Our programs and activities currently include the Rural Policy Forum, the AZ-M.A.S.H. project, and the Rural Community Profiles, as well as helping to link rural communities to resources and other innovative strategies, including the Arizona We Want.
We believe that rural communities need new approach to economic and community development. For the last three decades, rural communities have adopted strategies imposed upon them from outside experts that have heavily emphasized businesses that extract wealth from rural communities. As a result, many rural communities have seen the financial and social capital that they had built up during years of local economic growth evaporate, and with it, their economic futures. Our discontent with this situation, as well as our excitement about new models of grassroots development emerging in international settings, led us to embrace our state’s recent economic downturn as an opportunity to develop a new model for strengthening rural communities and economies through citizen led economic development. Not only have these “bottom-up” approaches to economic development proven themselves to be effective at producing significant economic impact, they are also proven to be more sustainable, less expensive, and able strengthen communities through the process of community problem solving.
In addition, Local First Arizona Foundation has developed new Technologies Workshops for rural community businesses that aim to include them in regional marketing and tourism strategies. In a quickly changing world, effective town marketing today is reliant upon peer to peer recommendations, customer feedback, and each town’s ability to capitalize on their unique businesses, attractions, and institutions, as well as positive social feedback to grow their visitor base.
Our MISSION is to equip communities with resources to advance rural Arizona while honoring their heritage in a changing world.
- AZRDC values rural communities of all size.
- AZRDC values a community’s “sense of place”.
- AZRDC values the diverse culture and heritage of rural Arizona.
- AZRDC values the economic impact rural Arizona contributes to the State.
AZRDC is committed to
- Building partnerships for rural development efforts
- Coordinating program development and implementation
- Supporting models for community success
- Identifying resources
- Filling in gaps
- Not duplicating, but rather adding value to existing efforts.
Rural Advisory Board
|Casey||Rooney||President/CEO||Cottonwood Economic Development Council|
|Karalea||Cox||Founder/owner||Common Sense Facilitation|
|D.L.||Wilson||County Supervisor||La Paz County|
|Bobby||Davis||Town of Payson||Gila County Economic Development|
|Paul||Watson||Assistant County Manager||Navajo County|
|Greg||LaVann||Sr. Vice President||Greater Yuma EDC|
|Danny||Smith||County Supervisor||Graham County|
|Evelyn||Casuga||Consultant||Central Arizona College|
|David||Gomez||County Supervisor||Greenlee County|
|Julie||Brooks||President and CEO||Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce|
|Levi||Esquerra||Director, Rural Policy Institute||NAU|
|and||Program Director, Center for American Indian Economic Development|
|Gary||Kellogg||President/CEO||Partnership for Economic Development|
Arizona M.A.S.H. project
The goal of the AZ-MASH program is to create an educational program in rural Arizona to address the shortage of health care professionals in rural communities. If we are going to change rural health care, we are going to have to stop trying to convince the doctors to love rural Arizona. We are going to have to convince the people who love rural communities to become doctors, nurses, pharmacists, x-ray technicians, optometrists, physical therapists, speech pathologists and audiologists. A program like AZ-MASH can help do that.
Rural Policy Forum
The 2014 Rural Policy Forum will connect rural economic development professionals, nonprofits, community leaders, business owners, and other rural stakeholders who are interested in sustaining rural communities. Our goal will be to hear strategies from national experts as well as learn about success stories around Arizona that will give our rural leaders the tools, resources and relationships they need to face current challenges.
Arizona is full of wondrous places that include small mining towns with main streets from the roaring 20’s, fields of grapes and the wineries we love, and arts and culture that defines our heritage and makes us proud to be Arizonans. Our community profiles will help you plan your next weekend getaway- we’ll help you find the perfect place to plan your trip whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend, a fun trip for the kids, or a historical tour, you will find it all right here. We want to show you what it feels like to live in Arizona. Explore the 48th state and you’ll fall in love!
Board of Directors
Angie Harmon, Board Chair
Social Investments Manager
Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Foundation
Dr. Jonathan Koppell, Board Vice-chair
Dean, School of Public Affairs
College of Public Programs, Arizona State University
Tammy McLeod, Board Treasurer
Vice President, Chief Customer Officer
Arizona Public Service (APS)
Jeffrey Brodin, Board Secretary
Brodin HR Law
Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer
Copper Point Mutual
Division President, James W. Imports and Quench Fine Wines
Hensley Beverage Distributing
Gallagher and Kennedy Law Offices
Vice President of Brand Strategy
President/CEO, Partnership for Economic Development
Lake Havasu City
Law Offices of Snell and Wilmer
Director, Rural Policy Institute
Program Director, Center for American Indian Economic Development
Northern Arizona University
Senior Vice President and General Council
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Accounting and Assurance Manager