of the Big Stone Area Growth board, agreements were approved to contract with Janine Teske of Clinton to serve as the new Big Stone County Navigator and the MNbump Initiative Coordinator. Also approved was a contract with the Ortonville Economic Development Authority (OEDA) to continue to engage the services of Vicki Oakes, EDA Director to assist with the MNbump Initiative, and a contract with Development Services, Inc., a consulting service that is currently working with BSAG.
At a past meeting of the BSAG board, a Request for Proposals (RFP) was approved to engage a contractor to work as a contracted employee for the continued promotion of the MNbump initiative. After posting the RFP and receiving proposals, the best option presented to the BSAG board was to combine the efforts of Teske to cover the areas of Clinton, Graceville, Beardsley, Odessa and Correll, and continue to use the OEDA Director, Oakes to cover the events and things happening in Ortonville. DSI wil conduct research, program evaluation, grants and manage project resources. Prior to these contracts, the Ortonville EDA and Director Vicki Oakes, provided most of these service as an in-kind contribution to the original grant that was received as a part of initiating MNbump. (for more info on the original grant and history of the MNbump, click “How did all the Pieces Come Together” on this link.)
In the position of County Navigator, Teske will be working with and between organizations, businesses, schools, churches and others to gather data and/or coordinate activities, connecting needs, resources and people. In addition to this she will be maintaining a countywide calendar of events and activities. Teske commented, “I’ve always wanted to figure out a way for the communities in Big Stone County to work together to help promote events in our area and to avoid having too many things overlap if possible. We have so many awesome things going on in the MNbump area and we need to encourage as many people to support them as we can.”
As the MNbump Coordinator, Teske will continue to provide a Web Portal (MNbump.com) and other social media outlets (Facebook, Google Calendar, Twitter and others) that individuals, communities and organizations have the opportunity to plug into. She will monitor and update the MNbump web site and Facebook page along with Oakes and the other MNbump local community bloggers. Teske has been an MNbump blogger for a few years, covering the Clinton area. Other bloggers include Mary Hillman covering Odessa and Correll, and Gina Gilsdorf covering Graceville. Gina and Mary will continue to assist in the blogging posts and Beardsley will now be covered by Matthew Meyer. Matthew will join our bloggers beginning in February. Janine, Vicki, or one of the other community bloggers will be seen covering area events such as the upcoming Graceville St. Patrick’s Day Parade and activities, Odessa’s 140th Celebration, Clinton’s Arctic Open, Beardsley’s Ice Bowling Event, Big Stone County’s Fair and Ortonville’s Cornfest, to name a few. Also look for upcoming promotions of youth based activities, school activities and other lifestyle activities that flourish in the MNbump.
Big Stone County and the MNbump area have so many great opportunities for people of all ages. The purpose of the MNbump initiative is to promote and retain a workforce to assist the area sustain and grow. DSI, Inc. will work with the BSAG board to continue to conduct research and program evaluations, explore and apply for grant opportunities where possible, and work to develop and manage resources.
Janine and Vicki are looking forward to continuing to assist community representatives and leaders with links that will allow them to add content to the MNbump web site and Facebook posts. Posts for the City of Ortonville will go through Vicki at the EDA office and the rest of the county should contact Janine. They will also work together to help educate our communities on the values of using social media marketing. If you have information to share with the MNbump.com, you can send a Facebook message on the MNbump messenger app or contact Janine Teske at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling or texting her at 320-808-3104. Vicki Oakes can be reached at the Ortonville EDA office at email@example.com or by calling 320-305-2434.