How I can help you

Pierce County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director- November 2017 to present

  • Executive Director Pierce County EDC responsible for execution of its economic and business and economic development program

Folsom Entrepreneurial Ventures, LLC - owner  December 2014 to present

  • Sole owner of multi--enterprise business providing economic and business development services and developing  specialty berry and garlic production enterprise

U.S. Small Business Administration District Director for  Iowa

May 2004 – September 2014

  • I was responsible for all aspects of SBA’s programs, delivery, administration, operations and representation in Iowa.  This included lending programs, government contracting and business development, entrepreneurial development and assisting the office of disaster assistance in times of disaster.   I managed a staff of 12 (originally 18) including a branch office in Cedar Rapids.  Accomplishments include leading a very successful lending outreach and marketing program that resulted in a record $210 million in lending in fiscal year 2009, $261.3 million in fiscal year 2010, and $293 million in fiscal year 2011. These efforts include lender marketing, outreach and training programs that reach 400+ lenders each year with a personal contact, monthly newsletters, training, and webinar sessions tailored to lender needs and close collaboration with the Iowa Bankers Association. 
  • In 2011, I provided leadership to 2 very successful entrepreneurship summits. SBA hosted a Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit in August with 180 attendees and co hosted with 28 other organizations a rural youth entrepreneurship summit in October with 150 attendees.
  • I led the creation of one day government contracting procurement conference in 2008 that in its second year in 2009 became a multi day event that drew over 500 attendees from the region. The development of this conference was done in a way that led to the small businesses and the procurement community taking ownership of what is now planned to be an annual event. Under my leadership we have taken a lead role in reaching out to the new immigrant community with a cosponsored Immigrant Entrepreneurship Summit that in its third  year drew 450 attendees. As a leader and SBA’s representative I served on the Iowa Rural Development Council and the Federal Executive Council.  My leadership in working with state and local leaders in the tornado and flood recovery efforts of 2008 has been publicly acknowledged several times.  I received a Special Act Award for these efforts.

USDA Rural Development/Farmers Home Administration, Various locations and positions in Minnesota

Oct 1976 – May 2004

  • From 2001 to 2004 I was responsible for the development and implementation of a statewide program of community and cooperative development technical assistance to rural communities, the state's 11 tribal communities, and cooperatives. I supervised a staff of community and cooperative specialists; developed and implemented a program of technical assistance activities; assisted in the targeting of program resources to unserved and underserved communities; marketing, and providing an overarching link between Rural Development programs and other resources.  Through my leadership in 2003 we were able to provide community visioning and planning services to 9 Northwestern Minnesota communities, provide in depth technical assistance to 19 cooperative projects, assist a tribal community and tribal college in their strategic planning efforts and assist in conducting a conference on SE Asian and Hispanic cultures. Effective partnership relationships were developed. A database of the state's 847 cooperatives was established, a survey completed and an analysis of their economic impact to the state completed.  I worked with specific cooperative groups on organizational development, strategic planning, market & feasibility analysis and business planning in addition to program leadership.
  • Prior to 2001 I held various positions as a Cooperative Development Specialist, Business Programs Specialist, Assistant District Director, District Loan Specialist, County Supervisor and Assistant County Supervisor administering, underwriting, processing and servicing various housing( multifamily and single family), farm, community infrastructure(water and sewer and community facilities), business and cooperative loan, grant, and technical assistance programs.

Community Development Bank, Ogema, MN- February 2016 to November 2017

  • Originator of conventional and guaranteed single family home loans

McVay Farms- Manager 1974 to 1976

  • Assistant manager and manager of 750 head cow calf operation with 1100-1800 head of beef cattle.  Responsible for overall operations including employees, herd, pasture, crop and feed.
Areas of Expertise
  • Business Finance & Accounting
  • Business Strategy & Planning
  • Government & Regulations
  • Non-Profit
  • Business Operations

Industry Experience
  • Banking, Financial Services and Insurance
  • Agriculture and Farming
  • Government Contracting
  • Consulting, Research and Business Services
  • International Trade, Imports / Exports
  • Nonprofit, Public and Professional Organizations

Education

Master of Business Administration Degree,St. Cloud State University, Major area of concentration: Regional Economics, May 2002; Bachelor of Science, University of Minnesota, Major: Animal Science and Agricultural Economics; Other Education and Training: Federal Executive Institute, SBA Senior Leadership Seminar 2010; OPM Management Development Center, Management Development Seminar 2005; Nijenrode University, Netherlands, National Institute for Cooperative Entrepreneurship (NICE) 1998 Summer School, “Marketing and Governance in European Co-operative Food &Agribusiness; American University, 1980-Applied Public Financial Management (graduate level coursework);May 2003, a research report, “Measuring the Economic Impact of Cooperatives in Minnesota”, published by USDA Rural Business Cooperative Service as Research Report 200 and distributed to academic libraries worldwide. It has been used and referenced in cooperative education and in reports such as Cooperatives in Social Development” by the Secretary-General, United Nations.


Joe Folsom

Communication Methods

  • In Person
  • Phone