A pandemic made the 50th year of Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation (MMCDC) a memorable one, necessitating service in unprecedented ways. 

At the 2021 annual meeting, MMCDC President Julia Nelmark noted swift action by the staff and board to allow clients to weather negative impacts without potential loss of home or business. This included:

• Modifying $14.5 million in existing loans, and providing $7.4 million in Paycheck Protection Program and small business emergency loans. 

• Prioritizing resident safety and support in rental housing, 

• Delivering workforce housing and free volunteer tax preparation.

“We really have a great staff – a lot of skill, many years of experience in a lot of cases, a lot of drive to help the people in the communities, so it is really thanks to those staff that we accomplish what we do,” she added. 

Highlights of the June 17 event in Detroit Lakes included a congratulatory video from U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and in-person remarks by former Congressman Collin Peterson. Peterson recalled working together with MMCDC following creation of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. The program ultimately delivered new investment in affordable housing around the country, including seven apartment buildings now owned by MMCDC. 

Calvin Benson, District Outreach Representative for U.S. Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-Minn.) delivered in-person remarks, and Gov. Tim Walz issued a Certificate of Recognition.

Former MMCDC President Arlen Kangas, Ph.D., was recognized for his 25-year tenure as company president, in particular for work with the White Earth Investment Initiative, a subsidiary company. In turn, he noted the support of Collin Peterson, and the contributions of longtime staff member Doris Kohler and the late John Masog, board director. Both began service to the company in the 1970s. Also recognized was Kathy Misson, retired MMCDC vice president, mortgage lending, and retiring board director Janet Green.  

Incoming board director Lisa Weber was elected to represent Becker County. Directors adopted restated bylaws and elected the following officers: Chairman Paul Ihle, Vice Chairman Gary Thibert, Treasurer Jeff Haukebo and Secretary Breanna Adams.  Additional previous staff and board members in attendance at the event included: Ida McDougall, Detroit Lakes; Judy Quam (Becker County Director); Germaine Riegert (Mahnomen County); Larry Roed (Polk County); Kathy Henry (Hubbard County); and Dale Macklanburg (Hubbard).