Rhett Coon

Rhett Coon


“Sustainable development is the pathway to the future Dawson County Economic Development Council (DCEDC) wants for all.
It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance. DCEDC welcomes the opportunity to work with you to help attain your business goals and objective.”


Rhett Coon, President DCEDC, Owner-Coon Construction
Craig J. Anderson, Past DCEDC President, Retired Dawson County Sheriff
Doug Buxbaum, Dawson County Commissioner, Rancher
Jim Hicks, Retired MidRivers Communications
Mike Gibbs, Owner Gibbs Equipment, CarQuest Auto Parts
Parker Powell, CEO Glendive Medical Center
Paul Hopfauf, Manager Montana Dakota Utilities
Ross Farber, Retired Superintendent Glendive Public Schools
Scott R. Mickelsen, Ph.D., President Dawson Community College


Dawson County Economic Development Council History: Economic development in Dawson County started in the early 80’s with the formation of Glendive Forward. Glendive Forward was the first attempt towards a meaningful effort at economic development. The start of Glendive Forward lead to the development of the Dawson County Economic Development Council (DCEDC) in 2000. The initial goal of the Council was to raise funds to establish an office and Board. A mill rate of 1% was passed in 2000 to help fund the startup of the Council. This was renewed in June, 2006. Local businesses make up the lion’s share of investment in DCEDC, as they see the potential of a dedicated trained staff.

In 2002 the Council under Don Kettner’s leadership, contracted with Montana Economic Development Association to complete a community assessment, which discussed the economic goals and needs of the area. Upon completion of the assessment in 2003, the Montana Economic Development Association Resource Team conducted a town hall meeting, with over 500 residents taking part. The MEDA Assessment gave direction to the group. The following year a strategic plan for development was created and the search for a director was under way. The DCEDC formed a new corporation, filed for non-profit status, and opened their office at 204 N. Kendrick in Glendive in 2005. Executive Director Gene Buxcel, a former bank president and county commissioner in eastern Montana, led DCEDC for two years and spearheaded the senior housing project, Makoshika Estates, a high need recognized by the MEDA Assessment. In the Spring of 2009 it was ready for occupants.

In late 2008 Amy Deines became DCEDC’s Executive Director. At which time she finished work on Makoshika Estates and started helping retain and attract new business. One of the highlights in recent years has been the establishment of the Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) and Convention Visitors Bureau (CVB).

January 2015 Cathy Kirkpatrick started as the Executive Director with a focus on supporting current businesses and assisting new businesses. In July DCEDC hosted a Small Business Roadshow with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. The workshop brought together local businesses to learn about the value of a marketing plan, networking with other business owners and the resources available through the State of Montana Economic Development Office.

On September 1, 2015 DCEDC relocated the office to Dawson Community College to create a partnership with education and economic development.

Some of our largest employers are BNSF Railway, Glendive Medical Center, Glendive Public Schools, Mid- Rivers Communications, Dawson Community College just to name a few. We are home of nationally known manufacturing company, SRS Crisafulli and Thatcher Chemical. This region is served by Cape Air at Dawson County Airport.