The Board of Directors of Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County (EDC) announced Friday that Linda Christle, CEcD, executive director, has announced her retirement, according to a EDSPC news release. It is 12 years to the day that Christle began her duties as the executive director/CEO for the corporation.
During Friday’s Pettis County Pachyderm Club meeting, Pettis County Eastern Commissioner Brent Hampy announced Christle’s retirement to those gathered, noting that a search committee is being formed and Christle will continue working through Oct. 31.
Rusty Kahrs, Board President stated, “When Linda began on July 15, 2004, there was a lot to do. Since then, the community has achieved much and is now in an excellent position. When we brought Linda on board, our goals were to bring consensus to the community, pride to the community, and most of all, to provide support to our industries. Existing industry has always been Linda’s priority and it has proven successful with the number of existing company investments and growth over the years.”
Kahrs added, “Linda always looks first at how any decision will affect our existing manufacturers. Without them, we don’t have any jobs, the income to spend, the city and county sales tax dollars, retail businesses or opportunities. It is a tribute to Linda that we did not lose manufacturing companies in the last 12 years like many communities have.”
John Swearingen, long-time President before Kahrs stated, “It is not only what we do but why we do it — a community has to have its house in order before asking anyone to move their company here. Our house, which has a focus on working together for the best interests of its people, must be in place. We go forward as one voice, and we do everything we can for our companies. Those companies are our lifeblood and we must look out for their best interests.”
During Christle’s tenure, three enhanced enterprise zones were created which resulted in well over 50 companies benefiting and growing from those zones, including the south part of Sedalia after the 2011 tornado.
The Economic Development organization started four events in 2005. Each event recognizes and thanks local companies for being here, and all continue to grow in popularity.
Last year the EDC completed their third strategic plan (every five years) and created Task Forces to enhance the community. One of those task torces is the creator of the popular 1 Million Cups entrepreneurial program.
In 2011, Christle received the Economic Development Career Service award from the Governor of Missouri. In 2014, she received the Economic Developer of the Year Award from her peers in Missouri. Both of these were a first for an economic developer from Sedalia.
While Christle said there were many highlights during her 12 years, she really couldn’t recall a low. “We have achieved so much and I have the Board of Directors to thank for that. They donate so much of their time – they are the heroes.”
Christle will be around for a while to help the corporation with the hiring of their new CEO. “I know they will find the right individual to help the community continue to move forward,” said Christle. “Sedalia is the greatest and I have loved every minute of my 12 years here. I know it will be in good hands. I have faith that will happen and I am really excited to sit back and watch Sedalia soar.”
Economic Development Sedalia – Pettis County is a nonprofit organization which specializes in marketing Sedalia and Pettis County, Missouri, to relocating industrial companies as well as retaining its existing industrial base. More information can be found at SedaliaMoED.com.