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Forest City’s Bilyeu Among “Rural Heroes” Honored at Iowa Rural Summit

The 5th Annual Iowa Rural Summit last week included a first-ever recognition of “rural heroes” – and Forest City Economic Development Director Beth Bilyeu was one of the 13 individuals honored on Thursday evening last week at Kirkwood Community College.
The Rural Summit brings together leaders from small towns across Iowa each year, and this year’s event included a Rural Recognition ceremony that paid tribute to a group of individuals who have made a difference in their rural community or region.
“Beth was selected for her impact in Forest City and across North Iowa,” said Mark Reinig, board chairman of the Iowa Rural Development Council which hosts the annual Rural Summit. “Her work – especially related to housing and redevelopment – shows how small towns can thrive through great leadership and innovative projects.”

Bilyeu was very honored by the award from a very distinguished group.

With a crowd of more than 200 individuals from 60 different small towns, the Iowa Rural Summit addressed issues ranging from arts and culture to child care to entrepreneurship. During these meetings, ideas are exchanged on how to approach these issues.

Other honorees included Duane Asbe, Clarion; Barb Baker, Grinnell; Evan Blakely, Denison; Kevin Cabbage, Stanton; Jim Erb, Charles City; Lora Friest, Decorah; David Heiar, Maquoketa; Lyle Hevern, Estherville; Bill Morain; Carla and Chuck Offenburger, Cooper; Peg Raney, Jefferson; Beth Waddell, Corning.

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