Economy Talk 5: Building a Local Economy

This Wed. May 4, at 6pm listen to my conversation with Reginaldo (Regi) Haslett-Marroquin, Program Director, Rural Enterprise Center and founder of Hillside Farmers Cooperative.

Regi launched the Rural Enterprise Center program of Main Street Project in 2006, but has a long history of successful transnational entrepreneurial leadership. He began working on economic development projects with indigenous Guatemalan communities in 1988, and has served as a consultant for the United Nations Development Program’s Bureau for Latin America and advisor to the World Council of Indigenous Peoples. He founded the Fair Trade Federation and co-created Peace Coffee, a successful fair-trade coffee company, and then went on to work with woodland owners in the Midwest and Guatemala where he organized several stewardship-certified cooperative forestry businesses.

Regi was recognized for his work in 1996 when he was named one of the Twin Cities International Citizens of the Year. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Northfield Area Foundation and is an active member of the Rotary Club of Northfield. A Guatemalan native, Regi received his agronomy degree from the Central National School of Agriculture and studied at the Universidad de San Carlos in Guatemala. He also received a bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration from Augsburg College, Minneapolis.

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