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Dawn Espe

Region Five Development Commission
Equitable Development Specialist
As Senior Regional Development Planner at Region Five Development Commission, I oversee the Welcoming Communities initiative to attract and retain a qualified workforce in Region 5. As a Qualified Assessor, I deliver Intercultural Development Inventory Assessments to groups and individuals as a tool to help communities bridge cultural differences, improving quality of life and economic vitality for all. I work with Welcoming Community Advisory Groups to assist in finding ways to implement welcoming community goals that they set as a community.
Placemaking is another focus of my work. Additionally, I help to build community capitals and value chains using the WealthWorks model, which increases local wealth and ownership. I am currently working on placemaking, local foods and energy value chains.
I serve on the Five Wings Arts Counci and Brainerd Lakes Pride board. I hold a master's degree in Education from the University of MN, Duluth. I also hold a bachelor’s degree from Mankato State University in Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services with an emphasis in Event Planning and in Natural Resource Management.

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