MARQUETTE COUNTY, Michigan (WLUC) – Lake Superior Community Partnership (LSCP) CEO Sarah Lucas was recently appointed to the new Michigan State Office of Rural Development, effective April 18.
“While we are disappointed to see her leave the LSCP, we are delighted that Sarah is joining the Office of Rural Development, for which the LSCP has been a cheerleader in supporting its establishment,” said the board chairwoman. administration of the LSCP, Roxanne Daust. “This Department of State is extremely important to Upper Michigan, and we are thrilled to have a friend of the LSCP and the community lead the new department.”
In January, Governor Gretchen Whitmer created the Office of Rural Development within the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) via Executive Directive 2022-01 to focus on the strategic needs of rural Michigan, including including economic and labor development, infrastructure, public health. , and environmental sustainability.
“I have spent my career working with and advocating for the causes of rural communities and I care deeply about the challenges and opportunities they face,” said Lucas. “I am honored to have this opportunity to use the knowledge and relationships I have built over the years to support rural Michigan through the Office of Rural Development, and I am excited to continue working with partners like the LSCP in this new role.”
As Deputy Rural Development, Lucas will serve as the state point of contact for community leaders on pressing rural issues.
“Having spent most of her career in small towns and rural areas of Northwest Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, Sarah has a deep connection and understanding of the challenges facing our rural communities. His more than 20 years of passion and experience will serve the Michiganders well,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. “Rural Michigan is a fundamental part of Michigan’s economy. This new office will play a crucial role in supporting MDARD’s efforts and leading new ones as we work together to build a more prosperous rural economy.
During his tenure as CEO of LSCP, Lucas spearheaded new community initiatives and led the implementation of the organization’s vision and strategy. To ensure continuity and continued momentum on all of the LSCP’s strategic priorities, Lois Ellis, Executive Director of the Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance (DAEDA), will serve as interim CEO while the position is filled. while continuing to serve in his current position. Ellis worked for the LSCP as Vice President for many years prior to her role in the Dickinson area. She works daily directly with LSCP staff as a key regional partner in economic development.
“With such an experienced team currently at LSCP, I am confident the transition will be smooth until the new CEO is hired,” Ellis said. “The community can continue to expect our team to continue to meet the county’s economic development needs.”
Lucas’ last day with the LSCP will be April 15, 2022. The board is currently looking for a replacement for the position.
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