This year is starting out as one of transition for the Clarke County Development Corporation. With two board members departing in January to pursue personal and professional paths (Dave Walkup to spend more time closer to family and Ryan Lundquist to focus on growing his business), the board had openings for new representation. This provided the opportunity to bring in perspectives for future development from any sector of the county. With the addition of long-time Clarke County lawyer, Elisabeth Reynoldson and Osceola native and Altec Environmental Health and Safety Specialist, Dan Sullivan, the CCDC brings two unique voices and viewpoints to the table.
Elisabeth Reynoldson is an award-winning lawyer who has been practicing law in Clarke County for over 27 years. Serving as a legal intern with then County Attorney Gary Kimes during the summer of 1991 while also clerking with the firm that would ultimately be Reynoldson & Van Werden, L.L.P., she quickly realized her passion for law and community service and hasn’t looked back.
From wills and trusts, adoptions, taxes and family law to professional legal services for business formation and more, Elisabeth considers her practice a “Cradle-To-Grave” service for her clients and the community as a whole.
“I have a genetic predisposition for community service,” said Reynoldson. “Acting on the opportunity to serve on the CCDC board adds another path to making sure the community is growing and moving in the right direction.”
Reynoldson’s focus on the CCDC board will be not only to utilize her passion for community service but to address the need for professional development throughout Clarke County. Twenty-seven years ago, she was the last lawyer to move to and commit to a practice in Clarke County.
“Rural Iowa has always experienced challenges recruiting and retaining professionals,” said Reynoldson. “Working with the Development Corporation I hope to bring to light the best of what Osceola and Clarke County has to offer.”
Dan Sullivan was quick to point out that he returned to Osceola to give his family the unforgettable experiences he had growing up here. After graduating from Clarke Community Schools in 2003, Dan received an MS degree in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Northern Iowa and started working for Koch Fertilizer in Fort Dodge, Iowa first as a Chemist and then as an Environmental Manager. After 8 years there his desire to bring his wife, Emily, and their three children home to Osceola became a reality when the opportunity to work at Osceola’s Altec Industries was presented. As Altec’s Environmental Health and Safety Specialist, he works within the Altec infrastructure to identify and eliminate workplace hazards, minimize Altec’s environmental footprint, and comply with federal, state, and local regulations.
Dan’s decision to join the CCDC board came after realizing its impact on the community as well as the sheer number of programs he’d be able to support serving on the board.
“I knew the [CCDC] board did a lot around the community, but the number of programs they provide was a big surprise,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan’s focus while serving with the CCDC board will be on growing local businesses and helping them become more sustainable. His position at Altec and their standing in the manufacturing sector will prove to be a great asset to the board and help with programs like the Industrial Tech Advisory Board. One idea he’s considering is working with local manufacturers, construction companies, SWCC, and others to develop an industrial trades certification program.
“Getting a program like this integrated at the high school level will give our kids a jump start on good, sustainable careers,” said Sullivan. “Building a larger workforce with skills tailored to our local industry is critical for future growth in our area.”
Other plans Dan discussed include the housing incentive programs the CCDC has been working on as well as a skilled trades outreach program to recruit for local manufacturers.
“I think it’s everyone’s wish to help make the community they grew up in better,” said Sullivan. “I’m honored to serve on the board and look forward to helping continue its history of success.”
Both Reynoldson and Sullivan joined the CCDC board in their first official meeting on February 13th. In that meeting, they took quick action on helping the board with grant proposal considerations as well as planning for community programs slated for 2019 and beyond.
“We’re thrilled Elisabeth and Dan have come aboard,” said Bill Trickey, Executive Director of the Clarke County Development Corporation. “I think their unique perspectives and dedication to the future of our community will make quite a positive impact.”