The Northwest Regional Development Commission (NWRDC) is a body of 23 local elected officials and eight public interest members that represent counties, cities, townships, school districts and special interest groups who have formed a special purpose unit of government, as authorized by the Regional Development Act of 1969, to “develop plans and implement programs which address growth and development issues” in Northwest Minnesota.
The Commission appoints a board of directors made up of one member from each county and a chairperson elected at-large to conduct its monthly business.
The Commission also appoints advisory committees to help in setting specific program direction. Committees are active in Aging, Arts, Economic Development and Transportation.
The Commission has also entered into a cooperative agreement with the Northwest Minnesota Enterprise Fund Inc. to provide program guidance on the Revolving Loan Fund.
* Board Member ** Chairperson
Kimberley Johnson* Kennedy Townships
David Treumer Hallock Municipalities
Loren Younggren Hallock Counties
Gary Kiesow** Goodridge Counties
Loren Lusignan Grygla Townships
Gail Yutrzenka Argyle School Boards
Richard Mosher Grygla Municipalities
Lucas Spaeth* Halstad School Boards
Nathan Redland Halstad Counties
Sharon Josephson Fertile Townships
Crystal Stene Ada Municipalities
Bruce Lawrence* Thief River Falls Counties
Dave Erickson Thief River Falls Townships
Judy Jones Goodridge Municipalities
Elvera Cullen Thief River Falls At Large
Dante Steele Thief River Falls Minorities
Warren Strandell* East Grand Forks Counties
Keith Sistad Fosston Townships
Toby Strom McIntosh Municipalities
Gerald Amiot Crookston Labor
Gerald Jacobson Fertile Seniors
Kathleen Twite East Grand Forks Business
Norma Campos East Grand Forks Minorities
Red Lake County
Ronald Weiss* Red Lake Falls Watershed District
John Dudycha Plummer Counties
Kevin Reich Red Lake Falls Townships
Jim DuChamp Plummer Municipalities
Daryl Wicklund* Badger County
Debra Wiskow Greenbush Townships
Dr. Joe Bouvette
In Memory of
Dr. Joe Bouvette
The NWRDC lost a great friend in June when our Board Chair, Dr. Joe Bouvette, passed away during an accident near his cabin in Walker, MN.
Joe played an active role for more than 47 years on the Commission, going back to its first meeting on May 15, 1973 through June of 2020.
He became Chairman of the NWRDC Board in June of 1986, coming on during an extremely difficult period of staff transition and successfully leading NWRDC through two different physical moves between communities. He presided as NWRDC Board Chair for 34 years while also serving on Personnel and Budget Committees of the Commission.
His leadership was pivotal in growing the NWRDC from 14 to 35 personnel over the past seven years, overseeing regular operations while supporting the increase of Aging program capacity and reach to 21 counties, 14 counties in Emergency Operations/ Homeland Security Program, and providing oversight of a budget of more than five million dollars.
Joe was intensely proud of the NWRDC and staunchly supportive its staff and programs. He did not suffer fools; he was not afraid to ask tough questions and could dissect difficult arguments down to the details in quick fashion.
He was protective of his county and his region when he saw unfairness or injustice and his intention was always to listen, and be firm but fair in his dealings with everyone.
Joe was always interested to know the goings-on throughout the region and state. He built relationships with all kinds of people from the public and private arenas, and was always a proponent of the NWRDC and public service.
His leadership and friendship will be sorely missed.