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January 24, 2013

President of Portage College Elected as Chair of ARDN’s Board of Directors

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The Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) Board of Directors has elected Trent Keough, President and CEO of Portage College, to the position of Chair. Keough has been involved with ARDN since its inception, and has a longstanding commitment to rural and economic development. 

Keough replaced Rick Neidig as Chair following Neidig’s voluntary resignation from the position in anticipation of his upcoming retirement from Northern Lakes College where he is currently President and CEO. Neidig, who was a member of the original steering committee for ARDN, will continue to serve as Past Chair.

“Rick has been a source of guidance, leadership, and vision for our organization,” says Dee Ann Benard, Executive Director of ARDN. “We are glad that he has chosen to continue serving until his retirement and we are thrilled to have Trent join the board this year and step right into the role of Chair.”

Trent Keough is an active community member, volunteering for numerous organizations and serving on various boards and committees; currently, he is a member of the first Regional Economic Development Authority for Lac La Biche County, Vice Chair of the Alberta Association of Colleges and Technical Institutes (AACTI), and former executive member of both his local Community Futures and Chamber of Commerce. With ARDN, Trent has been both a member and chair of the Key Contacts working group and the Accountability and Reporting team, and continually advocates for the value and work of ARDN. 

“I have a foundational knowledge and fundamental belief in the work ARDN does,” Keough says. “And I believe ARDN has had and will continue to have a positive impact on the nature of collaboration and networking in the province.”

“Considering my personal rural roots and life-long interest in what makes rural communities viable, why some communities thrive and others wither, it makes sense that I want to work with an organization like ARDN that is genuinely interested in advancing the wellbeing of communities.”

Keough holds a Doctor of Philosophy from Queen’s University, and an MA in English and a BA in Political Science and English from Memorial University. He is also a Kellogg Foundation Fellow and graduate of the National Executive Leadership Institute. Under his leadership, ARDN will wrap up its funding from Rural Alberta Development Fund and continue to be a solutions generator for rural Alberta.

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