Bolstered by five focus groups with over 60 participants throughout an 11-county region, SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG) has a renewed mission and strategic plan to meet the needs of the region.
The year-long process involved surveys of staff and the board of directors, plus focus groups with counties, municipalities, housing authorities, economic development partners, workforce development, transportation, and social services agencies, higher education and health care institutions, businesses, banks, media representatives, and community members.
They were invited to help shape the future of the region by discussing the needs and opportunities in their communities with SEDA-COG, a regional economic and community development agency whose staff have been committed to developing the region since 1957.
This process informed SEDA-COG’s renewed mission and affirmed its purpose: SEDA-COG enhances the quality of life and economic advantage for residents and businesses in 11 central Pennsylvania counties through its vital partnerships and initiatives.
The plan’s four strategic goals strengthen SEDA-COG’s efforts to meet the region’s current and evolving needs:
- Expand opportunities for and eliminate obstacles to business development;
- Promote development of infrastructure to improve quality of life;
- Enhance the availability, affordability, and sustainability of suitable housing across the entire housing spectrum;
- Driven by the strategic plan, highlight SEDA-COG’s value in the region through relationship building.
As a direct result of the plan, SEDA-COG has created a new position to boost awareness of the agency’s slate of services so residents and businesses can fully benefit from the agency’s offerings.
Kristen Moyer, who has worked for the agency since 1991, has been promoted as community relations director to spearhead this effort. Its foundation is relationship building.
Bill Seigel, SEDA-COG executive director, said this position embraces why the agency exists and it offers a new level of service to the region.
“We have dedicated ourselves to bettering our neighbors’ quality of life – that’s why we come to work every day,” Seigel said. “When we held our strategic plan focus groups, we learned we could strengthen awareness of the agency and build even stronger relationships. Kristen has proven over her 28 years that she is absolutely dedicated and passionate about empowering our clients, communities, and businesses – she genuinely cares about people. She embodies the ‘why’ of what we do.”
Moyer began her SEDA-COG career in the Community Development program and transferred to the Procurement Technical Assistance Center in 2005.
She plans to build on the agency’s relationships with its partners which include chambers, Industrial Resource Centers, Small Business Development Centers, as well as support local, state, and federal elected officials as they serve the region.
“I enjoy working with all the SEDA-COG staff. They are hardworking and dedicated to serving our region and the people who live here,” Moyer said. “There are so many excellent programs and initiatives SEDA-COG offers and I’m excited to help connect the need with our offerings.”
SEDA-COG’s business services include low-interest loans, assistance with selling internationally and to the government, and rail and natural gas service. For communities, SEDA-COG rehabilitates and weatherizes homes and provides quality, affordable elderly housing facilities. The agency also assists with information technology and broadband, public infrastructure projects, and transportation planning.
SEDA-COG serves a core region of Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder, and Union counties.
A native of the area, Moyer appreciates still calling the area “home.”
“I was raised in Snyder County, and although I’ve traveled to many places, it’s always a joy to come home,” Moyer said. “I am so honored to have this opportunity to give back to the people who put their roots here and have become part of the central Pennsylvania family.”
Moyer is a graduate of Shippensburg University, a 1996 graduate of Leadership Susquehanna Valley, and a 2000 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University Rural Leadership Program. She lives in Northumberland County and serves on the Delaware Township Planning Commission, the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way Board of Directors, and the Southern Tier Regional Advisory Board for the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.