Warmka hired as director
Faribault County Development Corporation’s new executive director knows she has a lot of hard work and challenges ahead of her.
For Linsey Warmka, that’s nothing new.
“I know what needs to be done. I’m going to try to be approachable … be more visible and accessible in all communities in the county,” she says.
Warmka has served as the organization’s interim director since Doug Uhrhammer resigned last August.
At its Jan. 6 meeting, FCDC’s seven board of directors unanimously agreed to offer Warmka the job.
Although she took the night to think about it, Warmka had a pretty good idea what her answer would be.
“It was an easy decision. There was no doubt this is what I want to do,” she says.
Warmka was the group’s No. 2 choice, finishing behind Erin Reinders of Franklin, Tenn.
In late December, Reinders turned down an offer.
“We didn’t think we needed to open it up for new applications. We’re very excited Linsey accepted,” says Travis Keister, head of the four-member hiring committee and FCDC vice chairman.
A 2001 graduate of United South Central High School, Warmka earned a finance degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato.
Uhrhammer says FCDC’s board made the right choice and believes Warmka is capable of doing a good job.
“She’s local, so people in the county know her. A lot of the job is having people trust you, and she already has that,” he says.
Warmka agrees with Uhrhammer, saying she understands what the county’s strengths and weaknesses are pertaining to economic development.
One of Warmka’s first tasks will be to hire someone to fill her position as economic development coordinator.
Also high on her priority list will be “concensus building.”
As Warmka sees it, effective economic development involves all levels of government and the public and private sectors.
“My biggest goal may be breaking the divide that exists between the western and eastern part of the county,” she says.
Having an “open door policy,” she adds, will hopefully encourage residents to share their ideas and suggestions.
In the past, FCDC officials have said the group must increase its membership numbers.
Currently, FCDC has 12 businesses considered to be platinum members — with 26 or more employees countywide — making an annual contribution of $5,000 or more.
The city of Blue Earth and Faribault County have each earmarked $50,000 in funding for this year.
FCDC also has about 15 other “bronze” members that give the development group $100 to $499 a year.
Other membership categories include “gold” costing $1,000 to $4,999 annually for businesses having 10 to 25 employees countywide.
Businesses with less than 10 employees in the county may purchase an annual membership for $500 to $999.