Archive for Thursday, March 1, 2007

Economic development experience plentiful for new LCDC leader

March 1, 2007

The new executive director of the Leavenworth County Development Corp. brings goals, a strong sense of teamwork and a wealth of experience with him.

Steve Jack has been hired to take over the position last held by Lynn McClure, who resigned in fall 2006. Jack begins his new job Thursday and said he was ready to hit the ground running.

"I've been involved in economic development for the last 21 years," Jack said. "I'm familiar with the Leavenworth County Development Corporation and with other local economic development corporations, and I'm pretty familiar with what the responsibilities of an economic development corporation would be."

The Manhattan native now resides in Lawrence and has a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in public administration from Kansas State University. His resume shows a long list of managerial and director positions related to work force development and training, which began when he went to Topeka on a Governor's Fellowship following graduate school and became the first job training coordinator in the state.

He also completed a three-year course in the Economic Development Institution at the University of Oklahoma. His most recent job with the Kansas Department of Commerce involved managing special projects for the deputy secretary.

"Some of my experience came from grad school and EDI and some was learned on the job," Jack said.

The first few weeks on the job, he said, he will be focused on working with the LCDC board of directors and figuring out his role. Some of his duties will include working with existing businesses in Leavenworth County to make sure they are receiving tax benefits and training programs made available by the state, as well as recruiting new businesses to the county and focusing on key issues.

"Certainly the National Bio Agro Defense Facility is the hottest project and most important project the county is looking at right now," he said. "It's an exciting time for the county."

As for goals, Jack said he is committed to working together to bring new jobs to the county by adding them to existing businesses and by working closely with the Kansas City Area Development Council to recruit new businesses.

"My role will be finding out as much as I can about the existing industries needs and the strengths of the county so we can better communicate that to other companies interested in creating new quality jobs in Leavenworth County," he said. "It's important to listen to what people have to say. We may be able to do the job more successfully if we get the support, feedback and input from the community and leaders throughout the county."

Tony Kramer, president of LCDC, said the board was excited to welcome such a well-respected professional to the team.

"I think he'll do a fantastic job," Kramer said. "Lynn McClure got a lot of processes and teamwork going during his tenure, and I think Steve is going to build on that and take Leavenworth County to the next level in being able to attract businesses. He brings a level of experience we have not had for a while and a high level of enthusiasm."


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