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Ringgold County has a new economic development director.
At Tuesday’s county supervisors meeting, Regan Main announced Jodie Geist has been hired as the new director of the Ringgold County Development Corporation.
Geist, a 1978 Mount Ayr Community graduate, has been a teacher for 34 years at her alma mater, where she worked in the special education department. Geist was instrumental in the origination and serves as the coordinator of the Transition Alliance Program (TAP) for special needs students.
She is one of 16 educators chosen from the across the state to serve on Gov. Kim Reynolds’ Governor’s Teachers Cabinet.
At their Monday meeting, the Mount Ayr school board had accepted Geist’s retirement request along with similar requests from five other staff members.
While stating Geist has been working with the Development Corporation intermittently in recent weeks, Main said Geist will take over her duties full-time effective July 1, following the conclusion of the current school year.
Development Corporation member Jim Pedersen touted Geist’s grant writing experience and local ties to the community as tremendous assets to the county.
In a related matter, the Development Corporation asked the supervisors to set aside $25,000 in the FY21 budget as it did in the current budget to fund economic development efforts.
It was noted Great Western Bank has committed $5,000 for the third year, and U.S. Bank has pledged $1,500 to support the group’s efforts.
Last year the Mount Ayr city council awarded $10,000 to go toward hiring a director, but no action has yet been approved for next year.
Supervisor Kraig Pennington stated his support for economic development efforts, but he said the supervisors will need to see the county’s full financial picture for next year before making any decision.