October's Board Member Spotlight is on Nathan Schneider, Vice President, Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC

Thursday, October 01, 2020

As fall is now here, and 2020 is getting closer to being in the rearview mirror (good riddance), we hope you and your families and respective economic development organizations are well!

Mid America EDC like all other organizations has continued to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since we aren't able to network in-person quite yet, we wanted to share backgrounds, experiences, and advice from our volunteer board members from across the Mid America EDC Region.

So, today is the first edition of our "Board Member Spotlight" newsletter that we plan to send out monthly (hopefully this is more than just another newsletter that gets deleted????).

Our first spotlight is Nathan Schneider, Vice President at the Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC. Enjoy!



Q.1 Tell us about yourself! Why are you in economic development? How long have you been on the Mid-America EDC board?

My name is Nathan Schneider and I am the Vice President of the Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC in Bismarck, ND. I have been in the industry for over 10 years and have been in my particular role for about the last 2. I am a life-long resident of North Dakota and am proud to promote my state and community as a place for business and talent. I continue to learn everyday and try to take advantage of every opportunity to be the best economic developer I can. I am a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute and achieved my Certified Economic Developer designation in 2017. I serve on the Economic Development Association of North Dakota’s Board of Directors and the Mid-America EDC’s Board of Directors, a position I have held since 2017.

I grew up in a rural community in central North Dakota. As I was growing up my dad served as city council member and mayor and my uncle was the local economic developer so I grew up hearing about things like industrial parks and value-ad businesses. I was able to experience first hand how important economic development was to the growth of a community. It is the reason I am in economic development today! I want to do what I can to grow a community that is viable and sustainable so that hopefully my son has the opportunity to be a life-long North Dakotan as well.


Q.2 What’s an exciting economic development project right now in your community?

A project that we are very proud of in the Bismarck-Mandan community is a recent announcement from Cloverdale Foods on an estimated $20+ million expansion. Cloverdale Foods is best known as a wholesale meat processing company with customers in nearly every state in the U.S. While projects like these aren’t always the sexiest projects, this one is projected to create over 120 jobs in the Bismarck-Mandan area over the next 5 years. This was a project that was a true collaboration as there was assistance provided by the Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC, City of Mandan Business Development office, our local Certified Development Corp (Lewis & Clark Development Group), and the only state owned bank in the country, the Bank of North Dakota.


Q.3 What’s something unique that you would like to point out about your recent project and/or your job?

I think something unique about my job is truly never having the same day twice. Whether its working with an existing business looking to expand, a new company looking at Bismarck-Mandan, or working to attract new talent and trying to find ways to keep our own, no two days are alike. It makes doing what we do exciting and at times frustrating all at the same time.


Q.4 Any other expertise or guidance that you have that you are willing to share with Mid America members? What’s the best way to stay in contact with your ED organization?

One piece of advice that I would share is never try to do this job alone. What I mean by that is learn from other economic developers. Something I realized very quickly when I got into this industry is there are some incredibly talented people that are economic developers. Throughout my professional development and certainly being part of Mid-America EDC I have met, and continue to meet, so many other economic developers and have learned so much from them. Our industry is certainly a copy-cat industry and so many economic developers that I have met are willing to share what has worked for them. So find out what has worked in other communities, tailor it to your own community, and give it a try. Once this pandemic is over there will again be economic development training courses and conferences, including through Mid-America EDC, where you can meet and visit with economic developers from all over.

The best way to stay in contact with the Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC is through our website (www.bismarckmandan.com) or certainly through our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and you can always contact me directly with questions or thoughts.

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