Binek, Grefsrud, Zavala now on Authority board

Three members have been appointed to the newly structured Pelican Rapids Economic Development Authority board. 

The three will join two Pelican city council members on the board. 

Approved at the Aug. 29 city council meeting were Ryan Binek, Lana Grefsrud, and Arianna Zavala. 

The authority is assigned the broad mission of administering economic development and re-development plans and programs. 

All three submitted letters, expressing their interest in the position. Excerpts from those letters follow:

Arianna Zavala: A resident of Pelican Rapids for 30 years, Zavala wrote, “I value my community and wish to see future growth in all aspects of the community.”

A real estate broker with Keller Williams, Zavala said, “I believe I can bring a different perspective, ideas, as well as valuable insight with regard to the local housing market.”

Lana Grefsrud: With a graphic arts and marketing background, Grefsrud recently moved her Hillbilly Laser business to the city, at the former senior citizen center. 

“One of my missions was to become more active and involved in the community and help elevate Pelican economy and structure. I believe this community has so much to offer, both from a tourism perspective and to local business owners and residents.”

Ryan Binek: Binek is the owner of ICS Energy Solutions, located on the north end of Pelican Rapids, a building materials supplier serving a wide area around Pelican Rapids. 

Binek has a corporate background, with 20 years with Microsoft.

“I had the opportunity to work with some of the top companies in the world,” wrote Binek. “After leaving Microsoft, I spent two years with a technology consulting business…I saw the positive impact that a company like Stoneridge could have on a community.”

“I take a great deal of pride knowing that I am contributing both directly and indirectly to the success of our community,” wrote Binek. 

The EDA will be working closely with the city’s new economic development specialist, Jordan Grossman. 

The EDA budget may be beefed up for 2024, to $233,000—based on preliminary budget plans. 

The council will be considering increasing Grossman’s in-office days from two to three, at a cost of about $75,000. Grossman’s services are contracted through CEDA, on a consultant basis, 

In a related matter, the council approved a “Conflict of Interest” policy, which is required by the state.  The policy, in general, details prohibiting using public office for private gain.