Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance hoping for new director

HANCOCK – The Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance is hoping to have a new executive director by the end of next week, its board president said today.

Jim Baker said the board is conducting interviews among the finalists now.

“We have received several applications, and we narrowed it down to a small subset of the most qualified applicants who we selected to interview,” he said.

Baker said they have a decision, offer and acceptance in time to present the new director at the Dec. 11 KEDA meeting.

Longtime Executive Director Phil Musser announced in September he would retire at the end of the year.

Baker said there is a combination of local candidates and people from out of the area.

“We had a mix of economic development and business development backgrounds,” he said.

Duties listed in the job posting include assisting start-up entrepreneurs and existing companies looking to expand, attracting companies to the area and leading in special projects to create conditions for future job growth.

KEDA will also be partnering with the Western Upper Peninsula Planning & Development Region. Under the new organizational structure, the executive director will no longer have some responsibilities such as fundraising and organizing the monthly KEDA meetings.

KEDA and WUPPDR will also start working together on projects such as grant proposals. Plans for the future include making KEDA WUPPDR’s primary economic arm, while the new director would serve as WUPPDR’s director of economic services.

Eventually, the two organizations may merge.