Exploring the influences on our region's economy.
National Bank of Commerce, together with leading area educational institutions and business front runner's, created and continues to sponsor the Regional Economic Indicators Forum (REIF); a comprehensive research initiative to drive growth, prosperity and collaboration across our region.
Next Forum: Tuesday, April 2, 2019 7-9:30 am (Program starts at 8)
7:00 sign in and networking
8:00 - 9:30 students and keynote speaker presentations
DECC: Harbor Side Ballroom
Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Ford Reedy
Cost: Advance registration $25, at the door $30
Jen has been President of the Bush Foundation since September 2012. The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and 23 Native Nations. The Foundation was established in 1953 by Archibald Bush, a 3M executive who played a key role in growing 3M into one of the world’s leading companies.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Jen served as chief of staff and vice president of strategy for Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, where she led the creation of GiveMN.org, Give to the Max Day, and the Minnesota Idea Open. Jen was also a consultant with McKinsey and Company for nine years and was the first director of the Itasca Project, a CEO-led regional civic initiative in the Twin Cities.
Her current community service includes board and committee work with Region’s Hospital, GHR Foundation, the Truman Foundation and Independent Sector. She is also a member of the Itasca Project, Minnesota Women's Economic Roundtable and the US Global Leadership Coalition Minnesota Advisory Committee.
Jen has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago. She has been honored as a “40 Under 40” leader by the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Business Journal, as one of the “100 Minnesotans You Should Know” by Twin Cities Business Magazine, and as a NextGen Fellow by Independent Sector.
The goals of the REIF are to:
- Support business owners in their business decisions by gathering key local economic indicators and trend information
- Develop specific economic indicators for this region that are not readily available to decision makers
- Develop tools to assess our progress in economic growth, prepare baseline measures that will allow comparison with other regions and measure future progress of the region
- Track the region’s participation in the “new economy” and development in the high-tech arena
- Collect and monitor data related to county-level economic performance, business and consumer confidence and regional stock performance
- Bring professionals together with business owners for discussion about the local economy and related critical issues in a collaborative, non-political environment
- Create a business recruitment and retention tool by publishing the information
The REIF Region is a 15-county area that covers Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. The eight counties of Minnesota include the Arrowhead Region — Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis counties — along with Pine County. The seven counties of Wisconsin include Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Sawyer and Washburn.
The REIF is governed by a steering and advisory committee comprised of representative(s) from:
Spring 2018 Student Presenters
- National Bank of Commerce
- College of St. Scholastica
- Small Business Development Center of Minnesota
- Small Business Development Center of Wisconsin
- University of Minnesota, Duluth
- University of Wisconsin, Superior
Fall 2018 Student Presenters
Resources such as APEX (Area Partnership for Economic Expansion), Business North and the Development Association of Superior-Douglas County are utilized as needed.
Meet the Regional Economics Faculty Research Staff.