Osceola County approves economic development contract

Middle Michigan Development Corporation has local connection in vice president Kati Mora

OSCEOLA COUNTY — After more than a year without an economic development director, the Osceola County board of commissioners has decided to go with an outside company for economic development services.

The board approved a contract with Middle Michigan Development Corporation for the remainder of FY2022 during its meeting last week.

County coordinator Tim Ladd told the Herald Review that over the last several months, the board has heard presentations from three different economic development groups, including Middle Michigan Development Corporation, The Right Place, Inc., and Michigan Works.

“The board was impressed with all three presentations, but Middle Michigan stood out for a couple of reasons,” Ladd said. “Kati Mora (vice president of MMDC) grew up in Reed City, and we feel she fully understands the dynamics of Osceola County. She has a very impressive resume, and we are confident she will work hard to provide growth opportunities for all our communities and businesses.”

Ladd added they plan to budget for and continue the contract with Middle Michigan Development Corporation in fiscal year 2023 and “hope to contract with them for years to come.”

Following the retirement of former economic development director Dan Massey, county officials discussed the possibility of coordinating with Mecosta County in hiring a new director that would work with both counties.

Board chairperson Mark Gregory said at the time that they were considering different options and would wait to hear from Mecosta County regarding a collaboration before moving forward.

After several weeks of searching for a new director, the Mecosta County Development Corporation executive committee chose to contract with The Right Place, Inc. Committee chairperson, Michelle Graham said at the time there were no plans to partner with Osceola County. 

Sine that time, Osceola County officials had been discussing different options, ultimately deciding to go with MMDC.

Information on the company’s website states that MMDC professionals focus on creating vibrant, sustainable and unique communities, growing the economy with services designed to retain, expand and attract business and foster economic vitality and resilience.

MMDC works closely with local municipalities, along with state and federal agencies to promote transformative community development projects that stimulate growth, it states.