Our Team

TCD Economic Development Executive DirectorRawnda Pierce is the Executive Director for Twin Cities Development and Western Nebraska Housing Opportunities and has been with TCD & WNHO since April 2002. Pierce specializes in residential construction and housing. Twin Cities Development owns and manages four apartment complexes totaling 112 living units. Through the direction of Rawnda Pierce, both entities have re-purposed blighted and “once risky-now rewarding” residential properties, turning them into desired housing facilities. In addition to this, Twin Cities Development partners with both Scottsbluff and Gering School Districts in building new houses in these communities. Through this, the students within the construction programs in the school districts learn valuable trades, as well as additional supply outlets for residential demand. 

    

Melissa Coats has been with TCD since October 2014 as the Housing Coordinator for Western Nebraska Housing Opportunities and the Administrative Assistant for TCD. Coats is responsible for daily administrative assistance for TCD and WNHO programs. Coats assists those who are looking to purchase a new home through the Down Payment Assistance and Repairs program and is the Housing Coordinator in the Purchase, Rehab, Resale program. Contact Melissa today if you are looking to purchase a new home, as one of our many programs may be able to assist you.

 

 

Amy Sapp is the Marketing Specialist for TCD. She is responsible for creating stimulating and innovative marketing and social media materials that help support and increase development activities in the area. Amy will also be for promoting TCD and their partners, increasing membership, enhancing exposure to job openings, and raising community awareness of the organization and its activities. Contact Amy if you have questions or want to learn more about TCD.

 

 

 

Michelle Coolidge is the Community Development Director  Michelle coordinates the regional group Western Nebraska Economic Development.  She is working on development in the regional communities. Contact Michelle today. 

   

 

 

 

 

TCD Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors consists of nine private sector members from local businesses. Individuals from city and government councils serve as ex officio members of the Board. 

 

Jerry Darnell, President

Jerry grew up in Scottsbluff and has spent his entire career in agriculture. He is a graduate of the University of Wyoming with a bachelor’s degree in Ag-business and economics. He is also a graduate of the Nebraska Lead Class XX. He has held various positions at Holly Sugar, Western Sugar, and the Western Sugar Cooperative. His positions have included Agriculturist, Ag Manager, South Regional Ag Manager, and Vice President of Agriculture.

He is a board member of First State Bank and the SID #18 Board President. He was on the Scotts Bluff Planning commission as a board member and President for several years. He and his wife own and manage 34 rental properties in Scottsbluff.

 

Kelly Strey, Vice President

Kelly has been with B & C Steel Corporation for 25 years. He is their Sales Representative and Project Manager. Kelly designs metal buildings of all shapes and sizes. He has worked with numerous multi-million-dollar projects. He interacts with nearly every commercial contractor and sub-contractor in the valley on his B & C Steel building projects. Kelly has been instrumental in working with TCD on our construction projects and has helped with design plans, contractor bidding, and meetings with architects, inspectors, and other key players in projects. Kelly is also part owner of a local auto service business in Scottsbluff.

 

 

 

 

Katie Reichert, Secretary / Treasurer

Katie is an attorney and partner at local law firm Holyoke, Snyder, Longoria, Reichert, and Rice, LLO. She received her bachelor’s degree from Creighton University and graduated from the Nebraska College of Law. She is very active on the board and will be critical in assisting TCD’s RWHF with legal documents and the creation of appropriate processes for the fund to operate effectively and operate within legal guidelines.

 

 

 

 

Todd Lewis, Board Member & Past President

Todd is the owner and co-founder of Bytes Computer and Network Solutions. He is a computer and networking genius. He works with small and medium-sized local and regional businesses to provide cutting-edge, reliable information technology services. He has helped Twin Cities Development become cloud-based with backup and redundancy of our data. He has helped our team communicate more effectively and be responsive from nearly anywhere. He is very active in the community and has served as a United Way board member and is the President-Elect. He also sits on the Regional West Foundation Board. He and his family have done foster parenting, and he is a graduate of Leadership Scottsbluff Class #28. 

 

 

Jim Kerr, Board Member & Past President

Jim represents the transportation and logistics sector of the TCD board. Jim recently retired from a 39-year career with Ameri-Co Carriers Inc. and Ameri-Co Logistics Inc. During his tenure, he held many positions, including Controller, Vice-President, General Manager, and since 2011, the President of the company.

Jim has served on the Nebraska Logistics Council, Supply chain Management Council, member of trucking associations, Board member of the USSA Shippers Association as well as several other boards. Jim was recognized over his years of service with several Fleet awards, Safety awards, Regional Carrier of the Year awards, and International Operation of the Year awards. Jim serves on the finance committee of his church, was a USA swim official, as well as a coach of Youth Sports and a Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop #13.

 

Neal Blomenkamp, Board Member

Neal and his wife Lora own and operate several Runza franchise restaurants in western Nebraska. Neal
has served on the Business improvement district board for Scottsbluff for 25+ years and has been a retail and service provider in the community for over 30 years. Neal tore down the old Runza restaurant in Scottsbluff and designed a new design concept that included a state-of-the-art conference room, a fireplace with comfortable seating as well as four upper story luxury apartments above the restaurant space.

Neal has served on several community endeavors including the County tourism board, Cougar Athletics, the Experience Council for Regional West Medical Center, Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever, DECA, and Boy Scouts. Neal is the founder of Life Change Connection, an organization that assists people affected by Diabetes.

 

 

Shain Shimic,  Board Member

Shain is the Regional Manager for Crossroads Cooperative Association. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming in Ag business. He started out and continues to be involved with production agriculture. He owns a farm and has breeding livestock. For the past 16 years, he has been in commercial agriculture, specializing in grain merchandising and warehousing. Shain has been involved as the design-build contractor in six-grain elevators and grain warehouse projects that exceeded over $20 million dollars in investment. He is familiar with TIF, LB840 permitting, and working with various contractors and sub-contractors. He also owns and operates a trucking company and a freight brokerage firm as well as having a few rental homes throughout the valley.

 

 

Randy Meininger, Board Member

Randy is a native of the Scottsbluff / Gering area.  He attended Western Nebraska Community College and Chadron State receiving his license as a Nationally Registered Paramedic.  Randy has been the co-owner of Valley Ambulance, Inc. since 1979 and manages the ambulances in Chadron, Gordon, Kimball, Oshkosh, Ogallala, and Sidney Nebraska for Regional West Medical Center.  He served as a Commissioner on the Nebraska Information Technology Board from 2014 to 2018 and is the Vice President of Rural Nebraska Regional Ambulance Network.  Randy was named Scottsbluff’s 2010 Citizen of the Year.  Randy served as the Mayor of Scottsbluff from 2006 to 2018.

 

Ralph, Board Member

Ralph Paez was born and raised in Western Nebraska. He is a Certified Professional Inspector (CPI) as well as being certified by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. Ralph’s business Superior Home Inspections is located in Scottsbluff but services Eastern Wyoming and Western Nebraska. Ralph also owns 16th Empire in downtown Scottsbluff.

Grant Wilson, Board Member

Grant spent the last 30 years teaching in the communication department at Casper College in Casper, WY. He holds a doctorate in education from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2021, he became the Vice President of Educational Services at Western Nebraska Community College where he oversees academic programs, applied technology certificates and diplomas, and workforce development opportunities for the institution.

 

 

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS

  • Mark Harris, Scotts Bluff County Commissioner
  • Pat Heath, City of Gering
  • Karen Anderson, Scottsbluff/Gering Chamber of Commerce
  • Tony Kaufman, Mayor City of Gering 
  • Julie Morrison, Gering Representative