Melinda Grismer, a community and regional development specialist with PCRD, has expertise in grant-writing, facilitation, strategic planning, board governance and diversity/inclusion issues. Currently, she works with the Rural Opportunity Zone Initiative (ROZI) as an instructor and facilitator, with the Wabash Heartland Innovation Network (WHIN) in the role of metrics/project assessment, and as president-elect of NACDEP (National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals) organizing the 2022 conference coming to Indianapolis.
Previously, Melinda worked on PCRD’s DMAP (Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program) team, assisting counties and regions affected by defense downsizing and coached SET (Stronger Economies Together) regions across the state to build local coalitions and write high-quality plans of action. In addition, she served on a team with the regional community development educators to create/refine curriculum for the Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E), Community Leadership, Enhancing the Quality of Public Spaces and (national award-winning) Beginners Guide to Grant Writing programs.
Melinda spent three years (2004-2007) developing a successful Latino Community Learning Center/Pl@za Comunitaria in Frankfort, Indiana, followed by three years (2007-2010) as the Learning Network Coordinator of Clinton County, building local educational and workforce capacity through grant funding and fee-based revenue. In 2010, upon obtaining her Master’s degree from Purdue University in Extension/adult education, she became a community development educator in Clinton County, trailblazing such spotlight programs as Breaking Back into the Workforce, Reality Language instruction for manufacturing/service industries, Local Government: Closest to the People, Industry Leader Lunch Series, Small Business Networking, Summer Kids Workshops, the Clinton County Tutoring Program and Leadership Clinton County. In her role at PCRD, Melinda leverages the experience she gained working with her local community, and expands it into regional impact for the state of Indiana.