September 2003  Issue No. 21                    REAP HOME PAGE         A publication of the Center for Rural Affairs

Rural Enterprise Reporter

REAP Activities: Highlights include Honors, Trainings, New Areas

  • REAP staff attended the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) national conference in Denver, Colorado.
  • REAP participated at the Centerís Annual Meeting in November 2002. Several sessions focusing on small business were presented.

    The 2002 REAP awards were distributed at the annual meeting. REAP Small Business of the Year was Paul and Sherri Lavarack; Friend of the Year was Gaila Gilliland; Officer of the Year was Michelle Truax; and Extra Mile Awards were presented to Jim Frager, Neil Van Boening, and Mark Werthmann.
  • The Center for Rural Affairsí Entrepreneur Award is presented to an innovative person working with REAP and at the forefront of microenterprise development. Long-time REAP member Marlene Van Diest, Sandhills Pottery, Dunning, NE was the second-ever recipient of this award.
  • REAP of the Center for Rural Affairs was recognized by the Nebraska Rural Development Commission (RDC) as one of the Commissionís Top 100 Rural Development Initiatives for 2002.
  • REAP Program Director Jeff Reynolds was elected for a two-year term to serve on the Nebraska Microenterprise Partnership Fund (NMPF) advisory committee. NMPF is a statewide intermediary organization for the benefit of microenterprise organizations in Nebraska.
  • REAP held its first-ever Spanish version of Business Plan Basics training in South Sioux City. It was well attended with 10 graduating. Survey results were very positive as all were pleased with REAP taking the initiative to improve the skills of Hispanic business owners.
  • We launched REAPís new web site in the early fall of last year. The new website is designed to be an excellent resource for entrepreneurs and will further help REAP achieve its mission of strengthening rural communities through small, self- employed business development.

    There is a wealth of information along with REAP forms such as a Business Plan, financials, and loan application. Let us know how you like it. Email
  • REAPís Mind Your Own Business Youth Workshop was provided to Auburn High Schoolís Introduction to Business students during 3 + class periods. The purpose of the workshop is to get students thinking about the possibilities and positives or negatives of being a business owner some day.

    Students work in groups to create a business, name it, design a logo, and discuss the business image, customer relations, personnel issues, marketing, and financials. Monica Braun and Glennis McClure, Southeast Nebraska Business Specialists conducted the workshop along with teacher Teresa Hahn.
  • REAPís Womenís Business Center was featured on a panel presentation at the annual Small Business Administrationís Office of Womenís Business Ownership Post Awards Conference in Fairfax, Virginia.

    Glennis McClure, REAP - WBC Director, presented information about REAP and our Womenís Business Center ďWithout WallsĒ to staff and directors of Womenís Business Centers across the U.S. Jeff Reynolds and Eugene Rahn accompanied Ms. McClure to the conference. While in Washington D.C., they visited Nebraskaís congressional delegation on Capitol Hill.
  • FISH! was on the road. During the past year, REAP staff and associations heavily used the FISH Philosophy and training video in educational programs. The focus of FISH is promoting energy, passion, and a positive attitude in oneís life. It can benefit your personal life and is very effective in your business, particularly as you focus on customer service.

    FISH! was a new addition to the REAP Video Library a year ago. Several new titles have been recently added to the library as well, including a tape about negotiating and another about networking for positive business results.
  • REAP staff frequently participated and spoke at many conferences and public speaking engagements for various organizations and events.
  • REAP staff made key contacts with bankers, service providers, and others. These relationships, many collaborative, are key to REAPís continued success.

Contact: Jeff Reynolds, REAP Program Director at 402.645.3296 or for more information.

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Center for Rural Affairs -- Rural Enterprise Assistance Project
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