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Executive Director


Cheryal joined Region Five Development Commission (R5DC) in 2006 and has a 25+ year national reputation as an action-oriented convener with experience in securing resources through authentic relationships that have spurred equitable economic ecosystems and honor environmental stewardship commitments in rural Central Minnesota communities.


Cheryal currently professionally provides oversight of seven lending programs and community development planning in areas of transportation, workforce development, climate & broadband and delivers projects related to renewable energy, local foods, and arts/culture.


She is a national speaker, honored to have presented at the White House twice in her career. In May 2022, Cheryal presented to the US House Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth. In August 2022, she was appointed to serve as a member of the USDA Equity Commission (EC) Rural Community Economic Development (RCED).


She and colleagues started a rural regional Welcoming Communities program in 2018, when she became a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) assessments to improve regional cultural competency. Cheryal’s organization “R5DC” is nationally recognized – one of six Hub experts on delivery of the WealthWorks evaluation model.


Cheryal is a gardener, canner, spoils pets, and loves to travel to rural places. She is the proud “mom” of 3 adult children and their spouses and “Grammy” to two spirited granddaughters.

Cheryal can be reached directly at 218.296.5200 or via email at

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