The Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation is a non-profit organization that promotes the growth and development of existing businesses, and pursues quality new businesses to help sustain the economic vitality of the area. With the recent investments announced, Dodge City and Ford County have experienced an increase of 13.1% in job growth over the past five years, accounting for over 2,000 additional new job openings in all areas including accounting, health, manufacturing, hospitality, agribusiness, and education.
The Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation is a joint partnership between the City of Dodge City, Ford County, and several private businesses.
The mission of the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation is to promote the growth and development of existing business and pursue quality new businesses in an aggressive, positive, and efficient manner that promotes the socio-economic viability of the region.
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Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation
Joann Knight serves as the Executive Director of the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation and has been with the public/private partnership for 28 years. She is responsible for overseeing the organizations day-to-day operations including business recruitment and expansion, workforce, housing, rural community development, neighborhood revitalization and entrepreneurship.
Knight was instrumental in creating and now also oversees Main Street Dodge City, Dodge City Festivals, and the Community Housing Association of Dodge City. Knight is currently overseeing the creation and implementation of the Rural Education and Workforce Alliance (REWA), which is working to create stronger businesses education coalitions across Southwest Kansas and develop a University/Training Center to bring degree and training programs to the region that meet the needs of the regions workforce. Recently Knight worked with the Kansas Small Business Development Center to host and locate an office in Dodge City covering a seven-county region including Kiowa, Clark, Comanche, Ford, Edwards, Hodgeman and Ness Counties.
Mrs. Knight currently serves on several state and regional boards including the Western Kansas Rural Economic Development Alliance (wKREDA), the Kansas Economic Development Alliance (KEDA), and the Eisenhower Excellence in Public Service Series. She was the 2013 Kansas Representative on the Southern Economic Development Council Board of Directors and is a Past President of the KEDA.
Debbie Harris is the Special Projects Assistant for Workforce for the Development Corporation. She maintains the dodgecityhasjobs.com website as well as showcases Dodge City’s workforce needs at several career fairs throughout the Midwest every year. Debbie is also responsible for the day-to-day financial management of the office, collects quarterly cost of living data and organizes Dodge City Festivals, Inc. She has been with the Development Corporation for 15 years.
Riley Wilhoit is the Assistant to the Executive Director of the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation. His position will entail assisting the Economic Development Director with budgeting, recruiting, developing, retaining, and expanding business in the Ford County area.
Riley moved to Dodge City in May of 2018 to work for Cargill as a Supervisor on the production floor. He has a B.S. in Agricultural Business from Texas Tech University and is excited to take on a new role with the Development Corporation.
Riley enjoys spending time outdoors, watching baseball and spending time with his family who live in North Texas.
Mollea Wainscott joined the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation in September 2015 as the Special Projects Coordinator/Housing. Her position will consist of coordinating projects of the Community Housing Association of Dodge City and the Abandoned Housing Program. She will also focus on the neighborhood revitalization programs and grant writing,
Mollea has lived in Dodge City for the past fourteen years and graduated from Dodge City Community College. She is currently working towards her Bachelors in Business Education through Fort Hays State University.
Mollea worked for Dodge City Public Schools USD 443 for 10 years and is excited to join the Development Corporation team. Mollea has two children who attend USD 443 schools.
She enjoys cheering for her son during wrestling and baseball season, and watching her daughter perform in choir. Mollea also enjoys watching her favorite Kansas teams, the Chiefs and Royals, win.
Coral Lopez is the new Main Street Coordinator for the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation. As Main Street Coordinator, Coral’s focus is the revitalization of Dodge City’s historic downtown distrcit through the development of new incentive programs, implementation of marketing and event promotions, and working with current and new small businesses to strengthen the downtown ecoomic environment. She hopes that her work with the Development Corporation as Main Street Coordinator will help nurture a downtown district that will serve as an active, desirable, and sustainable public space for existing members of the community.
Coral graduated from Dodge City High School and Dodge City Community College and is currently working on her Bachelor of Business Administration. She is happily married to her husband of 10 years. Coral and her husband are proud of their three children. They stay busy with extracurricular school and sport activities.