The EDA Center | at the University of Minnesota  
Advisory Council

The EDA Center Advisory Council is charged with assisting the EDA Center in the annual selection of technical assistance projects and overall work plan development. Council members represent economic development professionals from the federal, state, regional and tribal levels of government.

Toni Merdan
Toni Merdan

Toni Merdan is the Sr. Economic Development Officer for Congressman Collin C. Peterson. For the past 15 years, Toni has worked to facilitate community and economic development in the 35 counties of the 7th District by making sure communities, businesses and individuals are aware of the many resources and tools available to them.

Prior experience includes the City of Fergus Falls economic development agency, business consulting providing technical assistance to small businesses and commercial real estate development.

Stephen Larson
Richard Todd

Richard M. Todd is a Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, with responsibilities in Community Development and monetary policy. He has also served at the Bank as an economist in the Research Department, as the Bank’s discount window and payments systems risk officer, and as an officer in Supervision, Regulation, and Credit and in Information Technology.

Dr. Todd has published articles on the economics of homeownership and foreclosures, poverty, financial education, monetary policy, business cycles, financial regulation, payments systems, forecasting, and seasonality and has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota, the University of St. Thomas, the Warsaw School of Economics, and Macalester College. He is currently on the board of the Minnesota Council on Economic Education and the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development and chairs the Young Adult Committee of the Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. He holds a Ph. D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota.

Mike Triplett
Mike Triplett

Mike Triplett currently serves as an Economic Development Planner with the White Earth Development Office, White Earth Nation. Mike coordinates the White Earth Nation Wind Project, implementing wind resource development for the Tribe. He also assists the White Earth Economic Development Director with implementation of economic development planning activities for the Tribe.

Mike is the principal tribal grant writer for USDA and HUD infrastructure projects and serves as the tribal lead for EDA planning grant activities. Mike received his B.S. in Social Sciences from Colorado State University and has engaged in graduate work in Community and Regional Planning at Iowa State University.

Cam Fanfulik
Cam Fanfulik

Cam is a native of the Warren area and attended Moorhead State University and North Dakota State University, with areas of study in Political Science and Ag Economics. After college, he returned to the Angus area to the family farm, raising small grains, sugar beets, soybeans, and sunflowers until 1999. He returned to University of Minnesota, Crookston, receiving a BS degree in Applied Studies, with emphasis in Rural Economic Development. He has worked at NWRDC since 2000, and currently serves as Executive Director, also managing the revolving loan fund and economic/community development programs for the agency. He and his wife, Joanne, reside in Warren.

Danielle Walchuk
Danielle Walchuk

Danielle Walchuk is the Regional Development Planner for Region Nine Development Commission (RNDC). The service area covers the nine counties of south central Minnesota. Danielle leads up the Region Nine Renewable Energy Task Force, is involved in hazard mitigation planning, assists with various transportation planning efforts and other community development services offered at RNDC. Prior to joining RNDC in November 2012, Danielle worked for the City of Mankato, the U.S. Census Bureau in Washington D.C. and the Geography Department at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She possesses advanced knowledge and working experience in GIS (Geographical Information Systems). Danielle holds Bachelor’s degrees in Geography and Urban and Regional Studies, a Master’s degree in Geography, and a Professional Certificate in Urban Planning from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Robin Weis
Robin Weis

Robin Weis is the Economic Development Director of the Southwest Regional Development Commission. She has been a member of the advisory council since 2015.

This document was prepared by the University of Minnesota, Crookston under award number 06-66-05709 from the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.