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May 13, 2002
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831

Naumann Selected As Economic Development Coordinator

Mayor Don Wesely, Lancaster County Board Chair Bob Workman, and Lincoln Electric System (LES) Administrator Terry Bundy today announced their selection of Darl Naumann as the new Economic Development Coordinator for the City, County and LES.

"All agree we need to do more in economic development to work with companies to retain jobs and to recruit companies to bring new jobs to town," said Mayor Wesely. "The new coordinator will work directly with all public and private entities involved in economic growth to increase the City's overall efforts. Having attracted Darl with his experience and skills working for Lincoln will be a benefit to the City, County, LES and the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development (LPED). He will hit the ground running at a time when the community needs to be more aggressive in economic development."

Naumann is the Director of Business Development for the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED), and has worked for the Department since 1993. Naumann has extensive experience in business recruitment and retention and has expertise with the state and federal programs available to assist communities and businesses. He has a bachelorís degree, masterís degree and a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

"Lincoln and Lancaster County have been in an economic downturn. In hiring Dr. Naumann, we are getting ready for the turn-around," said Workman. "This provides us with a unique opportunity to position ourselves for future opportunities."

"LES is pleased to be part of a new team effort to enhance economic development in Lincoln," said Bundy. "Darl Naumann is a great addition to this initiative. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the job. We look forward to working with him."

The Economic Development Coordinator will oversee an existing team of public employees from the City, County and LES and will coordinate all the public aspects of economic development activities. The team consists of existing employees from the City-County Planning Department; the City's Public Works and Utilities, Urban Development, and Building and Safety Departments; LES; and Lancaster County. The new coordinator will work directly with LPED, which is the lead entity for economic development.

The economic development coordinator was an existing position in the City, but it had not been filled since 1996 when LPED was formed as a public-private venture to handle economic development activities for the City. The new coordinator will fill an existing gap, which existed because LPED has never had the authority to speak for the City, County or LES. The coordinator will work for all three public entities on economic development projects to help ensure as much coordination as possible, in the most cost efficient manner possible. As a coordinator for all three public entities, the economic development coordinator will have the ability to speak and act for the City, County and LES. The creation of this position will help expedite projects.

The initiative was announced on March 7th, 2002 by Mayor Wesely, County Chair Workman, and LES Administrator Bundy, who said they would jointly hire an economic development coordinator to work for the City, County, and LES and oversee an existing group of public employees who contribute to the public aspects of economic development. The coordinatorís position was designed to work directly with LPED and others involved in job creation and retention. On March 21, the LPED Co-chairs announced their agreement to support the creation of a public economic development position. The announcement also reaffirmed that LPED remains the lead agency for economic development.

The LES Administrative Board, City Council and County Board of Commissioners each passed the agreement that established the joint funding and duties of the coordinator position. The LES Board approved the agreement March 15, the City Council approved it April 8, and the County Commission finalized the agreement April 9.

Wesely, Workman and Bundy jointly interviewed the finalists from a pool of 50 applicants.

Naumann will start his new position June 1. His annual salary will $84,800. The position is jointly funded with the County and LES each providing $25,000 and the City contributing the remaining amount.

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