Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership fires its executive director

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“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

— 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 jmoylan@craigdailypress.com.

Comments

Marilynn Hill 1 year, 5 months ago

Another situation where the ED gets the axe because of a very dysfunctional board. Lots of finger pointing all around, but in the end it is the taxpayers that suffer once again because of all the fiefdoms/boards and organizations in Craig and Moffat as a whole. Sure there were challenges on all sides, but this board left this ED out to the wolves, with little or no support, and in some cases, those wolves where in sheep's clothing. Even when the Incubator opened, only twenty percent of the seated board members showed up to celebrate the Grand Opening. Few board members helped get it up and running; today most board members cannot tell you what the Incubator does, who it serves, its benefits to the whole community. Sad that so few want to see real and positive change come to this community, because they might not get the light shined on them personally and when you do step up to help, but you don’t go along with the crowd and have a few different ideas, you get beat down over and over and finally just give up wanting to help.

Remember folks, the only way we are going to succeed is to get rid of the ‘us versus them mentality’ and 'let’s only work with the people who look and act exactly like us’ thinking. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is not going to move you forward no matter how many ways you dress it up. Same board members, same good ole boy mentality, same, same, same!

The C/MEDP organization does not need to be managed, organized or more paper to be pushed, but led by a board that wants to be cutting edge, wants to mingle everyday in the community and out of the community; does not want to just come to board meetings once a month, but wants to roll up its sleeves and get out there. Hunting and gathering is fine, but economic hunting you have to compete with the big boys to bring business to a community. This community (City Council and the BOCC) does not support that because a community needs to be prepared to offer incentives (tax relief, land incentives, cash, etc). Economic gardening is a great alternative, but that seems to be boring to so many, so the C/MEDP does not want to do that either. Good luck in not wasting another $125,000 of taxpayer dollars over the next 10 years because that is where it is headed if the board does not start to act boldly and be bold in their vision, mission and implementation!

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suchadeal 1 year, 5 months ago

Thanks so much Justiceortruth for your well written, factual commentary. I concur 100% with all of your statements. If the ongoing CMEDP Boards know so much about Economic Development why do they keep hiring qualified people and then not allow that person to do the job? Maybe the Board should fill the position since they feel they are the qualified experts. So sad as Ms. Nauman-Cook had accomplished so much during her short tenure. She is a very bright, forward thinking lady who truly cared and worked for the future benefit of Craig/Moffat County.

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