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Meeting Our Economic Needs Together – Housing Cooperatives
Join us June 11th at 2:00pm – 3:30pm to discuss how cooperatives and other structures can be used to provide housing.
Presenters will be Katie Biggs, Marketing & Resource Development Manager for NeighborWorks Montana, and Julie Foster, Executive Director for Ravalli County Economic Development Authority. MCDC Program Specialist, Eric Bergman, will moderate the discussion. These presentations will be followed by a discussion on how the cooperative business model can be a solution for community’s housing needs. Questions and webinar attendee participation is encouraged.
- Julie Foster Executive Director for Ravalli County Economic Development Authority/MCDC Cooperative Development SpecialistJulie FosterExecutive Director for Ravalli County Economic Development Authority/MCDC Cooperative Development Specialist
Julie is a 30- year veteran of small entrepreneurial Montana business with over 20 years’ experience in rural economic development. Expertise includes providing a variety of technical assistance to diverse businesses and corporations, small business counseling, business expansion and retention services, grant writing and administration, capitalization and management of various loan funds and project management. Project work also includes development of local infrastructure such as water, waste water, land use and zoning for economic development purposes, as well as establishing effective regional partnerships.
Julie was hired as the Ravalli County Economic Development Authority (RCEDA) Executive Director in December of 2005. RCEDA is a non-profit, community and economic development organization, established to serve Ravalli County and its citizens.
In 2008 Julie led the planning, funding, and construction of the $3.2 million dollar Ravalli Entrepreneurship Center. In 2005 RCEDA took over management of Ravalli County’s $750,000 Revolving Loan fund. Today RCEDA has three loan fund programs totaling over $2.5 million. The RCEDA has been involved in the finance and implementation of projects large and small in Ravalli County totaling over $200 million since 2005.
Montana’s rural communities are close to her heart. The “rurals” of Montana have much to offer the state and those that desire to do business in Montana. Julie has been a Cooperative Development Specialist for the Montana Cooperative Development Center. Julie understands business, the cooperative business model including cooperative housing, the art of putting together complex finance strategies and the relationships necessary to succeed. She has attended training and conferences around the nation and one international visit to Laos on these topics.
Professional and personal interests include innovative economic development, long distance hiking, cooking and outdoor recreation with friends and family. Julie has lived in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley of Western Montana for 36 years with her best friend and husband Steve.
- Katie BiggsMarketing & Resource Development Manager
Katie Biggs is NeighborWorks Montana’s Marketing & Resource Development Manager, overseeing all aspects of marketing and outreach for the different program areas within NeighborWorks Montana. Katie is passionate about making a difference in the lives of Montanans and that’s what drives her work every day. Katie has her BS from the University of Utah. She is a National Development Council Housing Finance Professional and sits on the boards for Montana Shares and the Montana Cooperative Development Center. She lives in Great Falls, MT where she enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two kids.