Welcome to Monona County, Iowa

Latest News


Business Spotlight | Minnihan Law Firm

Minnihan Law Firm is an In-Kind partner with MCEDP. The firm has graciously provided legal services to our Non-Profit organization – Monona County Economic Development –  for several years.

Minnihan Law Firm was founded by Kara and Matt Minnihan. The couple attended law school in San Diego, CA and moved to the midwest to open a business in 2004. The firm works diligently in providing the community with services in all areas of Law, apart from bankruptcy and disability.

Matt and Kara both love living and working in a small town and getting to know their clients.  Kara is a part-time magistrate for Monona County and works for the firm the other part of the time. Matt works at Minnihan Law full time.

Minnihan Law Firm is located at 906 9th St. in Onawa, IA.

They can be reached by calling the office: 712-423-2006

They are both pioneers for growth in Monona County and are huge community supporters.

Partner Spotlight | WIPCO

Western Iowa Power Cooperative (WIPCO) is a non-profit, member-owned rural electric cooperative providing service to approximately 3,500 members in 9 area counties in west central Iowa. Our service territory covers 2,000 square miles and includes 2,100 miles of electric distribution lines.

On April 1, 1997 South Crawford Rural Electric Cooperative and Monona County Rural Electric Cooperative consolidated and incorporated to form Western Iowa Power Cooperative. Both RECs began providing electric service to rural areas in 1936.

A Board of Directors, elected by the membership, governs the Cooperative. The Board meets monthly to set policies and review operations.

WIPCO purchases power from Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative (NIPCO), a generation and transmission cooperative located in Le Mars, Iowa.

A reliable electric supplier and experienced employees have allowed Western Iowa Power Cooperative to remain stable and financially sound. Local ownership, local control, non-profit operation and cooperative – your Cooperative is something special – a unique way of doing business.

Western Iowa Power Cooperative’s mission is to enhance our members’ quality of life by providing safe and reliable electric services.

WIPCO is an in-kind partner of MCEDP providing the organization with office space and materials, meeting space, and accounting.


Western Iowa’s Most Beautiful County

According to the US Census Bureau, Monona County has a total area of 699 square miles, of which 694 is land and 4.9 is water. We lie on the western border of Iowa along the Missouri River. Monona County is home to the beautiful Loess Hills which add year-round beauty to our area and provide ample area for hunting, hiking and exploring.

Monona County is also home to the Lewis and Clark State Park, Huff’s Access Point, and Parts of Preparation Canyon State Forest.

We also boast rich, fertile soil and incredible flatlands in the area which lends itself to farming, new trends in agri-business, tourism, hunting and fishing.

Monona County Supervisors are pioneers for growth in Monona County! As an MCEDP Partner, they have contributed to many of the progressive changes you are seeing today. Thank you Monona County, For your support and partnership in Growth.

Partner Spotlight | City of Onawa

Monona County’s Seat, Onawa,  is a quaint rural community nestled between the beautiful Loess Hills and the Missouri River along the I-29 corridor.

Onawa is a community with a rich and colorful history, from the Lewis & Clark Expedition to the origins of Eskimo Pies.

Onawa has an active community calendar, which includes the Monona County Fair, the Annual Swap Meet, Graffiti Night, Lewis & Clark Festival, Ventures and ONABIKE. The community offers a variety of recreational opportunities including the great city parks, the picturesque Loess Hills, the Gramm Conservation Area and Lewis & Clark State Park.

The City of Onawa is a leader partner in Monona County Economic Development.

Business Spotlight | The Hoffman Agency

Founded In Charter Oak, IA in 1964 – The Hoffman Agency has been serving insurance consumers with old-fashioned customer service at multiple locations across Western Iowa. The Hoffman Agency’s traditional values combined with today’s technology to allow them to provide the high quality, professional, personal insurance services you deserve.

Their business is based on the premise that every client presents a unique set of insurance needs and risk exposures that warrant the highest quality coverage and maximum value possible.

As an Independent Insurance Agency, they represent a carefully selected group of reputable and competitive insurance companies dedicated to providing superior coverage and customer service at an economical price.

The Hoffman Agency agents are passionate about their commitment to protecting the things that you value most, taking the worry out of your life so you can get on with living it!

Having offices both in Mapleton, IA and Onawa, IA The Hoffman Agency serves Monona County and participates in MCEDP as a Visionary Partner for growth!

Check out all of their locations:

Business Spotlight | Great Southern Bank

In 1923, Great Southern Bank was started with a $5,000 investment and has since grown to the company it is today. Great Southern Bank serves more than 151,000 households by providing them with the most comprehensive line of products and services available. With nearly 1,200 dedicated associates they provide exceptional service to customers.

Great Southern Bank is headquartered in Springfield, Mo. and operate 100+ offices in eleven states with 97 retail banking centers in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota, six commercial lending offices in Dallas, Texas, Tulsa, Okla., Chicago, Ill., Omaha, Neb., Atlanta, Ga. and Denver, Colo., and one home loan center in Springfield, Mo. Customers can expect the most convenient banking services possible. This includes the longest banking hours in town, mobile, online and telephone banking, plus a large ATM network.

Great Southern Bank serves Monona County Iowa on the corner of 10th and Iowa Ave. in Onawa, IA. They are a Visionary Partner in Monona County Economic Development and support community growth, entrepreneurs, and development. Each year, Great Southern Bank Onawa Branch participates in special missions to give back to the community, such as their mitten tree during the holidays that benefits West Central Community Action. Recently, Onawa’s Branch Manager, Terry Framke was recognized by The CEO of Great Southern Bank, with the 2020 Bill and Ann Turner Distinguished Community Service Award for her ongoing commitment to a stronger community.

Great Southern Bancorp, Inc., the holding company for Great Southern Bank, is a public company and its common stock (ticker: GSBC) is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Stock Exchange.

Business Spotlight | Black Hills Energy

Black Hills Energy, A Visionary MCEDP Partner

Black Hills Energy serves 1.2 million natural gas and electric utility customers in eight states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Their story began with the Black Hills Gold Rush, and were there when electric lights first lit up the night in Deadwood, SD.  Since then, generations of families have relied on them and they are ready to serve.  They continue to help fuel a changing economy and have experienced how the modern miracle of energy can change how we live.

The company plans years in advance to make sure their ready to provide the energy you need, when you need it. Financial information, quarterly earnings, news releases, stock information and other information for our investors can be found on their website.

Black Hills Energy is an energy partner that’s always looking ahead. Black Hills Energy is a vital partner in economic development in Monona County, IA as a Visionary Partner to MCEDP, Monona County Economic Development Partnership and a trusted community partner in the Monona County cities they serve.

To Learn more, visit Black Hills Energy online.


MCEDP Board Approves Update to Partner Benefits

On January 31, 2020 the MCEDP Board of Directors voted to approve an update to their partner benefits. The executive director proposed a significant increase in the level of marketing provided to MCEDP partners by offering things such as eligibility to be featured in the annual promotional video, increased online promotion for partners through the blog, sidebar, and footer of the website, annual social media shout-outs for Advocate partners, and even guaranteed business to business exchange for both small business and corporate banks!

The changes will take effect immediately for 2020 partners! If you have already paid your 2020 dues, and would like to upgrade your partnership level or you have not paid 2020 dues and want to be included, please reach out and we will get you all of the information you need to become a partner of MCEDP and help the organization thrive.

Visit HERE for all of the information you need to know about our new benefits!

Contact Us Via Email to update your partnership or sign up for a new partnership with MCEDP:




Work Based Learning and Business Partnerships at West Monona School

West Monona Community School District has partnered with several entities including Monona County Economic Development (MCEDP), The Northwest Area Education Agency, The City of Onawa, and Future Ready Iowa to facilitate Work Based Learning and business partnerships for students and local employers. 

The school-business partnership was initially developed in 2018 when community leaders, law enforcement officers, business owners, representatives from the city, and teachers were invited by West Monona to participate in a School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC). This committee was created in an effort to combine the school’s initiatives with improvement recommendations from the community to create the Portrait of a Graduate for West Monona.

“Workforce and talent development is a concern for many employers across the country and in our region. In addition to recruiting skilled employees to our community, we need to be developing future employees. We can start this development in our secondary schools. The school has really facilitated some great options for businesses and students to work together. I’m excited about the path that these partnerships could take and have a lot of hope for the future of business in Onawa and surrounding communities.” – Jess Carrier Executive Director MCEDP

Work based learning includes projects, internships, and even apprenticeships that are embedded into classwork. This sets the stage for great job opportunities for young people and builds a pipeline of skilled workers for employers. The Portrait of a Graduate includes 6 foundational pillars which will help to prepare students for the world in which they will live. Work Based learning can be incorporated into each of the pillars: Creativity and Innovation; Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; Flexibility and Adaptability; Information, Communication and Technology Literacy; Resilience; Social and Cross Cultural Skills.

“Oftentimes, when schools approach businesses for “partnerships”,  it is for sponsorship or monetary support. Instead, we’d like to create partnerships that benefit our students AND our businesses.  This is an opportunity for the schools to give back to our community and surrounding businesses and to provide our students with the skills necessary to be successful in life, regardless of the post secondary path they may choose. It’s an exciting time for West Monona Community Schools!”  –Julie Trepa, Superintendent

Lunch & Learn 1-14-20

To kick start the introduction of Work Based learning and School-Business partnerships, West Monona Community School would like to invite all Monona County Business owners, HR Professionals, and Organizational Leaders to a lunch and learn sponsored by MCEDP on January 14th, 2020. You will be introduced to the Work Based Learning Clearinghouse Portal, which is a virtual space that connects students and employers through shared projects that give students real world experience. The portal makes work-based learning more accessible to businesses and k-12 students in rural areas. The lunch and learn is from 12pm-2pm in the upstairs meeting room of the Onawa Public Library. (View the Flyer)  Please RSVP for lunch via phone Jess Carrier 712-433-4493 or email mocoecdev@gmail.com by January 6th, 2020.

 Click —> HERE to learn more about the Clearinghouse Portal.

Learning For Life Program – Family Paint Night

Burgess Health Center Public Health, Learning for Life Program, was very pleased to be able to host a Family Paint Night on November 18th at the Solider Community Center. The Public Health Department applied for and received special funding from the Neighborhood Network Grant, which made it possible to provide this event for free to the residents of Monona County and the surrounding areas. The Learning for Life Parent Educators worked with Simply Signs and Creative Customs, and the Iowa State University Extension Office to provide this fun event.


During this event, families were able to pick from two different wood designs to create, ‘Welcome to our Home” or “Let it Snow.” Families worked together to paint each block, place the stencil, and complete the painting to have a beautiful new decoration. The designs were created on separate blocks so that everyone in the family could be involved and have a roll in this creation. There were 12 families in attendance for a total of 24 participants. All families were entered into a drawing, and three lucky families were able to go home with a new blanket and book.


Simply Signs and Creative Customs provided instructions to complete the project and helped each family individually answer questions as they arose. The Learning for Life Parent Educators provided information on the importance of parent-child interaction. The Iowa State University Extension Office provided a healthy snack, details on how to make healthy snacks where to find more healthy eating choices. This event was funded by the support of Community Partnership for Protecting Children’s Neighborhood Networks Grant. This grant’s goal is to bring families together to build lasting relationships in their community. The learning for Life program is funded by grants from the Harrison, Monona, and Shelby Early Childhood Iowa (ECI) board and the Iowa Child Abuse Prevention Program (ICAPP).


To learn more about Public Health, visit www.burgesshc.org/services/public-health/ or 712.423.9153.




Pictured: Meghann Sudsbury with her son Brayden Koch and Lexy Brown with her daughter Ellie Brown.