Our Leadership

Rhett Coon

Rhett Coon

President

“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, DCEDC Board President.

Jason Stuart

Jason Stuart

Executive Director

Our Board

Rhett Coon

President

Glendive City Council

Mike Gibbs

Owner – Gibbs Equipment

Parker Powell

CEO – Glendive Medical Center

Paul Hopfauf

Vice President

Manager – Montana-Dakota Utilities

Jim Hicks

Retired – Mid-Rivers Communications

Stephen Schreibeis

Superintendent – Glendive Public Schools

Doug Buxbaum

Dawson County Board of Commissioners

Sally Knapp

President – Stockman Bank of Glendive

David Steinbron

Pastor – Evangelical Church of Glendive

Cathy Kirkpatrick

Government Relations Specialist – ONEOK

Scott Mickelsen

President – Dawson Community College

Our Story

Organized economic development efforts in Dawson County started in the early 1980’s with the formation of Glendive Forward. Glendive Forward was the first attempt towards a meaningful effort at local economic development. The start of Glendive Forward led 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, and local voters approved a countywide 1-mill levy in 2000 to help fund the startup of the Council. Voters reapproved the mill levy in June 2006. While partially publicly-funded via the 1-mill levy, the majority of DCEDC’s annual funding comes from local businesses and individuals as Member Investors, as they recognize the benefit of having an organization solely dedicated to driving new economic development in the community.

Under the leadership of Don Kettner, in 2002 the Council contracted with the Montana Economic Development Association (MEDA) to complete a community assessment, which helped identify the economic goals and needs of the area. Upon completion of the assessment in 2003, the MEDA 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 underway. The DCEDC formed a new corporation, filed for non-profit status, and opened its first office at 204 N. Kendrick in Glendive in 2005, with former bank president and county commissioner Gene Buxcel serving as the DCEDC’s first Executive Director.

In late 2008 DCEDC welcomed Amy Deines as its new Executive Director. During her tenure, DCEDC led the way in establishing the Glendive Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID), creating a local grant program supported by a $1 per night bed tax on local hotel rooms, and was also instrumental in the establishment of the Glendive Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). DCEDC administered both the TBID and CVB programs under its umbrella from their formation until summer 2017, when management of both entities was transferred to the Glendive Chamber of Commerce.

In January 2015, Cathy Kirkpatrick became the new DCEDC Executive Director with a focus on supporting current businesses and assisting new businesses. On September 1, 2015, DCEDC relocated its office to Dawson Community College in order to build a stronger partnership with the college.

In January 2018, DCEDC welcomed Jason Stuart as its fourth Executive Director since its founding.

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.