Dickinson will be host to the Economic Development Association of North Dakota's fall conference this month.

The event brings together economic developers and business and community leaders from across the state discuss ways to improve North Dakota's economy and communities, Jennifer Greuel, EDND Executive Director, said.

"North Dakota is stronger together," she said. "A lot of the communities are facing some of the same issues, like workforce challenges, so they learn and network and come up with solutions together."

Dickinson was chosen for this year's event because of its recent growth and activity.

"We haven't been in Dickinson for several years, and there's been a lot of changes, a lot of development there, that our economic developers are really excited to see, and see how those projects came together," Greuel said.

More than 100 professionals and leaders are expected to attend the event.

Hosting the conference is an honor for Dickinson, Ryan Jilek, Stark Development Corp. executive vice president, said.

"It will be nice to invite economic development professionals and resources from around the state to visit Dickinson," he said. "We have not hosted the EDND conference since 2004, and our community has evolved considerably since then."

The event's theme is "Fueling Our Future - Leveraging Collaboration."

Conference participants will tour Dickinson's Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing facility, as well as Baker Boy Inc., Steffes, and Fluffy Fields Vinyard & Winery.

Pat Bertagnolli, MBI Energy Services vice president of human resources, will deliver a luncheon keynote titled "Growth & Retention Strategies - Making an Impression that Matters!"

The closing keynote, titled "Present Day Pioneering," will be given by Sarah Calhoun, founder of Red Ants Pants, a women's clothing enterprise launched in White Supher Springs, Mont., in 2006.

"She's going to be talking about the importance of rural communities to the U.S., and how big things can happen in those communities," Greuel said.

The city benefits from hosting such events, Terri Thiel, Dickinson Convention & Visitors Bureau executive director, said.

"We're coming off of our main travel season," Thiel said. "This is when we really like to see some of those meetings and conventions and trade shows come into town because it helps us fill those rooms past that typical leisure travel season."

She added, "And with all the economic developers coming in from across the state, it's great to be able to showcase all the different types of industries we have in our community."

The event is sponsored by Stark Development Corp. and North Dakota Southwest Developers, and supported by Hettinger County Job Development Authority and Dunn County JDA, among others.

"Their involvement adds context to the event that is often missing when these conferences are typically hosted by the larger communities in North Dakota," Jilek said.

The EDND fall conference will be hosted from Oct. 21 to Oct. 23 at the Ramada Grand Dakota Hotel, 532 15th St. W.

Greuel said she is excited for the gathering.

"I haven't been to Dickinson in several years, so I'm excited to see what's happening there and the progress they've been making," she said.

Registration and event details can be found at https:ednd.org.