The Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation (EDC) board of directors presented the 2021 Klaus Thiessen Impact Award to JLG Co-founder Lonnie Laffen at their annual meeting on Wednesday, June 9. Laffen passed away suddenly in December 2020. Adam Davidson, JLG senior project manager, and Pam Laffen, Lonnie’s widow, accepted the award on his behalf. The award is bestowed in remembrance and thankful recognition of Lonnie’s passionate contributions to economic growth and development in the Grand Forks region.
“Lonnie loved Grand Forks and that came out in everything he did,” said Jonathan Holth, EDC board chair. “For his entire career, Lonnie advocated for investment in the Grand Forks region, and always encouraged our citizens and elected leaders to dream big and strive for progress and success.”
The EDC’s board of directors chooses an individual or business to honor with the Klaus Thiessen Impact Award annually. The 11-member board provides direction for the region’s economic development strategy to support the growth and diversity of the region’s economy. Priorities identified include business recruitment and retention in primary sector industries including agri-business, autonomous systems, manufacturing, and high-tech services, as well as workforce development and entrepreneurship.
The Grand Forks Region EDC works collaboratively to foster an environment that attracts innovative people and business investment to Grand Forks County and the surrounding region, enhancing economic vitality for long-term prosperity and growth.