Get to know me
Melinda Grismer, Interim Assistant Director of Engagement and Community & Regional Development Specialist with the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD), has expertise in grant-writing, facilitation, strategic planning, board governance and diversity/equity/inclusion/access issues. Currently, she works with the Rural Opportunity Zone Initiative (ROZI), the Wabash Heartland Innovation Network (WHIN), the Latino Health & Workforce Study, and the Master Remote Work Professional (MRWP) Certificate Program. She currently serves as President of the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) and on the Indiana Minority Health Coalition (IMHC) Board of Directors.
Previously, Melinda worked on PCRD’s Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program (DMAP) team, assisting counties and regions affected by defense downsizing and coached Stronger Economies Together (SET) 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 (BGGW) 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 local communities and expands it into regional impact for the state of Indiana.
- All A-Board! Prioritizing Board Diversity & Inclusion
- Video - Indiana Local Government: Closest to the People
- ROZI Prospectus DeKalb County
- ROZI Prospectus Daviess County
- WHIN Midpoint Impact Analysis - Digital Agriculture
- WHIN Midpoint Impact Analysis - Manufacturing
- WHIN Midpoint Impact Analysis - Regional Engagement
- Placemaking Survey Report - First Round
- Placemaking Survey Report - Second Round
- Focus Group Presentation
- High-Quality SET Plans
- Jay County Plan
- WHIN - Placemaking Survey - Regional Report 2020
Written by Melinda Grismer and Julie Rigrish. Did you know that OZ is more than just a wonderful wizard? In fact, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 allowed…
Whether your welding partner is a robotic arm on the assembly line or you open the door to a roving bot delivering pizza on Purdue’s campus, at some point you…
Purdue University (including the Purdue Center for Regional Development), Ivy Tech, and local partners such as the community foundation were awarded a nearly $40 million grant from Lilly Endowment, for…