Hildreth Named Calhoun County Economic Development Executive Director
19 Jul 2023
Theresa Hildreth Brings Wealth of Experience to New Role
ROCKWELL CITY – JULY 19, 2023 – Calhoun County is poised for business growth and is pleased to welcome Theresa Hildreth as the new executive director of the Calhoun County Economic Development Corp. (CCEDC).
Hildreth, who will focus on economic development and tourism, is a long-time resident of the Rockwell City area. She’s also a business owner with her husband, Tom, and their son at Martin Hildreth Company Inc., in Rockwell City, a third-generation, family-owned business where she manages the office. “It’s important to work with a network of friends, political leaders and business acquaintances to work together to get things done,” Hildreth said. “We’re so fortunate to have people around the area who care about Calhoun County and want to make it a place that people are proud to call home.”
Hildreth grew up in O’Brien County, Iowa, on a farm outside of Gaza. After graduating from Sutherland High School, she later continued her education as a non-traditional student at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, where she earned an associate’s degree in mass communications. She and her husband, Tom, a Calhoun County native, have lived and worked in Calhoun County since 1987.
“My parents showed me, by example, the importance of getting involved in the community,” Hildreth said. “As a rural Iowa community member, I take my role seriously when it comes to making Calhoun County a better place. I measure success by the positive difference I can make in others’ lives.”
Hildreth has worked in business marketing, healthcare marketing, county government, state government, coaching, community development and special event execution. In addition, she has served as a clerk in the Iowa Senate during the past nine legislative sessions. “This fueled my passion for promoting and growing rural Iowa,” she noted.
Hildreth understands the opportunities and challenges facing rural Iowa. She has witnessed the declining population and loss of businesses in rural Iowa through the years. She thinks back to the uncertain times a few years ago when Rockwell City had no grocery store, before Fareway opened a store in town in early 2022.
“I’m thankful every day for companies like Fareway that realize the value of locating businesses in Calhoun County,” Hildreth said. “Being a resident of rural Iowa requires a keen awareness of the importance of supporting our local businesses. They are essential to help our communities thrive, so we can continue to enjoy our rural way of life.”
Keeping up with technology is critical, along with retaining good teachers in local schools and skilled healthcare providers in the local hospital and clinics, she added. “We also need to help people work together to maintain the businesses, families and opportunities that will help maintain and grow economic development in our region. That includes tourism and historic preservation. I love the idea of “stay-cations.” There are great places to see and fun things to do here in Calhoun County and across Iowa.”
That includes the “Cuisine in the Corn” event. Hildreth was instrumental in creating this elegant dinner party, which is held in an Iowa corn field and supports Rockwell City’s annual Sweet Corn Daze celebration in early August.
“My daughter-in-law, Sandra Hildreth, brought up the idea when I was the Rockwell City Chamber Administrative Director,” Hildreth said. “Along with a group of ‘think outside the box,’ like-minded people, we hosted our first Cuisine in the Corn in 2018. Through a collaboration of friends and passionate Chamber members, we sold the idea to 100 paying guests and a handful of sponsors that first year. The event raised funds that continue to support Rockwell City’s Sweet Corn Daze year after year.”
Other new economic development opportunities are also taking shape in Calhoun County, thanks to the 115-acre business park at the intersection of four-lane U.S. Highway 20 and Highway 4, just north of Rockwell City. This is the first business park to be located in Calhoun County.
“We’re excited to welcome Theresa to the CCEDC as our new executive director,” said Keaton Hildreth, president of the CCEDC board and chief executive officer of the Calhoun County Electric Cooperative Association. “Theresa is a great asset to the county and its communities.”
Hildreth and her husband have four children and 12 grandchildren. “This has opened up a whole new reason to support our local communities, our rural way of life and economic development in Calhoun County,” she said.
About Calhoun County Economic Development Corp.
Calhoun County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) provides assistance to existing business and industry, prospective business and industry, entrepreneurs, local chamber/development organizations, city offices, and non-profit organizations in Calhoun County, Iowa. For more information on CCEDC, visit www.ccedciowa.com.