Heartland Power Cooperative Welcomes Dave Fox: Energizing Economic Development in Winnebago and Worth Counties

Heartland Power Cooperative Welcomes Dave Fox: Energizing Economic Development in Winnebago and Worth Counties Main Photo

19 Jun 2024

News, Blog

A New Chapter in Economic and Community Development

Heartland Power Cooperative, a pivotal energy provider in North Central Iowa and South Central Minnesota, has recently welcomed Dave Fox as its new Manager of Economic Development and Community Relations. Heartland Power is deeply integrated into the region's fabric and serves approximately 5,200 homes, farms, and businesses through an extensive network of over 1,800 miles of electric power lines. Established in 1998 from the merger of two cooperatives, it has continuously aimed to exceed its members' expectations by providing high-quality and affordable energy services.

Fox's appointment signals a renewed focus on fostering economic growth and enhancing community ties in the cooperative's service area, particularly in Winnebago and Worth Counties.

Vision for Growth and Community Engagement

Fox expressed his enthusiasm about joining Heartland Power, highlighting the cooperative's commitment to improving the quality of life for its member consumers as a significant draw. "The role offers the opportunity to significantly impact the economic and social well-being of the region with Heartland Power's strong focus on improving the quality of life for its member-consumers," he said. His priorities are clear: to attract new businesses and support the expansion of existing ones, thereby driving economic growth.

Building Strong Partnerships

One of Fox's primary goals is collaborating closely with local businesses, community leaders, and other stakeholders. His approach is rooted in the belief that strong relationships are fundamental to successful economic development. "I plan to strengthen relationships with community leaders, business owners, and other stakeholders to ensure the cooperative's initiatives align with the needs and goals of the community," Fox shared.

To better equip himself for these interactions, Fox is completing a Key Account Management Course to enhance his ability to engage effectively with Heartland's diverse membership base. This educational pursuit underscores his commitment to understanding and advancing the interests of those he serves.

Identifying Key Opportunities in Winnebago and Worth Counties

Winnebago and Worth Counties present significant development opportunities, and Fox is keenly aware of their potential. The Top of Iowa commercial site near I-35 is a prime location for attracting new businesses. At the same time, Winnebago County offers promising land on the north side of Lake Mills for development.

Both counties have substantial land for future development, positioning them as ideal spots for new businesses. Fox sees housing as another critical element of economic growth. "It's hard to attract new businesses and the necessary workforce needed when there is a lack of available housing," he noted.

Addressing Housing Needs: Homeward, Inc.

Heartland Power is actively addressing this challenge through its involvement with Homeward, Inc.'s Community Construction Loan Program. This initiative is currently supporting the construction of two new homes within Heartland's service territory. Fox hopes to extend similar support to Winnebago and Worth Counties, helping to alleviate housing shortages and thereby making the region more attractive for business investments and workforce expansion.

Looking Ahead

With Dave Fox joining the team, Heartland Power Cooperative is set to enhance its role further in this area. His strategic focus on nurturing relationships, leveraging available land for development, and addressing housing needs aligns perfectly with Heartland's mission of enhancing the lives of its members.
Heartland Power's dedication to its community, combined with Fox's proactive and engaged approach, promises a bright future for the cooperative and the region it serves. As Fox steps into his new role, the cooperative looks forward to a period of growth, strengthened community ties, and increased opportunities for its member-consumers.

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