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Leader Sought For Rochester Econ. Development Agency

The new post at Rochester’s Economic Development Agency will help steer Destination Medical Center planning.

The search is on for an executive director to lead the nonprofit Economic Development Agency (EDA) that will help steer the ambitious—and pricey—Destination Medical Center (DMC) project in Rochester.

In 2013, the Minnesota Legislature approved $585 million in subsidies to support the plan, which calls for more than $5.5 billion in investment from the Mayo Clinic and private investors over the next 20 years. The long-range vision calls for expanding Mayo’s already dominant footprint in Rochester.

According to the job posting: “In this critical new role, you’ll assist the Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) in envisioning, planning, and executing the 20-year DMC Development Plan and adopting strategies for continued economic development.”

The legislation passed last year outlined the creation of the public DMCC and a related nonprofit Economic Development Agency (EDA) “to assist the DMCC in preparation of a development plan.”

Lisa Clarke, with Mayo Clinic’s public affairs department, also serves as a board member for the DMCC. She told Twin Cities Business that the group could have an EDA leader in place by the second quarter.

The job listing calls for “a minimum of 10 years of experience at a senior management/executive level.” The executive director will serve as a liaison between the Mayo Clinic, government agencies and the community.

Last week, the Destination Medical Center Corporation approved a budget of $8.2 million for 2014.

The DMCC has been chaired by Tina Smith, chief of staff to Governor Mark Dayton. On Tuesday morning, Dayton announced that Smith would be his running mate for the 2014 election. But Smith is expected to continue to serve on the Rochester organization’s board.

“She plans to continue working on it,” said Matt Swenson, a spokesman for Dayton.

The Rochester organization has deeper pockets than the St. Paul-based Greater MSP, a nonprofit economic development group with an annual budget of approximately $5 million. Greater MSP serves the 16-county metro area of the Twin Cities, which does not include Olmsted County.

Meanwhile, the election of a new mayor in Minneapolis will mean a changing of the guard at the city’s Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) department. On Monday, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges announced that her office would begin a search for a new CPED director, a post currently held by Jeremy Hanson Willis.

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