MEDC is pleased to present the 2017 Economic Development Award to Michelle Haynes, Executive Director of Region 10. Prior to moving to Montrose, Michelle served as the Executive Director for the Federally Qualified Health Clinic in Norwood. It was there she demonstrated her ability to pinch pennies and work within a tight budget. Her experience in health care management made her a perfect candidate to head the Area Agency on Aging department for Region 10 when that position came open. Paul Gray, former Executive Director of Region 10 commented, “When I hired Michelle, I had her in mind to fill my position when I retired. Her education and enthusiasm along with the skills she demonstrated in her job at the clinic, including her grant writing expertise, were traits I knew would make a great replacement for me.” When Paul retired in 2012, he along with various board members encouraged Michelle to apply for the Executive Director position, which she did. Michelle assumed her role as Executive Director for Region 10 in January of 2013.
Over the last four years Michelle has excelled in achieving regional collaboration. She has brought together local governments, utilities and members of the private sector from the six counties that make up Region 10 in a combined effort to expand broadband. Although each community had different needs, they all wanted the same results: abundant, redundant and affordable broadband.
In 2014, Michelle applied for and received a planning grant from DOLA that was used to create a methodology that would evaluate the existing broadband infrastructure and outline an implementation plan. The funding would not have been possible without the collaboration Michelle garnered from all communities within the Region 10 territory. In 2015, Region 10 was awarded a $5.2M implementation grant from DOLA and an additional $8M was awarded in 2016. All grants require a match and Michelle was able to obtain match dollars from within each of the communities.
The advancement of Broadband in our community and region is largely due to the leadership and dedicated effort Michelle has provided. She works tirelessly to address the economic needs of each community to help them achieve economic vitality. Michelle’s forward thinking and assertive actions have helped provide a competitive edge to Montrose and our Region. We are proud to honor her with this year’s 2017 MEDC Economic Development Award.