Pictured are the board members present at the annual meeting. (Submitted photo)

Seventy-four members and guests celebrated the successes of Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation recently at the organization’s annual meeting, January 19, 2017.
They also celebrated the tenth anniversary of the nonprofit charitable organization which offers free and confidential business coaching in a six county region. NWMEF members are a group of over seventy volunteers from six counties, (Atchison, Andrew, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway, and Worth,) who care passionately about the success and sustainability of this rural region. Their purpose is to assist rural entrepreneurs in creating or maintaining their small business ventures. They do this for the same reason the early pioneers helped their neighbors through the practice of barn-raising – to build community spirit and strengthen and sustain small communities for the benefit of the whole region.
The board and guests gathered to acknowledge the accomplishments of 2016 and their ten year history. Through the efforts of the organization, 10 new businesses were assisted in their start-ups in the six county area. The group also celebrated 27 new jobs which resulted from the start-ups. Overall statistics to date were totalled: Since the organization’s beginnings in 2006, NWMEF has helped with 85 new business creations, resulting in 340 jobs. Keli Morris was applauded by all present for her competent business coaching and delivery of NWMEF client services through 2016.
Board Chairman Jerry Ingle also acknowledged the Board’s appreciation for the service of the outgoing Vice Chair, Ken Henggeler and Committee Chairs David Shadinger and Jennifer Roup. He expressed his thanks for their volunteerism and support of the Enterprise Facilitator. The Inspiration Award was presented to the family of David Waltemath, founding member, who passed away last year. Board members Deb Powers and Jerry Ingle were honored by the organization with the Board’s esteemed RAVE award for their exemplary service and efforts above and beyond in assisting the goals of NWMEF. Officers were approved for the year 2017. Incumbents Jerry Ingle, Chairman, Treasurer Jeanne Rost, and Secretary Sister Christine Martin were joined by newly elected Vice Chair Mike Thomson.
All of the guests listened attentively to the three client presentations which were given by Mary Ingersoll of Inspirations Dance, Savannah, Mo., Melissa and Bucky Miller of Millers Rustic Sawmill, King City, MO and Charmaine Flint, Duck Inn Bakery, Craig, MO. The speakers explained how NWMEF assisted in establishing their now thriving enterprises and thanked the organization and Enterprise Facilitator Keli Morris for the support given.