REAP Bilingual Service Coming to McCook and Red Willow County

While Dena Beck continues to pursue her work with REAP, she will expand her region further east, while Nancy Flock will take over the reins for McCook and the southwest region.

Dena shares her thoughts with us below.

As I head to McCook for my last day of office hours, some thoughts came to me….

Dear McCook, I hardly knew you 9 years ago when I started with a Rural Enterprise Assistance Project-REAP. a program of the Center for Rural Affairs. I knew that, being on the eastern edge of my 16-county region, I would need to make the best use of my time. I'd also need to use our dollars well, as part of a nonprofit organization's micro-enterprise development program.

Having known Rex Nelson, former director of the McCook Economic Development Corporation,  through the Nebraska Economic Developers Association-NEDA, I reached out to him regarding having office hours there monthly. He agreed.

(Dena Beck pictured with Rex Nelson, several years ago as Rex was presented the REAP Friend of the Year Award.)

I remember climbing the stairs when the office was above Brown Shoe Fit  on Norris Avenue on the bricks with my laptop bag and the eagerness to serve Red Willow County area entrepreneurs. Angela Allen, Administrative Assistant, always greeted me with a smile having already set up my appointments and keeping me organized.

Not long after, we moved to the historic, restored Keystone Hotel, and I now had space in the Keystone Business Center. I was happy to have my colleagues join me from Mid Plains Community College and Nebraska Business Development Center to also serve entrepreneurs in the area. We all worked well together and did the best we could for the businesses or potential businesses in the area.

Many people pass through the doors and not all of them started their business, but I like to think that my time there was well spent and I very much appreciate all of the people in the region. Not just the entrepreneurs, but the traditional lenders, Rex and Angela as well as the McCook Economic Development Corporation board for taking a chance on bringing in a consultant to augment Rex's work.

My very capable colleague, Nancy Flock, who can also serve Spanish speaking entrepreneurs will take over the region. I'm excited for her to get to know the area and know she will serve you well.

Nancy Flock seen here on her first day in McCook!