By MIKE COURSON
Great Bend Post
Stafford County Economic Development is in search of a new executive director. Current Director Kathleen Norman recently announced she would be leaving her post to pursue a position overseas with the Peace Corps. She said the office is now looking for someone to take over an important role in the county with just more than 4,000 residents.
"Economic development is a vital part of small communities," she said. "Having a full-time staff dedicated to moving economic development is crucial. A number of the things our organization does wouldn't be possible if we didn't have a full-time person. There's a lot of behind-the-scenes work that people don't always see. Last year was a big year of grant applications just with the influx of funding that's been available for the types of projects that are needed in our area."
Norman joined the team in December 2020 as the assistant director, moving up to executive director on Jan. 1, 2022. Norman was a driving force behind the new daycare facility being constructed in St. John.
"Daycare was one that I've really helped from the ground up," she said. "A lot of my time, though, has been spent on carrying out our existing housing program that was underway when I came on as assistant director. We've been doing some work but aren't fully set on potentially some new housing development."
Stafford Eco Devo was recently awarded $49,125 as part of a Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant. That money will go toward improvements to the Macksville and Stafford libraries, and updates to the Main Street Market & Deli in Stafford.
Norman said she will remain executive director until a new hire can be trained or until the end of July, whichever comes first. Eco Devo is currently accepting applications for her position.
"Feb. 10 is the last day to get them in," Norman said. "The board will start reviewing and setting up interviews. If we don't find someone right away, we'll continue searching until we can get someone qualified in."
Resumes, including a cover letter and three references, can be submitted HERE.