Raso serves as President & CEO of the GFMEDC.
Raso has spent twenty years as President and CEO of four business development organizations. He has experience in downtown, rural and metropolitan economic development, including workforce development, existing industry services, business attraction, and innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Main Street program he oversaw was later recognized as a National Main Street award recipient. His workforce and existing industry programming has been recognized nationally. Raso developed state of Iowa’s first shovel ready sites program and co-led nation’s first co-working facility that houses an economic development organization. He also was one of the principle leaders of developing the nations first demand-driven workforce systems.
John Machacek serves as Chief Innovation Officer for the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation.
A primary focus area is assisting area entrepreneurial development both on a macro level of helping build the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and on a micro level of visiting with, listening to and assisting people on both a company and individual level. Through his work and connections, in addition to his personal strengths and interests, John looks to help people succeed and promote our community as a great place to live, work and create. John also administers the Growth Initiative Fund loan pool, providing partnership financing for primary sector companies.
Prior to this role, John was the VP of Finance & Operations at United Way of Cass-Clay and a business banker at U.S. Bank.
Ryan Aasheim serves as Chief Business Development Officer for the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation (GFMEDC).
Through this work, Ryan is responsible for leading the GFMEDC’s business development efforts including new primary-sector business attraction and business retention and expansion. This includes understanding and serving the needs of the more than 350 primary-sector businesses in the Greater Fargo Moorhead region. To ensure targeted companies and consultants understand the opportunities for business growth in the region, Ryan’s attraction efforts will focus on several strategic targeted sectors, including precision agriculture, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and big data and analytics.
Prior to joining the GFMEDC, Ryan served as the business development manager of the Red River Corridor Fund and consultant to UAS and precision ag industry stakeholders at the economic development consulting firm, Praxis Strategy Group.
Tifanie Gelinske serves as the Sr. Vice President of Workforce Development for the GFMEDC.
In her role at the GFMEDC, Tifanie meets with area employers, K-12 and higher education to address workforce needs. In addition, she handles the community experience program that includes meeting with and providing personalized information to people from outside of Fargo Moorhead as they consider relocation.
Tifanie serves as a volunteer member of the North Dakota STEM Network, the Health, Tech & Trades Career Expo Committee and is a current member of Altrusa International.
Tifanie has a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from North Dakota State University and lives in Fargo with her husband and four children.
Lisa Gulland-Nelson is the Chief Communication Officer for the GFMEDC.
In her role, Lisa is responsible for the GFMEDC’s public relations efforts and branding the metro as a great place to live and do business. She manages the organization’s social media, media relations and investor relations.
Lisa has been a community organizer for 1 Million Cups Fargo. Started by the Kauffman Foundation, 1MC is a weekly event in which an entrepreneur engages with an audience of innovators and community members.
Lisa earned her Bachelor of Science degree in mass communications from Minnesota State University Moorhead and her Masters of Science degree in communications from North Dakota State University.
Sammi Rowe serves as the Vice President Research and Project Management for the GFMEDC.
In her role at the GFMEDC, Sammi collects and analyzes research affecting economic aspects of Fargo Moorhead. She compiles economic indicators, conducts the annual employment survey and ensures the EDC’s participation in the Cost of Living surveys. Sammi assists with business development by compiling RFPs that use compelling information to sell Fargo Moorhead to new businesses. Sammi also assists with technology needs and questions from other GFMEDC staff and plans events such as Manufacturing Day.
Sammi is an alumna of Concordia College where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Marketing. She is also an alumna of the FMWF Chamber’s Leadership Program.
Libby Larson is the Finance and HR Manager for the GFMEDC.
In her role, Libby manages all office management aspects , human resources, payroll and financial reporting. Libby reviews all financial records and prepares reporting for the GFMEDC, Growth Initiative Funds, Valley Prosperity Partnership boards as well as Education that Works and STEM Alliance.
Prior to Libby’s position with the GFMEDC, she was payroll manager for RDO/ RD Offutt Co.
Libby lives at Middle Cormorant Lake with her husband Bob, where she helps her husband manage their repair business. Libby and her husband have two children and three grandsons.
Ness oversees the core Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) activities of the GFMEDC. This work is critical to understanding the changing dynamics of the regional economy and allows the EDC to strengthen relationships and better serve the growth and expansion of more than 400 primary-sector companies that drive the regional economy in Cass and Clay Counties.
Chelsie is our Executive Assistant to the President & CEO/Office Manager and oversees the office and internal processes. She will often be the first one to greet you when you call or stop by.
Chelsie is a Moorhead native, but currently resides in Dilworth with her husband and cat.