“I have thoroughly enjoyed working in Craig and will never forget the kindness and support the community has shown me. I wish everyone great success and prosperity.”
— Betsy Nauman-Cook, former executive director of the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership
Craig The Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership Board fired Betsy Nauman-Cook, its executive director, earlier this week and has tapped former Moffat County Commissioner Audrey Danner to serve as interim director.
The reason for Nauman-Cook’s sudden departure is unclear.
Several EDP board members contacted by the Craig Daily Press this week refused to comment on the record about the decision. They referred all questions to the board’s executive committee, which consists of EDP board Chairman Jay Oxley. Attempts to reach Oxley this week have been unsuccessful.
As sudden as Nauman-Cook’s departure was, so too was the unexpected announcement Thursday that the EDP chose Danner to serve as interim executive director until a permanent replacement is found.
Danner has been a dues-paying EDP member for “several years” and was Moffat County’s liaison to the board while in office.
“I have the ability to continue the work EDP has been doing and I believe I can help with their reorganization efforts moving forward,” Danner said Thursday. “The first step is beginning the search for a new EDP director.”
According to an EDP news release issued late Thursday, the Marianna Raftopoulos Business Incubator and One Stop Business Center will not be affected by the change in leadership and will maintain its normal business hours at the Colorado Northwestern Community College bell tower.
The EDP also plans to stay active in its U.S. Department of Agriculture-sponsored program “Strengthening our Economies Together,” or SET.
Moffat County partnered with Routt and Rio Blanco counties to bring the national program aimed at strengthening economic development to the Yampa Valley. The first SET session is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 6 in Steamboat Springs. There is no charge to attend, but participants must register for the event.
Nauman-Cook was hired in January 2012. She succeeded Darcy Owens-Trask, who resigned in November 2012 to accept a position with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.
During Nauman-Cook’s short tenure, the EDP opened the Marianna Raftopoulos Business Incubator and One Stop Business Center, counseled budding entrepreneurs, and was in the midst of applying for a grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to begin a micro-loan program for businesses in Craig.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working in Craig and will never forget the kindness and support the community has shown me,” Cook said in a statement. “I wish everyone great success and prosperity.”
The EDP receives the bulk of its funding from Moffat County and the city of Craig. Its mission is to strengthen the economies of Craig and Moffat County.
Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.