Gard Steps Down as Head of EDC

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The Grand Island Area Economic Development Corporation (GIAEDC) Board of Trustees announced today that Randy Gard has stepped down as President of the GIAEDC effective January 1, 2015.

"Everyone on the GIAEDC board thanks Randy for his strong leadership and wishes him the very best," says Jay Kaspar, chairman of the GIAEDC board. "He did an excellent job of strengthening GIAEDC's ability to create new jobs and help area industries to grow and expand."

Kaspar attributes several accomplishments to Gard including:
• Building stronger relationships with Nebraska Department Economic Development as well as the GIAEDC membership and Grand Island.
• Helping to launch the Grow Grand Island initiative and creating a new business development plan for the Grand Island community.
• Assisting with the creation of the Central Nebraska Growth Foundation as an additional tool in helping area entrepreneurs and businesses grow and expand.
• Realigning the GIAEDC budget to devote more dollars to job creation activities by relocating its office to the Yancey Hotel.
• Implementing new marketing tools including a new logo, virtual tours of industrial sites, and community marketing videos. A new website is also under construction.
• Reformatting the GIAEDC annual meeting and increasing its attendance.

Kaspar reported that GIAEDC has begun the search process by posting the job description and desired qualifications on its website (grandisland.org) and on the Nebraska Economic Developers Association website (neda1.org).

In the interim period, the GIAEDC board of trustees will assist Mary Berlie, Executive Assistant, as needed. Gard, who will continue to be active in the Grand Island business community, has pledged to remain involved with GIAEDC projects and Grow Grand Island initiatives until the new president is found.

The Grand Island Area Economic Development Corporation is dedicated to the creation, retention, and expansion of jobs in the Grand Island area, with members representing local businesses and manufacturers.