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EDC board hires new director

By Staff | Jun 14, 2009

Blue Earth City Administrator Kathy Bailey

Go Minnesota has hired a new executive director and it will be a coming home of sorts.

Jeff Lang, president of the non-profit economic development group, says Doug Uhrhammer of Big Lake is expected to start his new job today.

The position has been vacant for 2 1/2 months, following the death of David Piggott.

Uhrhammer, a Sherburn native, was offered the position after four finalists were interviewed last month.

Kathy Bailey, Blue Earth city administrator and a member of the interviewing panel, says Uhrhammer’s experience with government and corporate executives make him a ‘good fit’ for the position.

“He is going to have the ability to talk with the new entrepreneur and to the CEOs of corporations,” Bailey says.

Another plus, she says, was Uhrhammer’s familiarity with the area and his willingness to return close to home and family members.When Uhrhammer heard of the opening there was doubt in his mind he was going to apply.

Returning to southern Minnesota would provide a great opportunity to help an area he is fond of.

“I know the struggles rural communities are going through right now and the underpinnings of that economy,” he says.

Big Lake’s community economic director Jim Thares was one of Uhrhammer’s references.

The two have known each other for nearly 20 years and have worked on various projects.

Thares describes Uhrhammer as a self-starter with quite a few years of economic development experience in the public and private sectors.

“He’s very good. He’ll be a very go-getter type of person there,” says Thares. “He’s a can-doer and won’t just sit around and do plans to put them on the shelves.”

Go Minnesota board member Bill Eckles says the organization can now move forward.

Eckles lauded the work of research intern Linsey Warmka until a replacement was hired.

“Doug will be able to pick up where we left off. We’re looking forward to have him go out and start recruiting businesses,” Eckles says.

The economic development group received 25 resumes and narrowed the list to six.

Others who interviewed the finalists included: Lang; Deb Barnes, administrator at Parker Oaks; Jake Anderson, Faribault County EDA board member; Scott Robertson, owner of Precision Concrete; and Warmka.