Itasca Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) is thrilled to announce the addition of two new team members: Rob Sjostrand, Business Consultant; and Kayla Swanson, Marketing Specialist.

"Having completed an organization strategic plan in 2019, the IEDC Board of Directors identified several key components.  We are committed to ongoing work with businesses in the Itasca County area, and developing communication methods that keep our partners and clients informed of the opportunities and resources we can provide," said Tamara Lowney, President of IEDC.  "We are excited to welcome Rob and Kayla to IEDC."

Rob Sjostrand joined IEDC in December 2019 as a business consultant.  Rob works directly with small businesses consulting through the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).  The SBDC provides technical assistance to help businesses start up, manage and grow.  Services are provided at no charge and include business plans, financial analysis, market research, loan packaging and more.

Sjostrand was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MN, graduating from Grand Rapids High School. He received his Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis on accounting from DeVry Institute of Technology.  Rob has a long list of relevant work experience including a background in logistics, employee training and work with cross-functional teams. 

Rob has spent fifteen years coaching both basketball and baseball. He enjoys helping young people grow in athletics and in life.  In their spare time, the Sjostrand family spends time together in the outdoors, camping, hunting, and taking hiking trips in Minnesota's state parks.

He loves spending time with his wife, their four children and one granddaughter. 

Also joining the IEDC team in January 2020 is Kayla Swanson, Marketing Specialist.  Kayla is an Itasca County native who grew up in Taconite and graduated from Greenway High School in 2013. She started her journey by pursuing an Associates of Arts degree from Itasca Community College which she accomplished in 2015, followed bya Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Viterbo University in 2018. Kayla looks forward to putting her college education to the test by managing IEDC's social media pages and website as well as helping coordinate marketing strategies for future projects. 

Kayla was a softball pitcher and played at the collegiate level. In her free time, she loves to be an active supporter of local high school athletics. She coaches softball and hockey cheerleading and finds joy in doing so. She loves to fish, go on brewery tours in different locations and to dive into a great book. She feels blessed to be supported by her husband, loving family and incredible group of friends.

Both Rob and Kayla are passionate about giving back to their community.  With their experience and knowledge, IEDC will gain insights that will benefit our clients, partners and funders.  We look forward to working with them in 2020 and continuing to lead Itasca County's economic development and business growth.

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