Who We Are
Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) is the private, 501c3 non-profit local economic development organization serving the Baraga, Houghton, and Keweenaw County Region. KEDA is currently staffed by an executive director and a contracted membership and small business development coordinator. KEDA is supported by over 250 businesses, local governments, organizations and individuals.
We are a community driven by out leaders to be the best at utilizing our technology, education and business assets to build a diverse economic base that leverages and develops the unique strengths of each county and its people.
Our mission is to engage community leadership to start, retain, grow and attract companies that will increase the wealth of the region through a holistic and collaborative strategy that builds on the assets and opportunities present in the region.
Primary Focus of KEDA
- BB Test -- Start, retain and expand regional companies through regular outreach and delivery of support services
- BB Test -- Assist companies looking to locate to the region including custom proposals, available site and demographic information, incentive packaging and facilitation of access to all available resources
- BB Test -- Assist companies that need access to alternative financing including support through the KEDA and Houghton County revolving loan funds
- Identify opportunity to improve infrastructure to support business and coordinate packaging of projects for funding
- Assist communities to plan and implement improvements that will support their growth and development and retain and attract talent
- Collaborate with regional, state, and national partners and service providers to ensure effective support for regional businesses and communities
- Lead and support to initiatives designed to advance the region's economy
- Provide information on issues and activities relevant to our region's development as well as networking opportunities through monthly member meetings
Keweenaw Economic Development Strategic Plan
Our strategic plan was completed in 2015.
Goals are to:
- BB Test -- Foster Business Growth
- BB Test -- Improve Infrastructure
- BB Test -- Revitalize Our Communities
- BB Test -- Develop and Attract Talent
- BB Test -- Enhance Cultural and Recreational Opportunities
Vollwerth & Co.
Peninsula Powder Coating
Financial Services Representative,
Superior National Bank/
Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce
Peninsula Copper Industries
Iowa-Illinois Warehouse Services
Superior National Bank
MTU Office of Innovation & Industry Engagement
Major Accountant Executive
Upper Peninsula Power Co.
Regional Clinic Director
Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital
LJJ Contracting, LLC, Julien Properties & Quincy Woodrights
KEDA Executive Director
Amy Isaacson (Ex Officio)
Supervisor, Baraga Township
Executive Director, Baraga County Housing Commission
City of Hancock
Debbie Stouffer (Ex Officio)
Baraga County Chamber of Commerce
Tom Tikkanen (Ex Officio)
Houghton County & Superior Properties
Jerry Wuorenmaa (Ex Officio)
Western UP Planning & Development Region
Tess Ahlborn, P.E. (Ex Officio)
Keweenaw County Director, MDOT Center for Structural Durability at Michigan Technological University
Mary Sears (Ex Officio)
Jeff Ratcliffe, Executive Director
Jeff has a wide range of community and economic development experience. Over his 25 year economic development career in small rural communities he has worked with manufacturers and commercial businesses to identify financing and operational problems, obtain expansion financing and address management issues; worked with manufacturers and commercial businesses to solve employee screening, training, infrastructure and regulatory issues; worked with identified prospects to provide custom site location information package incentives and numerous business locations resulting in new jobs and millions of dollars in new investment; identified, packaged and managed infrastructure development to serve business expansions and locations; counseled start up and existing businesses, reviewed business plans, facilitated strategic planning, provided ongoing financial review and packaged loans for bank and EDC-managed revolving loan fund financing.
Sam Stonelake, Business Retention Specialist
As KEDA's business retention specialist, Sam's primary role he will be to conducting visits to manufacturing and other companies as directed by KEDA for purposes of determining needs, issues, and growth opportunities and providing appropriate referrals and follow up. Sam will also work to ensure effective communication with KEDA’s membership and provide support to various KEDA projects and initiatives.
Sam comes to KEDA with over 12 years of project and operations management and a dedication to getting the job done. Sam’s 10 years with Home Depot gives him a strong background in operations and project management, customer service, working with small companies, process management, problem solving, and a results oriented, goal driven approach.
Become a Partner
KEDA is supported by the financial investments made by the business, governments, institutions and organizations of the Keweenaw. To beome a supporter of economic development in the Keweenaw, contact a board member or the staff at KEDA. There are many ways you can support our efforts including direct financial support, breakfast sponsorships, scholarship sponsorships, donation of scholarship auction items, and being the highest bidder at our annual skilled trades auction.
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2019-2020 Meeting Schedule
All meetings will be held at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock unless otherwise noted. Doors open at 7:00 a.m. with the program running from 7:30-8:30 a.m.
October 9, 2019 - Building Partners for the Betterment of Care presentation by Randy Neiswonger, CEO, UP Health System Portage and Shannon Richter, COO, Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center
December 2019 - Keweenaw Holiday Hoopla
January 8, 2020 - KEDA Annual Report by Jeff Ratcliffe, Executive Director
February 12, 2020
March 11, 2020
April 8, 2020
May 13, 2020
June 10, 2020