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Our Board
of Directors

Board Members

Nick Bowers

Bless Parker

Kirk Williams

Nick Highsmith

Dr. Kyle Stafford

Bo Reese

Art Cousatte

Michael Hart

Mike Furnas

Chief Craig Harper

Blake Flaming

Shon Taylor

Executive Committee

Heather Lillard, Chairperson

Brett Hayes, Vice Chairperson

Cameron Wilkins, Secretary/Treasurer

Construction Site


A Commitment to Innovation and Implementation

A vibrant economy is the result of deliberate choices and actions. All communities need an organization that wakes up every day charged with improving the health of the local economy.

That's what economic developers and economic development organizations do.

The Miami Area Economic Development Service (MAEDS) utilizes our region’s resources -- land, labor, and capital -- in the most efficient manner to make it easier and more attractive to do business with our community. We accomplish that goal through five strategic areas of focus:

Did you know that about 80 percent of

new jobs and capital investment comes

from companies that already exist in

our community?

The main goals of business retention

are to provide assistance with issues

that could force a company to fail or

close, and to prevent companies from

relocating to a new community.

A successful BRE program also

provides data and intelligence to

strategically attract new companies to

a community and foster the creation

of new business.


Our Business Retention and Expansion program is a consistent comprehensive approach to help Miami area businesses and industry. Our priority is to keep them in the Miami region!

Our focus is to:

  • Establish and maintain an active Business Retention and Expansion Committee.

  • Establish and maintain a rotating schedule for visits and activities with area businesses and industry.


To  succeed in the U.S. workforce, some post-secondary education is almost


In today's economy, both businesses and workers are highly mobile.

Companies choose to locate in places that have the skilled workers they need.

Communities must work at attracting, retaining and growing a skilled workforce.

In fact, a skilled workforce is the number one reason a business will choose to

locate in a community. In a world where every person and every place are in

competition, workforce development strategies are a win-win for both

businesses and workers.


Our focus is to:

  • Continue to work in partnership with community, state, tribal, and other

       partners to find and train the area workforce.

This challenge is greater than ever right now, and we are excited about plans for 2023 -- along with our regional partners -- to assist businesses in this area.


Communication with all active partners is vital to a successful economic development program. We work side-by-side with all area municipalities, county government, state leaders, and tribal governments to create a unified economic development effort that benefits all area stakeholders.


Our focus is to:

  • Meet with every tribal leader on a quarterly basis.

  • Attend Inter-Tribal Council meetings, minimum of once per quarter.

  • Attend Ottawa County Board of Commissioners’ meetings regularly.

  • Attend Miami City Council meetings on a regular basis, including the presentation of a MAEDS update once per quarter.

  • Attend area municipal meetings on a quarterly basis.

  • Work with the City of Miami to ensure alignment with the city’s strategic plan.


A good economic development plan allows our community’s vision to transition into reality by merging the needs of residents and businesses with the goals of our municipal, county, state, and tribal government partners.


That plan helps to ensure that resources are allocated in a manner to positively affect business activity, job creation, and income generation.

For MAEDS to develop, implement and maintain a successful economic development plan, revenue growth for the organization must remain a priority.

Our focus is to:

  • Consistently meet with local business and industry leaders, as well as area financial institutions, to stress the importance of continued support.

  • Continue to maintain and expand the use of our Revolving Loan Fund not only to help foster business development and expansion, but also to bring in additional revenue for the organization.

  • Continue to work with area municipal, county, and tribal governments about the importance of the organization and encourage all partners to buy into our efforts.


New businesses create jobs and opportunities -- they also bring in new tax revenues, lowering the burden on residents.

They also:

  • Participate in civic groups and community initiatives.

  • Help diversify the local economy.

  • Enliven and revitalize neighborhoods and downtowns.


We take great pride in making a priority of assisting our local businesses, but we also continue efforts to welcome new, good-paying jobs to the area.

Our focus is to:

  • Highlight what the Miami region has to offer.

  • Collaborate closely with area Native American tribes.

  • Continue to build public/private partnerships to foster economic development.

  • Utilize assets like our 54,000-square foot spec building and our Revolving Loan Fund to attract new business and industry.

  • Respond to all requests for proposals that are beneficial to our communities.


Efforts that prepare people for education and available careers, and connect businesses to skilled workers.

For example:

  • Job training and retraining.

  • Vocational education.

  • Basic skills (literacy, math).

  • Hard skills (welding, IT).

  • Soft skills (work ethic, attitude).

Construction Site
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